Business news from Ukraine

UBC Group has started construction of second stage of refrigeration equipment manufacturing plant

UBC Group (Kharkiv), a commercial and industrial holding company operating in the field of refrigeration equipment and promotional products, has started construction of the second stage of a 5,000 sq m refrigeration equipment plant in Vinnytsia, according to Andriy Ocheretnyi, deputy mayor of Vinnytsia.
“This will create about 200 new jobs in Vinnytsia. The main work is scheduled for 2024. Currently, the project documentation is being finalized and preparations for the expert review are underway,” he wrote on Facebook.
In addition, a solar power plant with a capacity of 600 kW has been launched at the Green Cool plant. The solar panels were built in two stages. The first was completed in August and the second in September. In total, the company has installed 1080 solar panels.
“They will ensure the consumption of our own electrical installations and minimize the load on the power grid of the whole country. We are already talking about 100% replacement of our own consumption of electricity generated by renewable energy sources between April and September,” said Ocheretyanyi, adding that Green Cool sets “a great example of working towards green energy.”
The deputy mayor of Vinnytsia reminded that Green Cool, which operates on the basis of the Vinnytsia Refrigeration Engineering Cluster Industrial Park, produces refrigeration equipment that is exported to more than 20 countries. In 2023, the manufacturer expanded its sales geography and launched exports to North Africa and Latin America.
“This enterprise is one of the most powerful in the machine-building industry in the Vinnytsia community. More than 800 people work here and the staff will continue to expand,” the official added.
As reported, UBC Group’s business in 2022 decreased by about 43% due to the war. The group moved one of its plants from Kharkiv to Vinnytsia, which took about 400 vehicles. It was launched in May last year, but the number of employees there was about 300, compared to 1,000 in Kharkiv. The second plant in Kharkiv is gradually starting to operate, but the number of employees there has also decreased significantly.
For relocation, UBC Group built the first phase of its refrigeration equipment plant in Vinnytsia on an area of 20,000 square meters. Investments in its construction amounted to EUR 18 million. The first phase of the plant’s capacity to produce refrigerators with glass doors and ice cream chests was 60 thousand units per year.
During the construction phase, UBC Group announced a further expansion of the production building to 35 thousand square meters. The second stage will produce refrigerated cabinets, and with it, the group will reach a capacity of 150 thousand units per year. Capital investments in the second stage will amount to about EUR 10-12 million.
Prior to the Russian military invasion, UBC Group, which has been operating in the market for over 20 years and supplies products to 120 countries, had several divisions.
UBC Cool was engaged in the development and production of refrigeration equipment for beverages and food at the UBC Cool plant in Dergachi and the UBC Green Cool plant in Vinnytsia.
UBC Promo specialized in the development and production of promotional materials under the Promo brand at its plants in Kharkiv and Dergachi.
UBC Engineering was engaged in providing installation and commissioning services in the food and processing industry, UBC Service in providing maintenance and refurbishment services, UBC Distribution in selling products and services of the group of companies, UBC Armature in designing and installing equipment and processes, and distributing industrial valves and consumables.
UBC Group also owns the Ukrainian Beer Company (Kharkiv) and the Stargorod brewery restaurant chain in the CIS and Baltic countries.
The owner of UBC Group is Igor Humennyi.

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Bayer has started construction of plant in Ukraine

EUR60 mln will be invested in the construction of the Monsanto plant in Pochuiki village (Popelnyansky district, Zhytomyr region) by Bayer to produce corn seeds, said the head of Zhytomyr regional military administration Vitaliy Bunechko.

“Today together with the director of “Monsanto-seeds” LLC Vladimir Onishchenko laid a symbolic “time capsule” at the site of construction of new capacities of this enterprise. More than EUR60 million of additional investments during the war is the best evidence not only of international support for Ukraine, but also of the fact that large investors believe in our victory,” he wrote in Telegram.

Bunechko emphasized that Monsanto Seeds is already one of the largest seed plants in Eastern Europe. It provides corn hybrids not only to Ukrainian farmers, but also to agrarians in Romania, Hungary and France. After the construction of additional capacity, its potential will increase even more.

“Expansion of production is simultaneously the creation of new jobs in Zhytomyr region, increase of tax revenues to the budget, as well as foreign currency earnings, which is very important for the Ukrainian economy in war conditions,” he said.

At the same time, the head of Zhytomyr OVA noted the responsible position of Bayer, which in 2022, two months after the start of the full-scale invasion to support farmers who were sowing in super difficult conditions, gave them free of charge 140 tons of corn seeds of Monsanto selection.

The investment will reportedly be used to build a new seed dryer, purchase modern farming equipment, build storage facilities and two bomb shelters for employees. The plant employs about 100 full-time employees and 250 to 300 seasonal workers. The plant is one of the largest in the region.

Bayer is a multinational company that operates in the fields of medicine and agriculture. The company is headquartered in Leverkusen, Germany. In 2022, Bayer Group employed about 101 thousand people and its sales amounted to EUR50.7 bln.

The company has been operating in Ukraine since 1992 and is represented by the pharmaceutical division, OTC department, as well as the agricultural division. The total number of employees is 700.

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Ukraine’s Velta engages Canada’s Hatch to design plant in US

Velta group of companies with titanium ore mining assets in Novomyrhorod (Kirovograd region) has signed an agreement with international consulting company Hatch to design a titanium powder plant in the United States.

According to a press release on Tuesday, the agreement was signed between Velta Holding US Inc and Hatch.

It is noted that the new plant will be one of the first in the U.S. to operate based on Ukrainian low carbon footprint technology developed at Velta’s research center.

“This partnership agreement brings the Velta team closer to presenting the solution of Ukrainian scientists to the US titanium market, which is dangerously dependent on external supply chains,” the press service quotes Velta CEO Andriy Brodsky as saying.

At the same time, he expressed confidence that thanks to Hatch’s design expertise, the plant will be able to quickly and efficiently meet the demand for titanium for the countries that are Ukraine’s allies in the war.

The capacity of the first plant is designed for 1,000 tons per year of titanium powder with the potential to scale up in the future.

The company also emphasizes its intentions to build a similar plant in Ukraine.

Hatch is a leading consulting company for project design and implementation. The company’s professional experience includes projects in more than 150 countries in the metals, energy and infrastructure sectors, including four major TiO2 projects in Canada, South Africa and Senegal. The company also works closely with the communities where it operates its projects to avoid negative environmental impacts and promote economic development.

Velta Holding US, Inc. owns Velta LLC, a Ukrainian titanium feedstock producer that has built a titanium mining complex in Ukraine.

“Velta launched its R&D center in 2017 to develop a new method of titanium production. To date, the technology has already received two patents in the US.

PKF Velta LLC was registered in April 2000. The main activity is mining and production of ilmenite concentrate.

LLC VELTA Holding owns 100% of LLC PKF VELTA. The ultimate beneficiaries are three individuals: Andrey Brodsky (60%), Vadim Moskalenko (20%) and Vitaly Malakhov (20%).

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“Chumak” intends to build plant for processing tomatoes into paste in Odessa region

The Chumak PJSC intends to build a plant for processing tomatoes into paste in Odessa Region, as the company considers this region to be the most favorable in terms of climatic conditions, the director of the department of agrarian policy, food and land relations of the Odessa OVA, Alla Stoyanova, has said on Facebook.
The official recalled that Ukraine covers its domestic needs in vegetables at the expense of imports. According to Stoyanova, in Odessa region in 2023, the sown area of vegetable crops is 1489 hectares, of which 476.6 hectares are allocated for tomatoes, 307.1 hectares – onions, 95.11 hectares – carrots, 81.87 hectares – cabbage, 22.75 hectares – cucumbers, 434.44 – other vegetable crops.
The Director of the Department also informed that relocation of production facilities of Chumak PJSC to Odessa region will be a significant support for agro-industrial complex of the region and will create almost 5000 additional jobs.
The director of “Evrika” LLC Mikhail Bely suggested “systematic and balanced approach to the issue of product logistics”, which will facilitate the delivery of products to farmers for processing and will help the company “Chumak”.
Farmers present at the meeting expressed their willingness to expand production areas under tomato production.
“Vegetable farming is a high-cost business. It depends on irrigation and acquisition of specialized machinery, because farmers massively complain about the shortage of workers. In addition to investments in mechanization of production, attention should also be paid to storage and processing of products. We have a huge potential – natural, logistical (…), human”, summarized Stoyanova.

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“Nibulon” invests EUR27 mln in construction of new elevator and plant

JV Nibulon LLC (Nikolaev), one of the largest operators on the grain market of Ukraine, attracted EUR27 million from the Export Investment Fund of Denmark (EIFO) to increase the capacity of the Bessarabian branch in Izmail, where an elevator and a flour mill will be built, the company’s press service said on Facebook.
“We are extremely impressed by the speed of decision-making and support from Denmark in these difficult times for the Ukrainian economy. We really need more and more such positive signals so that others can emulate them,” Nibulon CFO Olga Babanina said.
According to the grain trader, the raised funds will be used to build an elevator for simultaneous storage of 118.5 thousand tons of grain and high-tech modern mill with a capacity of 750 tons per day.
This infrastructural solution will allow Nibulon to increase its export capacity up to 300,000 tons per month and supply flour to the domestic market as well as serve the interests of the food security mission of UN World Food Program via the Danube ports, the company explained.
Besides, the company added that construction of the new production facilities will allow to increase the number of jobs in the region and employ 100 specialists.
As it was informed, the financing is carried out within the framework of social program of Danish Investment Fund, created for Ukraine. The launch of the program was announced in May during the Ukrainian Investment Forum in Copenhagen.
JV Nibulon LLC was founded in 1991. Before the Russian military invasion the grain trader had 27 transshipment terminals and complexes for reception of agricultural crops, capacities for simultaneous storage of 2.25 mln tons of agro-industrial complex products, fleet of 83 vessels (including 23 tugboats) and owned Nikolaev Shipbuilding Plant.
“Nibulon” before the war worked 82 thousand hectares of land in 12 regions of Ukraine and exported agricultural products to more than 70 countries.
The grain trader exported a maximum of 5.64 million tons of agricultural products in 2021, reaching record volumes of deliveries to foreign markets in August – 0.7 million tons, in the fourth quarter – 1.88 million tons and in the second half of the year – 3.71 million tons.
Nibulon’s losses from Russia’s full-scale invasion reached $400 million. The grain trader is currently operating at 30% of its capacity and has set up a special unit to clear farmland.

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BGV Group Management investment company will build graphite concentrate plant in Ukraine

Investment company BGV Group Management in 2024 plans to begin construction of a plant to produce graphite concentrate and spherical granite on the basis of Balakhovskoye deposit (Kirovograd region).
“BGV’s team is currently performing the second stage of pilot tests of the processing plant and completing the design of the production complex and graphite pilot tests on the Balakhovskoye project. Next year, the company plans to start building one of the largest production complexes in Europe,” BGV Group Management said in a press release.
According to its data, the facility’s potential capacity will be 50,000 tons of graphite concentrate per year and 19,000 tons of spherical graphite for lithium-ion batteries. The company expects that such volume will be able to cover a significant part of the European Union market demand.
BGV is also working on a pre-feasibility study for the Perzhansky complex beryllium deposit (Zhytomyr region) and expects to present the results to investors soon. According to its data, the deposit has reserves of 2.34 million tons of ore. In addition, it also has reserves of zinc, rare earth elements and other materials.
Investments in extraction and further processing of raw materials are one of the main focuses of the company, BGV Group Management board member Sergii Voytsekhovskii said during the presentation of projects at Ukraine Recovery Conference 2023 in London. According to him, the investments of the group and its founder Gennady Butkevich in the Ukrainian mining projects amounted to over $100 mln in eight years.
BGV Group Management is an investment company, which develops businesses and projects in mining, processing, energy efficiency, retail and development. Its founder Gennady Butkevich is also a co-owner of ATB Corporation

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