Business news from Ukraine

EU POSITIVELY ASSESSES UKRAINE’S WORK ON IMPLEMENTATION OF ACTION PLAN ON LIBERALIZATION OF VISA REGIME – FOREIGN MINISTRY

KYIV. July 16 (Interfax-Ukraine) – The EU positively assess the work Ukraine has done since the European Commission’s report on implementation of the action plan on liberalization of the visa regime with the EU for Ukraine was posted on May 8, 2015, the press service of the Foreign Ministry  reported.

At the meeting of high-ranking officials involved in EU-Ukraine visa-free dialogue on Wednesday, the EU also expressed hope steps planned by Ukraine would be realized in time and ensure the implementation of remaining recommendations.

“The parties state a common position that the implementation of recommendations is very important for the preparation of a positive report and getting the recommendation for introducing visa-free regime for Ukrainian citizens,” reads the statement.

The Ukrainian delegation was led by Deputy Foreign Minister of Ukraine on European integration Olena Zerkal, the EU – by Director General of the Directorate General for Migration and Home Affairs (DG HOME) Matthias Ruete.

NIBULON PLANS TO BOOST EXPORTS OF AGRICULTURAL CROPS BY 19% IN 2015/16 AGRI-YEAR

KYIV. July 15 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Agricultural enterprise Nibulon, Ukraine’s large producer and exporter of grain and oilseeds, wants to boost exports by 19% in the 2015/16 agricultural year (July-June), to 5 million tonnes of agricultural crops.

“We plan to increase shipment to 5 million tonnes in the current 2015/16 and new agricultural years first thanks to the following promising markets: China and Iran, and we plan to further extend geography of the company’s export, which today includes 64 countries,” the company’s press service told Interfax-Ukraine.

In 2014/15 agri-year the company handled and shipped for exports over 4.2 million tonnes of grain and oilseeds. A total of 113 ships were used to deliver the freight, and the average size of a batch was 31,200 tonnes.

In 2014/15 agri-year Nibulon exported products to 30 countries, and the largest share of total exports was Egypt’s (25%), Spain’s (10%) and Saudi Arabia’s (8%).

“China with 2.8% share, Thailand with 1.2% and Mexico with 1.05% were new destinations in 2014/15 agri-year in all aspects. The latter deserves attention from the point of view of vast geodistance of the country and vicinity of the following leading agricultural producers: the United States and Argentina, which traditionally have strong positions on the Western Hemisphere market,” the company said.

The company mainly exports corn and wheat, which share of total exports is 79%.

Nibulon predicts that the global ratio between demand and supply on the core agricultural crops market has not considerably changed compared to the previous year and in the current agricultural year one should not expect sharp changes in the prices. The prices would fluctuate under pressure of traditional seasonal factors.

Nibulon was created in 1991. It is one of the largest operators in the grain market. The company has a total silo capacity of more than 1.7 million tonnes, as well as its own transshipment terminal in Mykolaiv.

 

UKRAINE HARVESTS 8.7 MLN TONNES OF GRAIN AS OF JULY 15

KYIV. July 15 (Interfax-Ukraine) – As of July 15 Ukraine had threshed early grain and leguminous crops on 2.8 million hectares (27% of the forecast) and harvested 8.7 million tonnes of grain, the Agricultural Policy and Food Ministry has reported.

According to its data, barley was threshed on 1.2 million hectares, and the harvest reached 3.4 million tonnes with the average yield being 29.4 centners per ha. Wheat harvest totaled 5 million tonnes from 1.5 million ha with the yield being 33.8 centners per ha.

In addition, Ukraine harvested 238,000 tonnes of peas from 114,000 ha, 516,000 tonnes of rapeseed from 240,000 ha.

As reported, with reference to data from the State Statistics Service, the grain harvest last year was 63.8 million tonnes. In 2015, under the ministry’s forecast, it is expected to reach 59-60 million tonnes.

NCER EXPANDS UKRENERGO’S 2015 INVESTMENT PROGRAM BY 45.6%

KYIV. July 15 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Ukraine’s National Commission for Energy, Housing and Utilities Services Regulation (NCER) has expanded the investment program of national energy company Ukrenergo by 45.6% or UAH 2.179 billion, to UAH 6.959 billion (VAT not included).

An Interfax-Ukraine correspondent has reported that the commission made the decision at a meeting on Tuesday.

Commission Head Dmytro Vovk said that the extension of the investment program would entail an increase in the electricity tariff for industrial consumers of within 1%, although in the medium-term outlook the tariff would be decreased thanks to work being completed.

Ukrenergo acting Director General Yuriy Kasich said that the increase of expenses in the 2015 investment program by UAH 2.179 billion is less than 35% of expenses foreseen in the draft development plan of the average annual needs of the company.

He said that the company plans to announce several tenders to buy equipment in the near future.

“Out of 36 electrical devices that are to be installed at facilities of trunk power line network, according to the proposed changes to the investment program, 19 units are new equipment to realize power line development programs [including one unit to be in reserve], eight units is the replacement of damaged equipment and nine units is the replacement of equipment in the unsatisfactory state,” he said.

Kasich said that thanks to the increase of expenses to replace equipment, Ukrenergo will be able to partially catch up with the losses of the previous years.

“The technical state of equipment of truck power lines and interstate power lines today are highly deteriorated. Around 70% of main equipment of power substations has operated for their life cycle of 25 years and requires urgent replacement. The further exploitation of equipment over their life cycle increases maintenance and repair expenses,” he said.

Ukrenergo operates mainland and inter-state power transmission lines, as well as centralized control of the national power grid. The company is state-owned and controlled by the Coal Ministry.

The National Commission for Energy, Housing and Utilities Services Regulation regulates the activity of monopoly entities in the fields of energy, heating supply, central water supply and drainage, oil and gas industries, solid waste treatment, and implements state price and tariff setting policies in these sectors.

TURBOATOM TO MODERNIZE ALL EIGHT TURBINES OF PAKS NPP IN HUNGARY BY 2019

KYIV. July 15 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Public joint-stock company (Kharkiv), Ukraine’s largest producer of turbine equipment, has signed a large contract on modernization of eight turbines of all four reactors of Paks nuclear power plant (NPP) in Hungary, the company said on its website.

Under the contract, the cost of which is not disclosed, Turboatom will implement modernization of eight turbines К-220-44 with the nameplate capacity of 220 MW. As result, the capacity and life-time of the turbines will be increased and the overhaul life will be increased from four up to six years.

Turboatom has been the core supplier of equipment for Paks NPP for over 30 years.

“We have long-time cooperation with Turboatom and we’ve decided to entrust the new modernization of turbines to the Kharkiv enterprise. This is explained by the fact that all manufacturing and design rights belong to Turboatom and under law of our country these conditions allow not carrying out a tender, but work with Kharkiv directly,” the press service said, citing Paks NPP Specialist Dula Pasti.

Chief Designer of Steam Turbines Viktor Shvetsov said that specialists have been working on this pilot project for five years.

One of its main innovations is a seven-stage, instead of existing six-stage, setting of high pressure cylinders, he said.

The equipment will be installed on the existing foundation without the change of the construction structures. Turboatom will also supervise the assembly, carry out the field supervision and participate in guarantee tests before and after reconstruction.

The term of equipment delivery is 2016-2018.

The press service said that as a part of cooperation with Paks, Turboatom signed one more contract to supply twelve rows of turbine blades for reactor two of Paks NPP. Today, four rows are under work.

The term of equipment delivery is March and June 2016.

“These contracts are very important for the enterprise. A large international contract with the long-time partner has been signed, and it opens further prospects on the European energy market,” the press service said, citing Turboatom Director General Viktor Subbotin.

Turboatom is the sole producer of turbine equipment in Ukraine for hydro, heat and nuclear power stations.

Paks NPP is the only operating NPP in Hungary. It generates over 40% of electricity in the country.

UKRAINE, CANADA COMPLETE TALKS ON FREE TRADE ZONE

KYIV. July 15 (Interfax-Ukraine) – A document on the completion of talks to create a free trade zone between Ukraine and Canada was signed during Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk’s working visit to Ottawa, Canada, on Tuesday.

Ukraine’s Trade Representative Natalia Mykolska signed the document on behalf of the Ukrainian government, while Director General for Market Access from the Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Marvin Hildebrand signed it on behalf of his country, the Cabinet press service reported.

This document opens a new page in the bilateral relations between Ukraine and Canada and it should deepen Ukrainian-Canadian cooperation, boost mutual investment, according to Yatseniuk. “We have a broad agenda, next steps should be done,” he said.

The provisions of the draft agreement on free trade between Ukraine and Canada are aimed, among other things, at deepening trade and economic cooperation, including in trade in industrial and agricultural goods, intellectual property protection, and the regulation of public procurements.

After the agreement comes into effect, Canada will provide Ukrainian exporters free access to 98% of its commodities market. Ukraine will be given a transition period prior to the liberalization of the market by lifting all import duties.

In addition, Yatseniuk said, Canada will provide technical assistance to Ukraine, “to make the Ukrainian industry competitive.”

“This will open an opportunity to enter not only the Canadian market, but also other international markets,” he said.