Business news from Ukraine

KHARKIV REGION OFFICE OPENED IN U.S.

KYIV. Sept 24 (Interfax-Ukraine) – The office of Kharkiv region intended for lobbying social, humanitarian and commercial interests of the region at all levels has been opened in Washington.

U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt said at a briefing in Kyiv on Tuesday that the office was created under the initiative of Kharkiv Regional Administration with support of the U.S. Embassy to Ukraine, the U.S.-Ukraine foundation and NGO GloBee International Agency for Regional Development.

He said that leaders of Kharkiv region today are focusing on the idea of reforms and the building of new democratic institutions. These are critically important conditions for economic growth, and if the course is observed, Kharkiv region would be in the lead of the economic development of independent and integrated Ukraine, he said.

“The U.S. will be a partner in the process,” the diplomat said.

In turn, Head of Kharkiv Regional Administration Ihor Rainin said that today Kharkiv residents selected the European and U.S. way of development.

“I could assure that the office will operate on the permanent basis. We’re considering the U.S. as a partner, the partner, without which it would be difficult to conduct reforms,” he said.

The office with six employees (among whom is Robert A. McConnell, former Assistant Attorney General of the U.S. Department of Justice and former Vice President of CBS Corporation) is located in the center of Washington.

 

EU TO HELP UKRAINE USE ITS CULTURAL LEGACY FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT – CULTURE MINISTRY

KYIV. Sept 23 (Interfax-Ukraine) – The signing of the memorandum of cooperation between Ukraine and the EU with the Council of Europe on the implementation of the Comus project is a step towards using Ukraine’s cultural legacy for the economic development of the country, Deputy Culture Minister on European Integration Andriy Vitrenko has said.

“The main part about the realization of the project is first of all opening up new opportunities to attract the experience of European partners to use the cultural legacy [of Ukraine] as a significant instrument for economic development under Ukrainian conditions,” Vitrenko said at a briefing in Kyiv on Tuesday.

He said that the goal of the memorandum, which was signed in Tbilisi on September 18, is to enhance the cultural legacy of Ukraine for the socio-economic development of small and medium sized towns, as well as to enhance European regional partnership.

The project will be realized in Ukraine by June, 2017 and the pilot cities of the project will be Lutsk and Zhovkva.

 

UKRHYDROENERGO MULLING CONSTRUCTION OF SIX HYDROELECTRIC POWER PLANTS ON DNIESTER RIVER

KYIV. Sept 23 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Public joint-stock company Ukrhydroenergo is considering the possibility of building six hydroelectric power plants on the Dniester River with a total capacity of 324 MW, Ukrhydroenergo Head Ihor Syrota said at the 13th international forum “Fuel and Energy Complex of Ukraine: The Present and the Future,” which was held in Kyiv on Tuesday.

He said that the company plans to start realizing the project in 2015-2016.

Syrota said that the project is of social importance as it includes the development of infrastructure via the construction of bridges over the Dniester River in Ternopil, Khmelnytsky and Chernivtsi regions.

According to the materials of the Energy and Coal Industry Ministry, the total cost of the project to build a cascade of hydroelectric power plants and water reservoirs is estimated at $1.131 billion. The approximate term of the realization of the project is 2015-2024.

CENTRENERGO ORDERS 160,000 TONNES OF SOUTH AFRICAN COAL FROM SWISS MERCURIA

KYIV. Sept 23 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Public joint-stock company Centrenergo has ordered 160,000 tonnes of coal from South Africa from Swiss trader Mercuria, acting head of Centrenergo Oleh Kozemko said at a press conference in Kyiv on Tuesday.

“On Friday we sent the agreement on the supply of coal from South Africa for signing by Mercuria – two boats with 160,000 tonnes… The first boat is to arrive in November,” he said.

Kozemko said that it is impossible to maintain the normal passing of the heating season without diversifying supplies.

He said that coal from South Africa costs up to $65 per tonne under CIF (Cost, Insurance and Freight) with a calorific value of 5,500 kcal, while the cost of coal from Russia is up to $67 per tonne with a calorific value of 6,000 kcal.

He also said that the company is holding a tender to buy handling services for coal supplied from South Africa, although the company has not yet received any bids. The term of the tender will be extended by one week, and if it is a failure, the supplier will handle coal for an extra charge.

Kozemko said that the company is to buy 2.207 million tonnes of coal in September-December 2015 (1.102 million tonnes of gas coal and 1.105 million tonnes of anthracite and short-flame coal) to have 566,000 tonnes in stock as of January 1, 2016.

He said that there are no problems with supplies of gas coal bought from Vuhillia Ukrainy and State Coal Company. As for anthracite and short-flame coal, there are plans to buy 465,000 tonnes from the Anti-Terrorist Operation zone in September-December 2015, 480,000 tonnes from Russia and 160,000 tonnes from South Africa.

He said that purchases of coal from South Africa require an increase in the company’s tariff.

“We’ve calculated that the tariff for Zmiyivska TPP will grow to UAH 1.32 in November-December, and the average tariff for the company is UAH 0.92, taking into account supplies from South Africa,” he said.

Kozemko said that in the period from October through December 2015, Centrenergo plans to use four units of Vuhlehirska TTP and two units each of Trypilska and Zmiyivska TPPs.

He said that at present, coal stocks at the company’s warehouses total 399,500 tonnes, including 256,300 tonnes at Vuhlehirska TTP, 56,800 tonnes at Zmiyivska TPP, and 86,300 tonnes at Trypilska TPP.

SKHIDNY MINING PLANS TO BOOST URANIUM CONCENTRATE PRODUCTION BY 30% IN 2015

KYIV. Sept 23 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Skhidny Mining state enterprise (Zhovti Vody, Dnipropetrovsk region) plans to boost uranium concentrate production by 29.6% in 2015, to 1,200 tonnes, Director General Oleksandr Sorokin told reporters in Kyiv on Tuesday.

“This growth cannot be classified only as an achievement, as in 2014 well-known events caused problems with the delivery of explosives from east of Ukraine and some materials, we simple did not process a large volume of ore, or formed warehouse stocks, and now we’re making up for leeway,” he said.

Sorokin said that the company’s plans for 2016 have not yet been formed, and negotiations with National Nuclear Generating Company Energoatom are being held to define its need for the company’s products.

He said that the main growth is production is thanks to high-quality ore from the Novokostiantynivske uranium field, while the Inhulska and Smolynska mines have passed their peaks. He added that ore will be extracted at Smolynska mine for another five years, which will be gradually closed afterwards.

“We would take all measures that the settlement of Smolyne and staff who lives and works there have a chance of getting jobs at Novokostiantynivska mine,” Sorokin said.

Skhidny Mining is the only uranium ore producer in Ukraine and the largest one in Europe. The annual demand of the Ukrainian nuclear power industry for uranium totals 2,400 tonnes, while today the country only produces 1,000 tonnes per year.

LIOU, GERMAN EMBASSY PUBLISH REVISED LIST OF INSURERS FOR TOURISM IN EU/SCHENGEN ZONE

KYIV. Sept 23 (Interfax-Ukraine) – The League of Insurance Organizations of Ukraine (LIOU), jointly with the German Embassy to Ukraine which is the coordinator of relations between consulates and visa centers of the EU/Schengen zone states and representatives of the insurance market pursuant to Article 48 of the EU Visa Code, has published a list of Ukrainian insurance companies that can insure tourists travelling to the EU/Schengen zone.

The league said in a press release that the updated list includes 108 companies-members of LIOU, other associations of the insurance market, international financial groups, and unaffiliated companies.

As reported, at a joint meeting of its board and presidium on June 24, 2015, the LIOU approved the procedure for retaining the list of Ukrainian insurance companies that can insurer tourists travelling to the EU/Schengen zone.

The procedure took effect on July 1, 2015 and applies to insurance companies-members of LIOU only.