Business news from Ukraine

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1 Excluding the temporarily occupied territories of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, the city of Sevastopol and part of the anti-terrorist operation zone. 2 Data can be corrected.

U.S. GRANTS EXEMPTION FOR ANTONOV AIRLINES’ CHARTER SERVICES

KYIV. Sept 29 (Interfax-Ukraine) – The U.S. Department of Transportation has granted Ukrainian operator Antonov Company (Antonov Airlines) broad air charter exemptions for flights to and from the US, according to Air Cargo Week.

These exemptions follow the U.S.-Ukraine Open Skies agreement which was concluded by July 14, 2015, and became effective earlier this year. The U.S. DOT has also tentatively granted Antonov Company a foreign air carrier permit.

The Antonov Company no longer needs obtain U.S. DOT statements of authorization, following non-objections from U.S. operators, but normal U.S. Customs notifications and approvals are required for flights.

Commenting on the decision to Interfax-Ukraine, Antonov Airlines’ management said that the U.S. sets quotas for foreign airlines on charter freight transportation to safeguard U.S. companies’ commercial interests.

“Antonov Airlines transports oversized and superheavy cargo, which cannot be handled by U.S. operators,” the source said.

Its fleet consists of seven An-124-100 Ruslan, one An-225 Mriya and one An-22 Antei aircraft.

Since 2006, Antonov Airlines has been fulfilling a contract under NATO’s Strategic Airlift Interim Solution program, servicing 18 NATO and EU member states. In December 2014, the contract was extended until the end of 2016.

UKRZALIZNYTSIA TESTING GENERAL ELECTRIC’S DIESEL LOCOMOTIVE

KYIV. Sept 29 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Public joint-stock company Ukrzaliznytsia is testing TE33А freight diesel locomotive made by General Electric Corporation (the United States).

“The General Electric’s locomotive is being tested in Ukraine. The tests will last for four months. All its capabilities will be tested,” Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Volodymyr Omelyan said at the presentation of the locomotive in Kyiv on Wednesday.

He recalled that by late October Ukrzaliznytsia will draw up a five-year Ukrainian locomotive and wagon modernization plan. Foreign experts will be involved in this work in the second half of October – leading locomotive manufacturers and experts with experience of railways transformation.

“We believe that the locomotive presented by General Electric will be a success. I would like that General Electric was not only a strategic partner of the Olympic Games, but a strategic partner of Ukraine. The corporation has all facilities for this. There are enough directions for cooperation: railways, aviation, other spheres where the corporation has proved to be a global leader,” the minister said.

Omelyan said that TE33А diesel locomotive allows saving fuel and lubricants and doubling the loading capacity.

The minister did not give an affirmative response to the question what the likelihood to buy the locomotive is. He said that negotiations with all leading manufacturers would be held to determine a strategic partner in production of locomotives in Ukraine.

ISRAEL’S SHAPIR INTENDS TO OPEN REPRESENTATIVE OFFICE IN UKRAINE, PARTICIPATE IN ROAD TENDERS

KYIV. Sept 29 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Israel’s road and construction company Shapir has decided to open a representative office in Ukraine and participate in tenders to repair and build Ukrainian roads, Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Volodymyr Omelyan has said.

“Several months of talks preceded this [decision] and their specialist studied the situation and potential of our market. Several more foreign road companies are coming soon. We are breaking monopoly of no-names and traditional bidders of all tenders. Our condition is the legal registration and payment of taxes in Ukraine and new jobs,” he said on Facebook.

The minister added that now it is time for parliament to vote for the creation of the road fund.

Shapir and its subsidiaries are involved in various types of construction. They implement projects to build roads, tracks, hubs, bridges, tunnels, pillars and earthworks.

K.FUND, BLACKBOX CAPITAL TO OPEN TECHNOLOGY COMPANIES’ DEVELOPMENT CENTER IN KYIV

KYIV. Sept 28 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Vasyl Khmelnytsky’s K.Fund and ΒlackBox Capital will set up a Technology Companies’ Development Center (TCDC) in Kyiv, which will support small- and medium-sized hi-tech projects, K.Fund said in a Tuesday press release.

“The project aims to provide priority support to product developing hi-tech companies; investment is estimated at UAH 100 million,” K.Fund said.

The TCDC will be located in a separate building with an area of about 3,500 square meters at 8 Simyi Khokhlovykh Street in Kyiv. Construction is under way at the site now, it is to be completed in December 2016.

“The TCDC will be operated by a managing company, an advisory board, the Juscutum law firm, inter-corporate IT university BIONIC University, two high-tech laboratories: VR Lab (Crytek) and Smart City lab,” the press service said.

Kyiv-Mohyla Business School (kmbs) will be the center’s special educational partner, which has already developed a training program “Be Tech. Client Focus Strategy.” To become a TCDC resident, please fill in a form and take kmbs’ respective training course. K.Fund will refund 70% of the tuition fees.

K.Fund was founded by Ukrainian entrepreneur Vasyl Khmelnytsky in 2015 to support education and economics projects.

BlackBox Capital, founded by Yevhen Sarantsov, has been creating new business models in the segment of IT and digital commercial communications with Ukrainian companies since 2014.

CONTAINER TRANSPORTATION BY RAIL IN UKRAINE 28% UP IN JANUARY-AUGUST

KYIV. Sept 28 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Transportation of freight in containers by rail and in Viking combined transport trains via Ukraine in January-August 2016 increased by 28% year-over-year, to 45,945 TEU.

In particular, container transportation by the Dniprovets train (Odesa-Dnipro-Lisky-Odesa) increased by 55%, to 3,323 TEU, PJSC Ukrzaliznytsia’s press service reported.

Container transportation by rail between Nikopol and Illichivsk grew by 51%, to 20,978 TEU. The Podillia train running between Odesa and Khmelnytsky boosted container transportation by 5%, to 980 TEU, while the Zubr train saw a 35% increase in container transportation to 990 TEU.

In addition, 2,843 TEU was transported by the Viking combined transport train; 2,304 TEU was shipped along the Khreshchatyk route (Odesa-Kyiv-Lisky-Odesa), and 3,868 TEU was shipped from Romanian cities to the Russian city of Togliatti in Samara Oblast and back.

Eleven container trains run across Ukraine’s territory. Transportation of containers by train accounts for 26% of the total volume of transported containers via the country.