The Big Construction program and plans to increase the share of cement concrete roads in Ukraine give reason to hope for the growth of the cement industry, Director of the Ukrcement cement producers association Roman Skilsky has said.
“The main reason for optimism is the Big Construction program… This will mean a noticeable increase in demand for cement, which will allow domestic companies to increase the number of idle reserve capacities,” he said in an interview with Interfax-Ukraine.
Skilsky said that early August, the Shulgin State Road Research Institute, together with Ukrainian Automobile Roads Agency of Ukraine (Ukravtodor), presented a concept and program for the construction of cement concrete roads in Ukraine, which envisage an increase in the number of such roads from 1% to 5% in the next five years. According to him, the process of approval of these documents by the relevant central executive authorities is underway.
At the same time, he said that in the Czech Republic the share of such roads is 22%, and in Germany – 42%.
The head of Ukrcement also counts on the positive impact of the law on the supply of construction products in the market on the industry. The document was adopted by the Verkhovna Rada on September 2 within the framework of European integration, which implements the provisions of Regulation (EU) No 305/2011 of the Council of Europe regarding construction products. Skilsky said that the industry harmonized national and European standards three years ago, but was forced to wait for this law. The document also introduces new rules in the field of public market supervision, which will significantly complicate the falsification of cement products.
In addition, the head of the association pins hopes on the investigation of the import of Portland cement and clinker cement from Turkey to Ukraine, launched early September by the Interdepartmental Commission on International Trade. According to him, this import increased 9-fold in 2019 and 13-fold in January-August 2020 versus January-August 2019, and by the end of the year it may exceed 1 million tonnes.
The head of Ukrcement explained such an increase in imports by a sharp reduction in Turkey’s domestic market, a strong weakening of the lira against the backdrop of a strong hryvnia and simple maritime logistics, and added that the Turkish cement industry is ten times larger than the Ukrainian one.
“The market in Ukraine is not growing, it has been fluctuating between 9.2-9.5 million tonnes for the third year in a row, so this deformation means worsening conditions for Ukrainian producers, and these are four large industrial groups, two of which are international,” Skilsky said.
He said that Ukrainian producers will be able to easily replace this volume of imports, and the replacement of Portland cement and clinker imported from Russia, Belarus and Moldova after the introduction of anti-dumping duties on the import of Portland cement and clinker from these countries last year is evidence of this.
“The cement industry can increase production further, the capacity reserve is sufficient for at least 20% growth. The question is whether there is a market for such growth,” the head of Ukrcement said.
He said that at the beginning of 2020 there was hope for a 20% growth that the construction market showed in 2019. However, the pandemic has made negative adjustments, and in the first seven months of this year, the decline in construction was already 4.6%, including in the housing construction sector – by 22%, and there is only a slight increase in infrastructure construction, Skilsky said.
According to the State Statistics Service, the production of Portland cement in January-July 2020 in Ukraine increased 3.7%, to 5.04 million tonnes, and clinker grew by 1.5%, to 3.9 million tonnes, including in July 2020 compared with July 2019, the growth was 5.9% and 12.2%, respectively.
Investments in the construction of a multifunctional e-sports arena with a capacity of 10,000 people in Kyiv will amount to $40 million, the co-founder of the Ukrainian multi-gaming e-sports organization Natus Vincere (NAVI), the founder of the DreamTeam gaming platform, Oleksandr Kokhanovsky, has said.
“We plan to build a multifunctional e-sports arena for $40 million, which will accommodate 10,000 people. It will be located in the center of Kyiv. There will be not only e-sports, but also ordinary sports, concerts, events, exhibitions, conferences there. The country does not yet have such a platform,” he said at the Kyiv Investment Forum.
According to him, Dnipro hotel in conjunction with the e-sports arena will allow holding up to 16 major e-sports events in Kyiv and will provide about 100,000 tourists annually. In addition, revenues to the local budget from tourist tax alone will amount to about UAH 40 million per year, the businessman added.
“Our main idea is that when we have a hotel and an arena, it will become a unique competitive advantage in order to participate in tenders for computer games developers for holding events. We will be able to receive from eight to 16 top events per year,” he explained.
Earlier, Kokhanovsky announced plans to reconstruct Dnipro hotel in one and a half to two years, having invested about $20 million in the project. According to the founder of NAVI, Smartland LLC, as one of the project partners, will be responsible for the management of real estate.
As reported, Smartland LLC bought Kyiv-based hotel Dnipro at an online auction for UAH 1.1 billion.
Volume of construction products produced by type in Jan-June of 2020 (Mln UAH)
PJSC ArcelorMittal Kryvyi Rih (Dnipropetrovsk region) has passed 50 million tonnes of smelter slag to state-run enterprise New Technologies of Road Construction.
The metallurgical complex said on Thursday that after processing into slag crushed stone and sand smelter slag will be used for road construction and repairs under the Big Construction state program.
“We want Ukravtodor and local authorities to use more actively smelter slag provided by ArcelorMittal Kryvyi Rih the characteristics of which fully comply with the national standards of road construction. It can be used in the base layer and as fine and coarse aggregate for concrete and asphalt roads,” the enterprise’s chief engineer, Andriy Babenko, said.
He also noted that active use smelter slag will improve the quality of road surface, as well as resolve the environmental problems related to accumulation and disposal of waste.
“Moreover, this is an economically reasonable solution, as road construction using such a technology will cost the government less than the use of natural materials,” Babenko said.
According to ArcelorMittal Kryvyi Rih, Ukravtodor plans to use around 500,000 cubic meters of smelter slag for road construction in 2020. As of the middle of August, it has used more than 100,000 cubic meters of smelter slag in Kharkiv, Donetsk, Dnipropetrovsk and Zaporizhia regions.
Volume of construction products produced by type in Jan-Apr of 2020 (mln uah)
Volume of construction products produced by type in Jan-Apr of 2020 (Mln Uah)