Business news from Ukraine

DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER FOR INDUSTRY MAY APPEAR IN UKRAINE

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky has said that the Deputy Prime Minister for Industrial Policy could appear in the government of Ukraine in a week.
“We decided to reinstate such a position as Deputy Prime Minister for Industrial Policy … We have already seen many really professional people. Now we are choosing the best candidate. Because for us both the country’s industry, the defense industry, the space industry, and all our enterprises, as one of the best candidates for this position said, is the country’s development strategy. For the country to really be industrial, to be a space country,” he said at a meeting with business representatives of Odesa region on Saturday.
Zelensky pointed out that in Ukraine there is a full cycle at many enterprises in order to build an industrially powerful country.

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UKRAINIAN INDUSTRIALISTS DEMAND SUPPORT FOR SHIPBUILDING INDUSTRY

The industrial community of Ukraine is against ordering 16 modern Mark VI patrol boats and the equipment they need for $600 million from the United States, the press service of the Ukrainian League of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (ULIE) has said.
“The main duty of the authorities is to take care of the economic development of their own country, filling their own state budget, creating jobs at home. The orders in question only contribute to the growth of foreign budgets and stabilize the situation with employment in other states and do not help overcome crisis in our country. This is unacceptable and irresponsible,” the ULIE President, the chairman of the Anti-Crisis Council of Public Organizations, Anatoliy Kinakh, said.
In addition to ordering boats, industrialists pay attention to the purchase of imported locomotives and helicopters, which, in their opinion, could threaten serious socio-economic consequences for the whole country.
Kinakh emphasized that Ukraine has its own shipbuilding industry – highly professional production facilities, including in Mykolaiv, which are capable of building modern military boats and other small tonnage ships with a certain modernization.
“At this difficult time, the responsible government must develop both a national strategy for industrial and innovative development, and separate programs for shipbuilding, other priority areas of industry, to use all the levers to support the complex high-tech industry, starting from manufacturers’ access to credit resources, mitigating fiscal burden, changes in public procurement that would allow attracting public finances to load national producers,” he said.

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STATE-RUN NAFTOGAZ TO CUT GAS PRICE FOR INDUSTRY BY 20%

In June 2020, NJSC Naftogaz Ukrainy will reduce the price of natural gas sold to industrial consumers on an advance payment basis by 20.7% (UAH 849.60) compared to the current month’s price, to UAH 3,256 per 1,000 cubic meters (including VAT).
According to a report on the company’s website, the indicated price is relevant for consumers purchasing gas on an advance payment in the amount of more than 50,000 cubic meters per month, provided that there are no debts to the company and for 100% subsidiaries of Naftogaz Ukrainy.
For other buyers, the price next month will decrease by 19% (by UAH 896.40), to UAH 3,818 per 1,000 cubic meters (including VAT).

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FAILURE TO CONDUCT GREEN AUCTIONS AND SMALL STATE SUPPORT QUOTAS CAN DESTROY THE INDUSTRY AND SCARE AWAY INVESTORS – EXPERTS

On December 5, 2019, at 10:00, a press conference initiated by the European-Ukrainian Energy Agency regarding the future of bioenergy projects in Ukraine took place at the press center of the Interfax-Ukraine news agency.
Speakers:
Oleksandra Gumeniuk – Director of European-Ukrainian Energy Agency (EUEA)
Max Lebedev – Member of the Board of European-Ukrainian Energy Agency, Partner of GOLAW
Michael Rutherford – Development Director of Khmelnytskyi Biofuel Power Plant (KBPP)
Georgy Geletukha – Chairman of the Board of the Bioenergy Association of Ukraine (BAU)
In May 2019, the Verkhovna Rada adopted a law “On Amendments to Certain Laws of Ukraine on Ensuring Competitive Conditions for Generation of Electricity from Alternative Energy Sources”, which substantially changes the rules of the game for the participants of the green energy market. According to the provisions of this law, as of January 1, 2020, entities implementing renewable energy projects (RES) will be able to obtain state support only if they participate in the auction with the support quota allocation and only if they win.
The Ministry of Energy recently issued indicative state support quotas for auctions, which will total around 50 MW per year for biomass, biogas and small hydropower producers.
Such small quotas, experts warn, make it impossible to implement large projects and lead to an outflow of investors who have already entered the market. Foreign investors who have already invested heavily in the development of bioenergy projects in Ukraine will have to abandon their plans due to the inability to obtain guaranteed state support. As a result, the development of biomass electricity production may stop altogether, and projects that are already underway will be frozen.
One of the examples is the Khmelnytskyi biofuel power plant. A group of foreign investors from Ireland and the UK is planning to build a 46 MW bio-power plant that will produce biomass electricity. The project is now in its final stages and is awaiting the first auction to secure funding. The investor has already invested 1.4 million euros in its implementation. In the future, the investor group intends to build 10 more similar stations in other regions of Ukraine, investing more than $2 billion in them and creating 5 thousand new jobs.
However, these intentions may not be realized, as the quotas proposed by the Government do not allow even one project to potentially obtain the necessary quota of state support.
This provision, say representatives of the KBPP, could cause a situation where large-scale biomass projects will not be able to obtain the necessary capacity, which will block the development of the projects needed for the grid.
Market experts also say that compared to other sources of alternative energy, biomass is the most efficient and solves a number of problems typical of solar and wind plants. In particular, it enables uninterrupted power generation in 24/7 mode, efficient use of farm by-products, opening up sources of additional income for farmers and balancing the grid.
Therefore, this industry needs additional support from the state, and therefore they propose to consider increasing the quota or introducing an additional quota for stable generation facilities.
«What we are calling for are levels of quotas which are sufficient to allow the biomass sector to attract investment at a suitable scale to assist with the balancing issues the country is facing whilst also providing jobs and economic prosperity» – emphasized Michael Rutherford, Development Director of Khmelnytskyi Biofuel Power Plant.
European-Ukrainian Energy Agency, established in 2009, unites investors from Austria, Belgium, Great Britain, Norway, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, the USA and other countries that implement renewable energy projects in Ukraine using solar, wind and bio-energy (around 2 GW of operational renewable power plants, 0.5 GW under construction, 2 GW with signed pre-PPAs). http://euea-energyagency.org/.
Video of the press conference is here

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KHARKIV IT CLUSTER PREDICTS 25% INCREASE IN IT INDUSTRY IN REGION

Kharkiv IT Cluster predicts a 25% increase in the IT industry in the region by the end of 2019. “According to the dynamics of the last two years, in 2019 we expect growth in the industry in the region by at least 25% compared with the results of 2018,” Kharkiv IT Cluster CEO Olha Shapoval said, commenting on the results of Kharkiv IT Research 2.0.
According to Kharkiv IT Research 2.0, the demand for experts in the field of information technology in 2019 also exceeds the supply: the companies’ need for specialists is 1.5 times higher than the number of graduates (Kharkiv universities annually graduate more than 2,000 young specialists only in specialized fields).
The authors of the study noted the growing popularity of non-formal education, as well as the creation of corporate training centers within companies that are ready to invest in youth training.
According to the study, by the end of 2018 the IT industry in the region had about 480 service and product companies, and the number of IT specialists exceeded 31,000 people.
In general, according to Kharkiv IT Research 2.0, the IT industry in Kharkiv in quantitative terms grew by 24%, and the total volume reached $962 million in 2018, ensuring a growth of 20%.

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RENEWABLE ENERGY ASSOCIATIONS APPEAL TO UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT FOR HELPING IN DEVELOPMENT OF RENEWABLE ENERGY INDUSTRY

The Bioenergy Association of Ukraine (BAU), together with the associations uniting the leading producers of electricity from renewable energy sources, have addressed President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky regarding the situation with the payment for purchased electricity from alternative sources at a feed-in tariff. According to the press service of the BAU, the decisions of the Kyiv District Administrative Court to suspend the decisions of the National Commission for Energy, Housing and Utilities Services Regulation (NCER), which set tariffs for electricity transmission for Ukrenergo, will lead to non-payments to producers of electricity from renewable sources.
The letter also emphasizes that the decision of the Kyiv District Administrative Court to satisfy the claim of Nikopol Ferroalloy Plant to secure the claim against the NCER will lead to a halt in building new renewable energy facilities, a failure to comply with the obligations to financial institutions. In addition, it will damage the investment attractiveness of Ukraine and freeze the development of the renewable energy industry.
“We are asking to support the strategic development of the renewable energy industry in Ukraine and prevent the deterioration of the investment climate due to the violation of the guarantees provided by the state,” the letter reads.

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