• If Ukraine sticks to a five-year roadmap for integrating with Europe’s electricity network, it can increase electricity exports to Europe five-fold, to 18-20 billion kWh by 2022, Ukrenergo head Vsevolod Kovalchuk said at a Verkhovna Rada round table. The deadline is July 2022 for Ukraine to implement a series of measure to join the European Network of Transmission System Operators (ENTSO-E). At present, he said, Ukraine is working in isolated mode, or detached from Russia.
• Ukraine’s UDP Group is joining the trend of building solar plants in southern Ukraine. This fall, UDP plans to start building a 17.5 MW plant in Kherson and a 10 MW plant in Odesa. Banking on Ukraine’s ‘green tariff’ electricity rate system, UDP’s owner, Vasyl Khmelnytsky, plans to invest $300 million in renewable energy over the next five years.
• A proposed European ban on flights over the Dnipro Air Traffic Control Zone would “effectively isolate half of Ukraine,” Nikolai Holmov, a British writer based in Odesa, writes on the Jamestown Foundation website. The Dnipro Zone controls flights to and from the three commercial airports in Eastern Ukraine: Dnipro, Kharkiv, Zaporizhia. Details of the European Aviation Safety Agency proposal are secret, but Holmov learned that the Kharkov City Council has appealed to Prime Minister Groysman to fight against it. Kharkiv would lose its LOT Polish flight to Warsaw and Dnipro would lose its Austrian Airlines flight to Vienna. But the other 10 airlines serving the Eastern airports fly leased aircraft. With a flight ban, owners of the planes might not allow their use in Eastern Ukraine, or might pass on increased insurance costs to airlines, and, ultimately, the passengers.
• DuPont Pioneer, the US-based hybrid seeds producer, has launched a $5 million sunflower seed production line in the village of Stasy, Poltava region. Total investment in the seed complex is $55 million. Ihor Teslenko, head of the Agricultural Unit of DowDuPont in Central and Eastern Europe said: “I am proud that DuPont Pioneer continues investing in the facility, despite challenges Ukraine faces now. This would help us to boost sunflower duction and complete the ambitious task to expand our presence on the Ukrainian market.” Ukraine is the world’s largest grower of sunflowers. The seeds are crushed to make cooking oil.
• Ukraine’s inflation rate may end this year at higher level than the current forecast of 9.1%, the National Bank of Ukraine warns. This may force the NBU to apply a more stringent monetary policy, according a statement on the central bank’s website citing Deputy NBU Governor Dmytro Solohub. Earlier in September, the central bank decided to keep the key rate at 12.5%. According to the State Statistics Service, inflation accelerated in August to an annual rate of 16.2%.
• Ferry cargo from Ukraine to Georgia was up by 62 percent during the first half of this year compared to this year. With ferries leaving Chornomorsk every other day for Batumi/Poti, the line carried 2,859 rail wagons with 63,600 tons of cargo.
• Ukraine and Turkey have approved a bilateral, updated agreement on investment protection. The agreement could be another step toward completing a bilateral free trade pact, which the two countries hope to sign next year.
• Ukraine has climbed four positions over the past year in the Global Competitiveness Index, which is maintained by the World Economic Forum. Ukraine is now in 81st place out of 137 countries. Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman noted Tuesday at the Kyiv Investment Forum that in the last year Ukraine has abolished 400 regulatory legal acts that created obstacles for doing business in the country. He said: "We have created institutional frameworks and have been taking practical steps to create real deregulation in the country. Over the past year, we have abolished thousands of pages of regulatory acts that prevented businesses from developing."
• Oksana Makarova, first deputy Minister of Finance said at the forum that it is time to retire the saying: “Ukraine loved investment, but never loved investors.”
• Ukrainians’ use of Kyivstar mobile data roaming increased 350% this summer, compared t0 June-August last year, the cell phone company reports. In general, the number of its mobile subscribers who used roaming this summer increased by 20%.
• Kyiv sidewalks will be cleared of cars if the Rada passes a law giving cities the power to fine and tow cars that are parked on sidewalks. At present, police only have the power to remove cars that block traffic. Oleksiy Reznikov, deputy head of the city administration, told the Kyiv Investment Forum Tuesday that Kyiv is ready to move, vowing: “The day after the President signs the law, the parking culture will radically change.”
• Video of the ammunition dump explosion 30 km north of Vinnytsia are going viral around the world, but the economic impact is limited to the evacuation of immediate villages. Ukrenergo reports no impact on electricity transmission on nearby high tension power lines. Energy officials say there is no affect to major gas pipelines. Kyiv – Odesa trains, which run through Vinnystsia, have been diverted. The immediate airspace over the rural ammunition dump has been temporarily closed, but Vinnytsia’s airport, which has flights to Warsaw and Tel Aviv, remains open.
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