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22:38 PM Sunday, January 21, 2018
UBJ.am
UBJ.am - Thursday, January 11
Solar Chernobyl ready to generate power; Ukraine IT startups on show at mega Las Vegas show; Food exports to EU grow twice as fast to rest of world
image/svg+xml Kyiv Lutsk Rivne Zhytomyr Lviv Ternopil Khmelnytskyi Uzhgorod Chernivtsi Vinnytsia Chernigiv Sumy Kharkiv Poltava Cherkasy Kirovohrad Lugansk Dnipropetrovsk Donetsk Zaporizhzhia Mykolaiv Odesa Kherson Simferopol Sevastopol Ivano- Frankivsk
  • World Bank economists predict that Ukraine’s economy will gradually grow from their estimate of 2% in 2017. Looking ahead, the bank forecasts: 3% for 2018; 3.5% for 2019, and 4% for 2020.
  • Solar Chernobyl, the first solar plant near the abandoned nuclear plant, is to go on stream within weeks, the German-Ukrainian company tells AFP. With 3,800 photovoltaic panels installed across 1.6 hectares, the $1.2 million plant will generate 1 mw of power – enough for about 2,000 apartments. But 60 more solar plant proposals from foreign companies - American, Chinese, Danish and French – are being processed by Chernobyl’s State Administration zone. Investors come for Ukraine’s solar electricity tariff, which "exceeds on average by 50 per cent of that in Europe," Oleksandr Kharchenko, executive director of the Energy Industry Research Center, tells AFP.
  • Commissioning of ‘green energy’ projects this year will increase by 20% Ukraine’s total renewable energy installed capacity, Maxim Bilyavsky, energy advisor to the government, predicts to the National Industrial Portal. He said the main driver will be solar power plants.
  • U.S.-based Western Services Corporation has signed a $2.3 million contract with Energoatom to supply equipment for simulator training for nuclear power plant operators, the U.S. Commerce Department reports.
  • Finance Minister Oleksandr Danilyuk opened the Ukraine “Expo Zone” at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. On display at the mega event are these Ukrainian start-ups: Senstone -- a pendant that allows you to translate voice notes into text; Kray Protection UAS -- drones for farming; Kwambio -- online platform for 3D printing; MMone Company -- armchair for 360 degree immersion in virtual reality; PassivDom -- autonomous smart house; Agrieye -- technological solution for farmers to increase harvests; LaMetric -- smart desktop clock; Discoperi -- helps drivers to avoid potential accidents; and Univrsee -- platform for publishing, distributing and verifying VR content.
  • Citing Ukraine’s lithium deposits and IT brainpower, Infrastructure Minister Volodymyr Omelyan challenged Ukraine to become a manufacturing center for vehicles of the future: electric cars. Talking on ZIK TV, he said: "We can either become a dump of the world, where we import 10- to 20-year-old cars, or become a center for one of the leading industries in the world." Chinese, South Korean, and European manufacturers are studying assembly in Ukraine, but no decisions have been made public.
  • Tuesday’s order by a Dutch court provisionally freezing Rinat Akhmetov’s Netherlands-based companies means that “only the assets are frozen. i.e. we cannot dispose of them. The businesses are operating normally,” a Systems Capital Management official writes to the UBJ. The assets include Metinvest, Ukraine’s largest steel company, and DTEK, Ukraine’s largest private power and coal producer.
  • Russia’s Rosneft has sold its gas stations in Ukraine to Geneva-based Glusco Energy S.A. Glusco is a subsidiary of Proton Energy Group SA, the largest supplier of Russian liquefied gas to Ukraine.
  • PGNiG, Poland’s state oil and gas company, doubled its gas sales to Ukraine last year, hitting 700 million cubic meters, the company reported. Last fall, Polish Oil and Gas Company, became the 9th largest supplier of gas to Ukraine.
  • Ukraine’s food exports to the EU last year grew more than as fast as food exports to the rest of the world, Olha Trofimtseva, deputy Agrarian Policy and Food Minister, said on the ministry website. Through November, Ukraine’s food sales to the EU jumped by 38%. Ukraine’s overall food exports expanded by 19%. Trofimtseva, who is responsible for European Integration, said Europe’s top five importers were: Netherlands -- 18.4%; Spain -- 14.4%; Poland -- 13.3%; Italy -- 11.8%; and Germany -- 10.3%. Of the $5.2 billion in total food exports to the EU, Ukraine’s top three items were: grains -- $1.4 billion; vegetable oils -- $1.3 billion; and oilseeds -- $900 million.
  • With the sugar refining season coming to a close, Ukraine has produced slightly more than 2 million tons of sugar, surpassing last year’s level. Of the nation’s 46 sugar mills, four are still refining, according to Ukrtsukor, the National Association of Sugar Producers. Due a shortage of state railroad wagons, producers risk losing up to $70,000 from missed export deadlines, warns Ruslana Butylo, head of Ukrtsukor’s analytic department. About one quarter of this year’s production is to exported. About 22 percent of overall production comes from Astarta, the nation’s largest producer.
  • President Poroshenko’s Roshen candy company lost legal protection in Russia to its Kremona name. Citing non-use, Russia’s Intellectual Property Court decided Tuesday to terminate legal protection 18 months early.
  • “Shuttle traders” temporarily blocked crossing points to Poland from Lviv and Volyn regions on Wednesday. Without violence, the man and women protested new rules that cut the duty free amounts of goods that can be carried into Ukraine by people who spend less than three days outside the country.
  • In February, state company Sumykhimprom will be put up for auction, with the final price expected to be about $9 million, Vitaly Trubarov, acting head of the State Property Fund, wrote on his Facebook page. Based in Sumy, this chemical company produces titanium dioxide, sulfuric acid, yellow and red iron oxide pigments, and complex mineral fertilizers.
  • Titanium ore and concentrate exports increased 26% last year, hitting 583,772 tons, the State Fiscal Service reports. Customs statistics point to the top three buyers: Czech -- 17%; the US -- 15.5%; and Turkey -- 15%. Titanium can be alloyed with iron and among other elements to produce strong, lightweight alloys for aerospace, military, and industrial processes.
  • Complaints over government tenders and purchases nearly doubled in 2017, Yuri Terentyev, head of the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine, writes on his Facebook page. Complaints hit 5,684 in 2017, up from 3,067 in 2016. The Committee is the appeal body for the procurement procedure.
  • Assets of 26 bankrupt banks were sold for $10 million during the first work week of January, reports the Individual Deposits Guarantee Fund.
  • Czech banker Petr Krumkhanzl was appointed Wednesday chairman of the board of PrivatBank, now state owned. From 2004 to 2011, Krumkhanzl worked for Austria’s Raiffeisen Bank, first in Prague, then in Kyiv, as operating director of Raiffeisen Bank Aval. For the last 18 months, he has worked as chief operating officer at Home Credit China.
  • Czech-Ukraine trade was up 28% through October, Ukraine’s embassy in Prague reports.
  • Ukraine’s politically sensitive “borsch index” went up last year at almost triple the 13.7% general rate of inflation. Among the key ingredients for the popular sour soup, meat went up by 36% and vegetables by 37%. The biggest jump was for beets, which give the soup its trademark red tint. Retail beet prices jumped 73%, Alexei Doroshenko, director of the Association of Trade Network Suppliers, writes on his Facebook page.
  • Infrastructure Minister Volodymyr Omelyan predicts Ryanair will be flying to Kyiv and Lviv this spring. He told ZIK television: "We are already at the final stage of negotiations with Ryanair, and I hope that its arrival will take place in January and February. There are technical moments that we are closing, but in general everything is fine." Ryanair’s low cost rival, Wizz Air, is advancing by two months two new foreign flights from Lviv. Flights to Dortmund now will start March 26 and flights to London Luton will start May 1.

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UBJ a.m. is reported by UBJ Editor in Chief James Brooke, a former New York Times foreign correspondent and Bloomberg Moscow bureau chief. For comments and story tips, Brooke is reachable at james.brooke@theubj.com
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