Before the war and during the war, Ukraine’s GDP was kept afloat by the mining industry, energy, steel sector, mechanical engineering, chemical and other branches of heavy industry. Enterprises in these areas, despite shelling and blackouts, not only continue to work, but also make plans for the future and invest in the modernization of their facilities. They remain key investors in the Ukrainian economy.
Mining and steel complex
Among such key investors, we will first single out large companies of the mining and steel complex. Ferrexpo – one of the largest investors in the Ukrainian economy with an average share of 2.5% in the total indicator of capital investment in industry in 2007-2021. In 2022, the Group invested $161 million in the economy of Ukraine. The main investment project completed by Ferrexpo in 2022 was installation of a new complex of press filtration. The company expects it to further reduce the moisture content of the iron ore concentrate at the beneficiation plant exit prior to granulation, as well as reduce production energy consumption by 3%.
Kryvyi Rih Metinvest group’s mining enterprises also made a significant contribution. In particular, in May 2023, the Northern Mining and Processing Plant (Northern GOK) reported on the completion of the repair of four electrofilters of the incinerator LURGI 552, which are designed for highly efficient purification of gases from solid and mist-like impurities released in technological processes. In 2022 the repair of electrofilter on the LURGI 552B incinerator and repair burning machine LURGI 552A were completed. Metinvest allocated about UAH 20 million for the planned scope of work.
Another enterprise of the group, the Central Mining and Processing Plant (Central GOK) directed UAH 3.7 million to purchase of a new inertial screen HIT 52 MF for the crushing plant, which will significantly improve the operation of the equipment and save energy resources.
Regarding the giants of the chemical industry, the holding Ostchem in September 2022, reported on the resumption of operation of a large-scale ammonia complex with a capacity of over 650 tons of ammonia/day at Rivneazot PJSC. Also, the start-up of the lime-ammonium nitrate plant, with a capacity of 1,600 tons/day, and the non-concentrated nitric acid plant, which is a raw material for fertilizer production, with a capacity of 960,000 tons of nitric acid per year, began. The resumption of work was preceded by a planned overhaul of the facilities. Thanks to this, the enterprise again has a full cycle of production of mineral fertilizers. They do not say exactly how much money was spent on this modernization, but they note that since 2011, more than UAH 1.3 billion has been invested in the plant.
Other enterprises are also not lagging behind the industry giants. Although their investments may be somewhat smaller, they are no less important. After all, both before the full-scale war and now, every hryvnia invested in our economy is priceless. Let’s take for example Zaporizhia Abrasive Plant. It is the only producer of grinding materials in Ukraine and one of the largest producers of abrasives in Eastern Europe. Currently, the enterprise is planning to implement the reconstruction of the aspiration equipment with the replacement of various dust collection systems with modern equipment using the most effective units with fabric filtration (sleeve and cartridge filters). This reconstruction began in 2021 and continued in 2022 despite the war. Thanks to it, the enterprise managed to reduce dust emissions into the atmosphere and discharges into the Mokra Moskovka river.
«Previously, these aspiration units used devices with a wet dust collection system. That is, water was supplied to the treatment plants, with the help of which the dust was captured, and in the future in the form of sludge it went to the water treatment facilities. As a result of the reconstruction, cartridge filters capable of capturing 99.9% of dust were introduced instead of the water system for dust collection», commented the acting head of the department Dmytro Slyunin.
The total costs for the reconstruction of the relevant aspiration units in 2021 amounted to more than UAH 2.5 million. And in 2022 – about 1 million UAH.
In general, thanks to eco-modernization Zaporizhzhia Abrasive Plant reduced emissions fourfold.
The other day Kyivguma LLC announced about eco-modernization, but with the help of investments in green energy. There, they launched the second stage of their own solar power plant with a capacity of 220 kW. The total capacity of solar panels, which are already working in Kyivgum, is 450 kW.
Pharmak, in 2022 invested more than UAH 725 million in the development of its own production facilities in Kyiv and Shostka, Sumy region. The main investment project for the company last year was the launch of a new drug dispensing unit in nebulas. In total, 16 new company products appeared in wartime conditions.
At the same time, another giant of the Ukrainian farm market Darnytsia in 2022 reported on the market release of 18 new medicinal products (including 15 brands of its own development and 3 under licensing conditions). Darnytsia invests about 10% of its income annually in development. Over the past 5 years, the amount of investments in new drugs alone amounted to about UAH 730 million.
Furniture industry and woodworking
The furniture industry developed powerfully in Ukraine even before the large-scale war. But it did not lose its pace at the beginning. For example, a well-known furniture company ВLEST after the liberation of the north of Ukraine from the occupiers, finished building a new production near Brovary for its premium brand.
In these areas, there are quite innovative projects for Ukraine. For example, a company in Lviv Furniture Service built own bio-thermal power plant. Now it generates heat (capacity 8 MW) and electricity (capacity 2.2 MW) from the waste of its production – wood chips. Thanks to this, the enterprise provides energy for its needs and the needs of about 8,000 families.
At the end of May, in Transcarpathia, on the territory of the Bativska community, the construction of one of the largest enterprises in the woodworking industry of Ukraine – the BF TERMINAL production and transshipment complex – began. The project envisages the creation of a logistics and production cluster in the community, the main activity of which will be transportation, wood processing and export of final products with high added value. Korosten MDF Plant and Ukrainian Holding Sawmill Company acted as investors of the project. According to head of Zakarpattia OVA Viktor Mykyta, companies have already invested about UAH 8 billion in the region.
With the beginning of a large-scale war, Ukrainian companies of the food industry began to enter the EU markets more actively, which requires additional development of production and investments from them. For example, a company Agritsom Group completed the second stage of reorganization of the Dobrodia plant (Kyiv), which produces cereal flakes and products based on them. The amount of investment in the project amounted to about $2 million. The money was invested in the opening of new facilities, the start-up of workshops was financed.
Despite the war, the largest holdings of the industry also did not deviate from their investment plans. In particular, MHP in 2022 planned to develop precision agriculture and, according to the head of the agronomic department of the agro-industrial holding Viktor Martsenyuk, the plan was followed. In particular, they started an agrochemical analysis of the soil and invested in underground drip irrigation for 100 hectares under corn in Cherkasy region.
But, probably, Kernel planned the largest investments in the industry for the wartime period. By the end of 2023, Agroholding is going to build a new transshipment terminal Development Reni Terminal in the sea port of Reni, thereby increasing the volume of cargo exports to 600,000 tons per year. The holding plans to spend approximately $10 million on the project.
The company is also currently completing the construction of one of the most powerful oil extraction plants in Europe – Starokostyantyniv OEZ. The total amount of investments aimed at the implementation of this project will amount to more than $200 million. The reception of sunflowers will begin already in the fall.
Also, Kernel purchased and launched the Danube Prom Agro terminal in the port of Reni. In addition, Kernel and USPA invest more than $100 million to the port of Chornomorsk.
Production of glass
The production of glass, as well as other materials necessary in construction, will be extremely popular in the process of post-war reconstruction of Ukraine. And even now this material is in great demand. Therefore, certain enterprises of the industry, realizing the growing needs, have already begun to develop capacities.
City One Development, which in August 2022 started the construction of a glass factory in Berezan, is among them. The estimated amount of investment in this factory will be €100 million. The company plans to also build another glass factory in one of the central regions of Ukraine (there is already a site, technical documents are being prepared). The glass factory in Berezan will be operational in two years, the second – in another year.
Interestingly, the first glass factory that will work on green solar energy will soon appear in Ukraine. In the Rivne region, Kostopil glass factory began to build own solar power plant with a capacity of 2 MW and have already connected 10% of the capacity.
Unfortunately, since 2014, many key operating machine-building enterprises have been under occupation, or in close proximity to the contact line, suffering serious losses. But even in such conditions, some enterprises do everything possible to continue production. In particular, last spring in Transcarpathia, the construction of a new one and the restoration of a relocated large one began enterprises from Kramatorsk, which specializes in the manufacture of turbines and equipment for power generation. The companies are not named, but according to the media it is about Kramatorsk heavy machine tool construction plant (KZVV) and Furlander Wind Technology (which worked at the KZVV site). However, the investment amount is not disclosed.
During the occupation of Chernihiv region, local enterprises of Corporation Etalon were seriously affected. The company estimated losses in the region at €30 million. At the same time, the plant staff and the Etalon branch of the bus engineering research institute in Lviv continued the development of new buses. In particular, they have already produced a prototype and conducted certification tests of an intercity bus on the units of an Indian company with the possibility of transporting passengers in a wheelchair. This year they plan to introduce a new tourist bus and, together with Moldovan partners, a new electric bus.
Research and Mechanical Plant Karpaty (Noviy Rozil, Lviv Region) actively continues to develop. Despite the challenges, they scale and diversify production. In 2022, they bought out the diesel locomotive depot and established the direction of repairing diesel locomotives. Also, more than 50 million UAH have been invested in new equipment for production optimization, additional automation and mechanization.
This industry was also critically affected by Russian attacks, but it is also slowly recovering. For example, the biogas plant of the enterprise Clear Energy in Chernihiv region was under fire for several days during the occupation at the end of March 2022, as a result of which its main generating equipment was destroyed. But the other day the company reported on their official Facebook page that they did manage to return to work. About €400,000 has already been spent on the restoration of the equipment.
However, energy market players invest not only in repairing damaged capacities, but also in launching new ones. For example, a company DTEK in May put into operation the first phase of the Tyligul wind farm in the Mykolaiv region. 13 of the station’s 19 turbines were built during the war, when part of the region was still engulfed in fighting. The capacity of the first stage is 114 MW, but it is planned to complete the construction of Tyligulska WPP-2, with a capacity of 70 MW. Also this year, the development of the Poltava wind farm construction project of 650 MW began.
«These and other examples show the high and social responsibility of our business (creating jobs and paying taxes), and its desire to stay and work in Ukraine. Therefore, the government and parliament need to support business and investment activity. These should be sectoral programs for industry (aviation, machine-building industry, steel sector), cheaper loans for producers (currently more than 20% of the commercial rate), reduction of fiscal pressure on entrepreneurship,» concludes Anatoliy Kinakh, president of the Ukrainian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs.
All these enterprises, from industrial giants to medium-sized businesses, are trying to maintain production and grow according to their capabilities. Someone restores the destroyed and invests in planned repairs. But there are not a few companies that are opening new factories and investing in making their facilities more energy efficient.
In the material, we have collected enterprises from different regions of Ukraine. This is the deep rear, such as Transcarpathia, Lviv region and Rivne region, freed from the occupation of the territory of Chernihiv region, or the «risky neighborhood» with the front line: Mykolayiv region and Dnipropetrovsk region. Their investments range from 1 million to about 8 billion UAH! But the amount of each investment is not so important. The main thing is that every invested hryvnia symbolizes the faith of Ukrainian industrialists in the future of our country.
Ukrainian enterprises are the key investors in the Ukrainian economy, and they, like no other, are interested in its development. Looking at all their efforts, it becomes clear that Ukrainian industry has prospects and can become a real driver of future reconstruction. The main thing is to allow entrepreneurs to make these investments and not create obstacles in their way, provide normal regulatory conditions. Then they will be able to build a new country for all of us with a competitive industry, green technologies and European standards.