• Chernobyl's first solar energy plant is to start operating next month, Bloomberg reports The EUR 1 million, 1 megawatt station is the first stage of a 100 million Euro joint project of Ukrainian engineering firm Rodina Energy Group, Ltd, and German development company Enerparc AC to develop solar at Chornobyl. Renewable energy production is a viable use for the 2,600 square km swath of land, considered otherwise too dangerous for most human activity. The Ukrainian government is encouraging investment in the zone by offering low prices on land and high feed-in tariffs.
• Ukraine's National Electricity Regulatory Commission is currently powerless to make crucial decisions for the sector, such as approving changes to utility rates and granting licenses, Concorde Capital reports. The reason is that the commission cannot now make a quorum, as it’s been operating with the minimum of four commissioners since May, two of whose terms expired on Sunday. The blockage creates risks for Ukraine's energy system. The Commission has proposed legislation to allow it to work again, possibly by reducing the quorum or speeding the process for electing new members.
• Ukraine hopes to receive about $2 billion in the next payment of IMF loans early next year, Finance Minister Oleksandr Danyliuk tells Reuters Friday. The government also plans to issue $2 billion in sovereign debt in 2018. The payment is part of a $17.5 billion bailout program launched in March 2015, which ties IMF funds to Kyiv’s implementing reforms and tackling corruption. Kyiv has so far received half of the package. Danyliuk highlights privatization as the top priority for Ukraine to grow.
French union officials charge that the opening of a support service center in Lviv is contributing to cuts of up to 1,000 jobs at Nestle in France, Bloomberg reports.
• Former co-owner of Ukraine’s PrivatBank Ihor Kolomoisky is suing a New York consulting firm that worked with Ukraine’s central bank on nationalizating PrivatBank last year, Reuters reports. Kolomoisky charges that AlixPartners obtained and misused confidential information on the bank while working on an unrelated matter. PrivatBank was nationalized one year ago over risky lending practices and a capital shortfall of $5.5 billion.
• Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, says Ukraine must show progress in anticorruption reforms in order to receive more macro-financial assistance. Speaking at a press conference after the Eastern Partnership Summit Friday, Juncker, said Ukraine should create an independent judiciary as a condition for partnership. Eurointegration news site reports that Ukraine will attempt to secure another loan of EUR 1.8 billion. Slow reform progress made it ineligible to receive a third tranche of loans from a 2015 package.
• Prime Minister Grosyman tweeted Monday that trade between Georgia and Ukraine will reach $1 billion a year, double its present $500 million. On a two-day visit to Georgia, Groysman takes part in the Silk Road Forum in Tbilisi. Grosyman added that Georgia and Ukraine could deepen cooperation in the agrarian sector, among others.
• A $50 million organic oil plant opened in Poltava on Friday. Oil is to be sold in December. The plant, built by Ukrolia Organic, can produce over 7,000 tons of organic sunflower oil and 6,000 tons of organic soy oil each year, company director Yury Shevchenko told Delo.ua. Ukrolia plans to expand sales of organic oils at home and to exporting to the E.U. and US.
• Rentkom Lviv, a large soybean producer, has opened the first stage of a $10 million grain elevator in Ternopil, Interfax reports. Starting capacity is 30,000 tons and finishing capacity is 90,000 tons. The company also plans to build an oilseed processing plant nearby.
• Ukraine’s beef revenue could hit $2 billion without increasing herd sizes, say economists affiliated with the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization. The projection, reported by Reuters, is based on improving feeding technologies, allowing Ukrainian farmers to fatten more cows to beef condition. Olha Trobimtseva, deputy minister for Agricultural Policy and Food, considers livestock, now only $100 million in revenue, as one of Ukraine’s most promising sectors.
• Nibulon, one of Ukraine’s largest agricultural exporters, plans to complete the construction of a new transshipment complex at a reloading terminal on the Southern Bug River in February, Agroportal reports. The new complex, including six containers, will allow for the simultaneous storage of seven different crop types. Total terminal capacity will reach 173,000 tons. Nibulon has built two transshipment terminals and eight ships in 2017.
• Capital investments in Ukraine from January to September increased 21%, year over year, reports Interfax. Investments increased steeply in Ukraine’s regions -- led by Zaporizhia -- and decreased slightly in Kyiv. The largest growth in capital investments was in the sphere of arts, sports and entertainment (74.%) and health care (73%). The State Statistics of Ukraine service reports the largest source of this capital remained Ukrainian businesses’ own resources and funds.
• Pipe production increased 24.5% through October, compared to the same period last year, reports Interfax. Despite several plants remaining idle, total pipe production hit 876,000 tons. Khartsyzsk Pipe Plant, located in the Donetsk ATO zone, made 3,400 tons of pipes. Metallurgy is the second-largest sector of Ukraine’s economy, accounting for about one third of Ukraine’s exports.
• Wizz Air returns to Kharkiv next spring, ending a suspension started in 2014 because of the conflict in the east. The discount carrier will launch twice weekly flights to Dortmund in April and twice weekly flights to Katowice, Poland in June. With the expansion, Wizz Air will fly out of three Ukrainian airports: Kyiv Zhuliany, Lviv and Kharkiv. From Lviv, Wizz Air will also add flights next spring to Dortmund, Katowice and Gdansk. Through October, about 590,000 people have flown in or out of Ukraine Wizz Air, a 75% jump over last year.
• Odesa airport’s decade-long, on again, off again renovation continues with the lengthening and resurfacing of the main runway, Interfax reports. Work is to be finished next year, according to the website of the Automagistral-Yug, the contractor. The airport’s press service did not talk to Interfax.
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This UBJ.am was reported by UBJ Reporter Aisha Down and UBJ Editor James Brooke, and edited by Brooke. For comments and story tips,Brooke is reachable at email@example.com.