NIBULON’S Pride: the Bessarabska branch team

In December, we announced a new column called NIBULON’s Pride, where we will share important achievements of our colleagues and their contribution to the company’s development.

The first story is about the team of Bessarabska branch, which was recognized in the “Team of the Year” category for high self-organization, motivation, and initiative during the construction of the terminal. In today’s difficult conditions, the youngest branch of NIBULON, which is called a symbol of resilience, ensures the company’s export stability. Of course, this is guaranteed by all the employees of Bessarabska branch, who work selflessly every day to ensure that Ukrainian grain continues to feed the world.

Bessarabska branch was built in Izmail on the Danube River after the beginning of the full-scale invasion of the russian federation in a rather short time and serves as the company’s driver. By the end of 2023, the terminal had transshipped more than 2 million tons of grain. In the conditions of war, when the traditional export routes are blocked, Bessarabska branch has become an important transport hub through which grain is exported to 25 countries worldwide.

The construction and repairs department under the leadership of Serhii Besedin was responsible for the construction of the river terminal.

“In March 2022, we received a task to allocate a plot of land and build a facility as soon as possible. We have never built new facilities on such large land plots. Usually our branches occupy 10-12 hectares, while it was 19 hectares in Izmail. The territory was extremely overgrown with impassable bushes; in fact, it resembled a “jungle.” The work was further complicated by the fact that no machinery could pass the area. However, even under such conditions, we managed to clear the territory by hand in just one month. Therefore, we completed the site planning and preparatory work. One of the peculiarities of construction in Izmail is the difficult geological conditions, namely a high level of groundwater and a dynamic level of the Danube (with fluctuations of more than 2 m throughout the year). Therefore, it was impractical to build stationary berths. Instead, we purchased 2 pontoons, which are fixed to the foundations with the help of special metal fasteners and serve as floating piers capable of adjusting with water level changes. A total of 40 buildings and structures were built at Bessarabska branch, including an approach railway track, metal galleries, silos, a mechanized warehouse, unloading platforms for water transport with shore reinforcement, breakers, and mooring devices, etc. All works on the manufacture of metal structures and their installation were performed by the employees of NIBULON Shipbuilding and Shiprepair Yard,” says Serhii Besedin.

He adds that a large team of specialists is behind this amount of work, “I want to thank the employees of my department and colleagues from the relevant ones, each of whom has made a significant contribution to the construction of the branch. This includes Bohdan Strohanov, a chief engineer of the project, who was responsible for issuing project documentation for production and promptly changing constructive solutions. Head of the technological sector, Ivan Reva, developed the entire technological chain of receiving and unloading grain and oilseeds, and supervised the installation of technological equipment. Taras Shevchenko is a construction manager who was involved in allocating the land plot, assigning addresses, approving project documentation, obtaining a construction permit, and accepting the object for operation, supervising the construction process. Roman Bdiukhin, a chief specialist of the chief powerman service, was responsible for obtaining initial data, joining and connecting the object to engineering networks and communications. Olena Yermakova was responsible for cost estimate process and signing of contracts. We are also grateful to the entire department of government relations and to Mykhailo Rizak for effective work on legislative initiatives and support of the investment project from the ministries and Odesa Regional Military Administration, thanks to which we got the opportunity to build Bessarabska branch.

Zakhar Miedviediev, the branch acting director, tells about how the branch’s operations were set up, the team was formed, and what motivates NIBULON’s employees not to give up and continue working.

“In April 2022, I came to Izmail with the director of Voznesenska branch, Roman Chumachenko, the acting director of Ochakivska branch, Ivan Shutak, and laboratory technicians from the transshipment terminal in Mykolaiv, Yakiv Arkhipov and Oleksandr Pankieiev. It was an ordinary business trip. Our task was to organize and set up exports from the ports of Izmail and Reni under the leadership of Serhii Kalkutin and Oleksiy Vadaturskyy, when Mykolaiv and the river ports were already blocked. We performed various tasks – from cleaning the sites for shipment in the port, controlling the loading of barges/vessels to the documentary support of cargoes arriving at the port. In May, we were informed that the company intended to build its own transshipment terminal in Izmail, and the preparatory construction work immediately began.

I vividly remember the moment in June when, during the shipment of our barge at the berth of the Izmail port, Oleksiy Opanasovych said, “You know that we are building a terminal in Izmail. We have decided to appoint you as its acting director.” It was unexpected for me, but I responded instantly because I understood the trust posed in me, and it meant a lot,” recalls Zakhar.

At that time, he had been working for the company for 10 years. He started as a shift master of Hradyzk branch, then he worked as a laboratory engineer at Kamianka-Dniprovska branch, later he headed the Voznesenska laboratory, and since 2018 he had been heading Kozatska branch, which is temporarily occupied.

“In July, together with the HR department, we started forming the staff. It was not easy: new construction and an unfamiliar region, and finally, the war, which greatly affected life and work. We started with the main specialists as they are the backbone of the branch, and they are responsible for the main areas of work and operation of the terminal. Almost all of them are employees from the branches that are temporarily not working due to occupation or are located close to hostilities. Oleksandr Litvinov, a chief engineer, Oleksandr Motso, a chief powerman, and Anna Piskun, deputy head of the laboratory, are from Kozatska branch. Maksym Kabaniuk, head of the laboratory, is from Khortytsia branch. Ivan Shutak, a chief mechanic, is from Ochakivska branch. Anatolii Hrynkо, a senior master, and Mykola Miahchenko, a chief dispatcher, are from Holoprystanska branch. Also, Svitlana Fursova, a chief accountant, is from Starobilka branch. They are experienced specialists who know the company, love their work, and are dedicated to our common goal,” says Zakhar.

At the beginning of September, there were already 23 permanent employees. In addition to them, there were seconded employees from other branches, who also contributed to the construction and operation of Bessarabska branch.

Zakhar recalls that at the beginning, as a manager, he had to make efforts to quickly establish effective work, “We were all from different regions, with different, established views on life and production processes. But at the same time, it was interesting to bring the team together, to create a strong team. It was a kind of challenge for me that I took as a new opportunity. We all understood the importance of the Izmail terminal. We had an important goal – to start receiving and shipping grain as quickly as possible. I think this common vision brought us together.”

Bessarabska branch began to ship its first tons of grain in September. The branch was developing very actively. To date, three berths have been already built. The number of employees has increased from 23 to more than 100. An automated unloading line from wagons has been put into operation, and additional capacities for receiving grain from railway transport during adverse weather conditions have been built, which is very important for the Danube region, where there are no storage facilities (and this is significantly worsens the unloading of wagons in the region). Thanks to the new line, the volume of unloading at the branch has increased to 60 wagons per day. The service of electronic registration of road transport has been introduced. It enabled us to eliminate queues, speed up the processing time of road transport, and manage export flows by crops.

“People are the foundation of the company, of every its division. They are the key to success. Therefore, I want to thank all my colleagues for their work, for their inner strength and energy. Without their dedication and commitment, we would not have been able to achieve such rapid development. Many of them had the opportunity to leave the country, but none did. These are patriots of both Ukraine and NIBULON, who do everything necessary every day to keep the company running and Ukraine developing in difficult times. We all really want the war to end, so that we can return home, although for some, it simply does not exist anymore physically. It is this desire to work in a strong company in a free and peaceful country, the belief in our victory that motivates us every day not to give up and move forward step by step, no matter what is happening,” emphasizes Zakhar Miedviediev.

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Андрій Вадатурський


Андрій Вадатурський став генеральним директором «НІБУЛОНу» після понад 15 років роботи в компанії — в липні 2022 року.

Він прийняв цю посаду після трагічної загибелі свого батька та засновника «НІБУЛОНу» Олексія Вадатурського разом із матір’ю Раїсою Вадатурською під час російського ракетного удару по їхньому дому в Миколаєві.

З 2014 до 2019 рік був народним депутатом України від одномандатного округу в Миколаївській області та членом Комітету з питань аграрної політики. У 2017 році створив і очолив велику міжпартійну групу, яка виступала за розвиток українських річок як транспортного засобу.  

Має ступінь магістра електротехніки Українського державного морського технічного університету та ступінь магістра економіки промисловості Лондонської школи економіки. У 2009 році за вагомий внесок у розвиток агропромислового комплексу України був нагороджений Президентом України, йому присвоєно звання «Заслужений працівник сільського господарства».

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