The year 2017 comes to its end. It will stay in our minds forever as the year of great accomplishments and real challenges. We were sympathetic to the fate of our state helping it by our deeds (domestic logistics development, revival of fleet and development of the agrarian sector). 2017 made us more team-oriented, having become a new step in the history of the development of the company. We believe that our achievements will be an important impetus that out country needs today.
We started the year on the wave of achievements. On December 19, 2016, for the first time since Ukraine became independent, the EIB signed a loan agreement at the headquarters of the European Commission in Brussels totaling USD 74 million directly with NIBULON private company, without any guarantees from the state or European banks, but only under NIBULON’s financial obligations, to develop and upgrade the logistics infrastructure in Ukraine. It was an impetus to the company’s fantastic investment project to be implemented in 2017. The company has already built two transshipment terminals on the Dnipro River in Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions, an elevator complex in Svatove town (Luhansk region), enlarged the capacities of the transshipment terminal of “Kozats’ka” branch in Kherson region. Thanks to this, 1,500 builders had jobs at each construction site, and 300 jobs were created; the company continued to implement its shipbuilding program and carried out modernization of NIBULON shipbuilding and repair yard, in particular it put two workshops into operation. NIBULON has started to reconstruct its slipway. This will bring our shipbuilding yard to a new level and will allow the shipbuilders to launch and serve vessels of 140 m.
What is NIBULON most proud of? What NIBULON’s achievements were the most inspiring for Ukrainians in 2017? What events of the company will forever remain on the pages of our country’s history? Here are ten greatest achievements of NIBULON in 2017.
1. Two transshipment terminals in 100 days. In 2017, NIBULON demonstrated another building miracle, having built two state-of-the-art river transshipment terminals in three months. Inauguration of the new transshipment terminal for grain and oilseeds shipments on river transport in Bilenke village (Zaporizhzhia region) was held in the presence of Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Hroisman.
A month after, NIBULON put its transshipment terminal in Hola Prystan town (Kherson region) into operation in the presence of government officials, heads of the leading financial institutions and foreign diplomats
In 2017, NIBULON also enlarged the capacities of “Kozats’ka” branch (Kherson region) by 16 thousand tons.
Remembering the facilities built in 2017, it is impossible not to tell about the complex for receipts and shipments of grain and oilseeds on rail and road transport in Svatove town (Luhansk region). In July, the company completed the phase 2 of the complex construction, which is aimed at continuous transshipment of grain from the eastern regions of Ukraine.
NIBULON continues investing in enlargement of elevator capacities within cooperation with the International Finance Corporation; the company builds a complex for shipment of grain and oilseeds of 43 thousand tons at its transshipment terminal in Mykolaiv. It started construction at the end of 2017 and the construction process will be finished at the beginning of February 2018. It will be possible to store seven different crops separately and simultaneously at the transshipment terminal when the new complex is put into operation. In addition, the terminal will be capable of receiving all crops and ensuring continuous transportation of agricultural products along the Southern Buh River all the marketing year long.
Thus, total volume of agricultural products storage of the company increased by 8 % in one year and comprises 1.945 million tons.
2. Perfect financial reputation. NIBULON, despite difficult times in Ukraine, enjoys the confidence of foreign financial institutions and first-class European and Ukrainian banks. The year 2017 continued a long-standing credit history of the company.
At the beginning of the year, in March, the IBRD and UkrEximBank allocated a long-term loan of USD 18 million for 5 years as part of the IBRD energy efficiency program.
In July, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development confirmed the provision of a syndicated loan of USD 90 million to NIBULON as part of a long-term relationship. The loan is intended to finance trade and export activities. This agreement continues the successful relations between NIBULON and the EBRD, which started in 2010. In particular, in September 2017, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development board of directors visited “Gradyz'k” branch (Poltava region) as part of the visit to Ukraine. This branch was built with the support of this international financial and credit institution.
Thus, we are the first Ukrainian private company which simultaneously received money from the leading financial institutions: EBRD, IFC, IBRD, and EIB.
3. Saving roads. Our company has established the most modern truck fleet in Ukraine, enabling it to improve the efficiency of its cargo transportation by road, as well as by river. In 2017, NIBULON increased its truck fleet by purchasing 60 new Volvo, Mercedes and Scania trucks. These trucks have to link NIBULON’s river terminals with agricultural commodity producers within a radius of 80-100 km. One of the main tasks solved by NIBULON is a significant decrease in loading on the Ukrainian highways due to further development of cargo shipping
NIBULON’s philosophy on transport logistics is that trucks carrying grain should not enter the cities. The company’s logistics will be almost completely redirected to water transport. The share of grain transportation by road of up to 10 %, which is planned for 2017/18 MY, will comprise the transportation of commodities from the elevators to the transshipment terminals located along the rivers.
4. Leader in exports. In 2016/17 MY, NIBULON Group achieved one of its best export results. The company managed to export more commodities only in 2009/10 MY and in 2015/16 MY. NIBULON achieved the first place in the ranking of Ukrainian exporters, having exported 4.65 million tons of agricultural commodities.
Despite the annual increase in number of competitors, NIBULON Group manages to maintain its market share; this testifies to its high level of competitiveness.
5. Food security protection. In December 2017, Cairo, Egypt – the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and NIBULON signed the Memorandum to focus on improving the efficiency of Egyptian companies involved in grain production, storage and transportation.
Achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular to help end hunger and malnutrition by 2030, will require greater public-private sector cooperation, strategic alliances and innovation. Promoting sustainable investment in Egypt's food security and acknowledging the urgency in scaling up efforts to enhance the food security situation in Egypt is at the core of FAO’s agenda.
(Part II. On waterways)
In 2017, we were focused on a complex method of transportation along the Dnipro River because river transport plays one of the key roles in the economic environment of any country. But, unfortunately, the huge potential of Ukrainian rivers is barely used. The total Ukrainian deadweight has fallen by 14 times over 20 years. Over 25 years, the navigable waterways in Ukraine have reduced approximately from 4,000 km to 1,500 km. Our company has started to implement a complex project to revive transportation along the Dnipro River (dredging, construction of infrastructure, fleet construction, reconstruction of the shipbuilding and repair yard).
More about the projects implemented in 2017 is in our review of 10 greatest achievements of the company.
6. Shipbuilding revival. At present, NIBULON shipbuilding and repair yard in Mykolaiv is one of the few shipyards in Ukraine that constructs complete vessels. From 2012 till 2016, the first stage of reconstruction and modernization of the existing shipyard’s capacities took place. In 2017, NIBULON started the second stage of the shipyard reconstruction as part of the cooperation with the European Investment Bank. In May, the company ceremoniously inaugurated an automated line for metal cleaning and priming and a metal processing workshop with plasma cutting and gas cutting machines at the shipyard during the international exhibitions “Shipbuilding” and “Water Transport”. This modern foreign equipment meets the latest trends in shipbuilding and makes NIBULON a leader in the region in terms of equipment at its shipbuilding facilities.
In August 2017, Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Hroisman visited NIBULON shipbuilding and repair yard. He was interested in the information about NIBULON’s plans to enlarge its production facilities, new projects, capacities and advantages of the tugs built at its own shipyard, passenger transportation routes, and plans to dredge the Dnipro River; Head of the Government promised to help with the dredging issue.
In November, NIBULON put an assembly and fabrication workshop into operation within modernization process at NIBULON shipbuilding and repair yard. It is equipped with four radio controlled overhead cranes with the capacity of 10 tons each and modern welding equipment. The capacities of the new workshop will enable it to produce about 4,000 tons of metalware per year.
Thus, the company is capable of completing an individual cycle of metal processing, resulting in increase in volumes and quality of the processed metal. In 2017, NIBULON shipbuilding and repair yard constructed and launched 8 vessels. For comparison: it constructed 2 vessels in 2014, 6 vessels in 2015, and 7 ones in 2016. In 2016, the shipyard constructed mainly non-self-propelled vessels. In 2017, we constructed more complex projects: tugs, a dredger, a floating crane.
At present, NIBULON successfully continues modernizing capacities of the shipyard. After putting into operation two new workshops of its own shipbuilding and repair yard, the company started to reconstruct a slipway, thereby enabling the shipyard to launch and serve 100-meter vessels.
7. Perpetuating the memory of famous Ukrainian shipbuilders. Our company believes that shipbuilding and water transport are not the past of Ukraine and Mykolaiv, but also our future. In 2017, the company decided to right the wrong and to draw attention to the future of shipbuilding, so that Ukrainians no longer just have the memory of these famous countrymen, but also confidence in the future of shipbuilding. NIBULON shipbuilding and repair yard constructed and launched three 121M project tugs intended for operation in shallow water, including the northern tributaries of the Dnipro River – on the Desna River and the Prypiat River. The vessels were named after famous Mykolaiv shipbuilders – Yurii Makarov, Anatolii Hankevych, and Nodari Chanturiia.
NIBULON continues constructing its cargo fleet. The shipyard has a heavy order book for the next few years.
8. The most popular watermelon. In August 2017, NIBULON transported the first batch of Kherson watermelons to Kyiv along the Dnipro Rover within a pilot project “Creating an effective logistic chain of fruit and vegetables delivery”of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
The news unexpectedly exploded in the information media and became the top news of information agencies and social networks. There was created an account on Twitter @kavun_z_barzhi. The entire Ukraine followed the route of Kozatskyi tug and the non-self-propelled vessel loaded with the first batch of watermelons grown by Kherson farmers online.
Our company has received a huge amount of information requests for more information about our plans to develop water transportation. In 2018, the company will be transporting agricultural products along the river, in particular fruit and vegetables. Kherson farmers expect that the new method of delivering fruit and vegetables from the south of Ukraine to the north can significantly reduce their losses and help to expand their markets for seasonal fruit and vegetables.
9. Return of legendary hydrofoils. In 2017, NIBULON revived the fashion for transportation by water. The popular mode of transport in Europe again is a favorite mode of transport among Ukrainian passengers. More than 24,000 persons have enjoyed trips by its famous hydrofoils. Children, ATO participants, public activists, volunteers, human rights activists, and others were among passengers during charitable trips along the Dnipro River in Kyiv, Kaniv, Kremenchuk, Cherkasy, and other cities of Ukraine.
Families came to perform passenger trips by NIBULON Express vessels - several generations of Ukrainians: those who still remember when water passenger transportation was regular, and those for whom it was a dream from childhood that finally came true thanks to NIBULON. In this short period of time we have received a lot of positive feedback and request for launching passenger routes in their boroughs.
Trips to the Kinburn Spit were very popular with passengers. The Kinburn Spit has always been considered a hard-to-reach tourist route. Many people have visited this unique natural reserve this summer for the first time. It was impossible earlier (few would like to start their vacation by getting there with the help of not reliable watercrafts that stop at a distance of a few tens of meters from the shore, and then you are waist-deep in cold water). It is much better to get there comfortably by a high-speed hydrofoil. As in childhood. To a specially equipped berth by NIBULON.
The company carries out a large-scale reconstruction of NIBULON shipbuilding and repair yard in order to place two production lines on its site – for passenger and specialized fleets, as well as for merchant ships. The company intends to produce its own new passenger hydrofoils and small passenger vessels.
10. Unique MYKOLAIVETS. As we have mentioned at the very beginning, unfortunately, navigable waterways shorten each year. In 25 years, the navigable routes in Ukraine have reduced from about 4,000 km to 1,500 km. In fact, 100 km of navigable ways disappear every year; the entire rivers disappear from the navigable map of Ukraine
Due to the lack of proper depth on the rivers, the vessels are forced to be underloaded. NIBULON practically fulfills the duties of the state, carrying out dredging of rivers at its own expense. Last year, due to the leader of the agrarian market of Ukraine, navigation on the Southern Buh River was resumed.
At present, NIBULON invests in dredging of the Dnipro River. To this end, NIBULON shipbuilding and repair yard built and launched the unique high-capacity self-propelled MYKOLAIVETS dredger. The vessel has no analogues in Ukraine. It is equipped with a high-capacity engineering complex. This vessel will allow us to deepen the Dnipro River, the Southern Buh River, as well as the water area of ports and terminals to the depths that are necessary for the effective operation of the fleet operating on our rivers and water areas. Our company also purchased to self-propelled pontoons to implement this project. The project is implemented in cooperation with the International Finance Corporation.
In November, NIBULON carried out experimental work to deepen the rocky bottom on one of the Dnipro rapids in Kamianske town (Dnipropetrovsk region).
The company plans to build new transshipment terminals on the Dnipro River, to finish reconstruction of the shipbuilding and repair yard, to construct fleet, so that the total displacement reaches 250 thousand tons, as well as to revive Ukrainian navigable waterways. NIBULON plans to build at least 10 river transshipment terminals on the Dnipro River, on the Southern Buh River and other navigable rivers of Ukraine, and to enlarge its fleet to 100 units. This will be enough for the economy of Ukraine to have a strong development potential.
NIBULON decided to end the year with new important events. MYKOLAIVETS will start the second stage of dredging works on the Southern Buh River. The dredging will be started in the area of the largest sandbar – Kostyantynivka sandbar.
In 2018, we plan to continue implementing our ambitious investment plans. In particular, within the framework of the long-term relations with the European Bank for Reconstruction and developmaent and taking into account full and timely repayment of the previous investment loan, allocation of a loan of USD 50 million for 7 years to the company is considered. We are convinced that our cooperation with the leading financial institutions (EIB, EBRD, IFC) will be an important impetus for creation of new jobs, development of navigation and shipbuilding, decrease in loading on the roads, development of the economy of Ukraine.
We want to do more for Ukraine, for its economic development and to establish an advanced European logistics system. 2018 is a new page in the history of our company and we are certain that it will bring the achievements that are no less remarkable. Look forward to reading a new story about NIBULON’s achievements in 2018.