The peculiarity of this station is that most of its equipment is produced in Ukraine
UDPR is an investment and development company in the Ukrainian renewable energy industry. We see our cause as a noble one as we believe this business contributes to a brighter future for all humanity. We adapt and implement world trend technologies in Ukraine with full commitment to quality and long-term performance. As well as create and operate our own capacities in renewables.
We search for investment opportunities for stakeholders and partners, while opening up the Ukrainian market to global players with sufficient reliability and safety.
Our approach is based on clarity and transparency. We believe this is the only way to build strong partnerships, meet the expectations of our clients, and gain their trust and recognition. We are also constantly improving our services to deliver the best solutions and quality results.
Our job is to develop projects on a “turn-key” basis that includes: legal and technical due diligence of the land plot, interconnection check-up due diligence, land status reclaim, project design, technical documentation development, feed-in tariff obtaining, EPC and O&M.
The peculiarity of this station is that most of its equipment is produced in Ukraine
The first phase of Dymerska Photovoltaic Power Plant, the biggest in Kyiv Region. Commissioned on September 2017.
Our main goal is to build a better future for the next generations by implementing and delivering clean solar electricity. As a company, we feel we have the power to popularize environmentally responsible behavior that will lead to reducing and preventing environmental damage.
Environmental protection is an essential part of our philosophy.
To be a good role model is our duty.
Our mission is to create new sources of growth for international power generating companies in Ukraine.
We make it possible by offering high-quality and high-yield projects for the further development, while jointly investing and conducting local risks control.
We are proud to be a part of one of the leading developer groups in Ukraine
Kyiv, 5 November 2018. – UDP Renewables, which develops the projects of UFuture Investment Group in the field of renewable energy, has commissioned the Free Energy Genichesk photovoltaic power plant (PV PP) in Kherson region. Investments in the construction of the PV PP with 18,3 MW of peak capacity amounted to over $18 million.
“We continue developing in green energy, this is one of the most interesting areas of business in Ukraine now. Over the past year, the photovoltaic capacity in our country has almost doubled, but we still have room to grow, compared to Europe, where the average share of renewable energy is about 8,5%. Thanks to the synergy of foreign investment, the most efficient international experience and local expertise, this industry can very quickly develop in Ukraine, and we are pleased to be one of the engines of its development,” emphasized the founder of the UFuture investment group Vasyl Khmelnytsky.
The plant consists of 65 340 solar cells and occupies nonagricultural land area of 23 ha. Planned amount of produced power is 23 500 MWh per year that enables to power 9 000 households and provides employment opportunities. Since the beginning of the project development, 250 jobs have already been created.
“Our company has approved an ambitious strategy of expanding its presence in the field of renewable energy, and I am glad that we have managed to take another significant step towards its implementation. I want to thank our financial partner, general contractor, as well as suppliers and all highly qualified specialists who participated in implementing of the project,” said Sergiy Yevtushenko, managing partner of UDP Renewables.
The photovoltaic panels produced by JinkoSolar, the global leader in solar energy, were used under Free-Energy-Henichesk PV PP construction. Additional products and services were purchased from Ukrainian suppliers. The total amount of taxes paid to budgets of different levels during the construction of the power plant is about 50 million UAH. Financial partner of the project is UKRGASBANK, EPC Contractor is KNESS, Ukrainian Group of companies.
Free Energy Genichesk PV PP is the second UDP Renewables’ completed large-scale project. Now the company carries out the operational management of the Dymerskaya SES-1 PV PP (Kyiv region) with a capacity of 6 MW. UDP Renewables’ strategy is to commission 200 MW of installed capacity in Southern regions in 2018-2019.
UFuture Investment Group, headquartered in Brussels, was established in autumn 2017 and united the business projects of Ukrainian entrepreneur Vasyl Khmelnytsky. The group includes the Ukrainian development company UDP, whose specialization is the implementation of large infrastructure projects. In addition, the conglomerate united such businesses as UDP Renewables (green energy), the Bila Tserkva industrial park, the innovation parks UNIT.City and LvivTech.City, pharmaceutical producer Biopharma.
UFuture also supports and coordinates social projects related to education and economics, some of which are annual Kyiv International Economic Forum, cutting-edge IT coding school UNIT Factory and K.Fund Books publishing project.
UDP Renewables, part of UFuture Group of Vasyl Khmelnytsky, has built a solar power plant with an installed capacity of 18 MW in Kherson region, the businessman said on his Facebook page. “UDP Renewables has built an 18 MW solar plant in Rykove (Kherson region). Considering the fact that the Kherson sun is much more efficient than in Kyiv, we plan to fully pay back the investment ($18 million) in five or six years. The station will be connected in a few months,” he wrote. Khmelnytsky added that during the construction of the solar plant, racks, cables and inverters of Ukrainian origin were used, while solar panels were imported from China. To build the station, according to the businessman, the territory of the former industrial zone, unusable for agriculture, was used.
As reported, earlier the group of Khmelnytsky built the first stage of a solar plant with a capacity of 6 MW in the village of Velyka Dymerka of Kyiv region. After the construction of the first stage, the group attracted Spanish-based Acciona Energia Global as a partner for the expansion of the project.
UFuture Investment Group, headquartered in Brussels, was established in autumn 2017 and united the business projects of Vasyl Khmelnytsky. The group includes the Ukrainian development company UDP, whose specialization is the implementation of large infrastructure projects. In addition, the conglomerate united businesses in such areas as UDP Renewables, the Bila Tserkva industrial park, the innovative parks UNIT.City, and LvivTech.City.
Energy security and independence have moved higher on the agenda in Ukraine since Russia launched its war in the Donbas four years ago. Before 2014, Ukraine relied heavily on Russia as a gas supplier.
But the war and the annexation of Crimea has turned Ukraine away from Moscow and toward friendlier, but pricier suppliers, like Hungary and Poland.
Ukraine hasn’t imported any gas from Russia for its own needs for more than two and-half years now. However, it still imports Russian gas that it transits on to Russian gas company Gazprom’s customers to the west.
Now the construction of Nord Stream 2 — a pipeline that will transport gas from Russia to Germany via the Baltic Sea — has raised doubts about Ukraine’s continued status as a major transit country for Russian gas, which in turn raises doubts about its energy security.
To some the answer is clear: bolster renewable energy. While the share of energy Ukraine gets from renewable sources is still quite low, at 1.2 percent in 2017 (2.086 million kilowatts), the market is growing rapidly.
Optimistic forecasts see Ukraine obtaining nearly all of its power from renewable sources by mid-century. But this “revolutionary scenario” would require significant investment and development of infrastructure.
Investment and incentives
Ukraine’s current energy generation mix is heavily tilted to fossil fuel and nuclear, with coal- and gas-fired power plants and nuclear power accounting for up to 92 percent of the energy generated. But that mix has been changing — slowly.
Since 2014, $550 million has been invested in Ukrainian renewables, according to Ukraine’s National Investment Council.
That’s a fraction of what Ukraine’s neighbors have invested over the same amount of time. Hungary, not known for its green policies, pumped $649 million into renewables in 2017 alone.
All the same, Ukraine’s renewable sector is growing fast: Renewable production tripled from 2012 to 2017, according to Ukrainian Association of Renewable Energy.
One reason for this is that renewables are a good business in Ukraine, say proponents. “It’s an absolutely transparent business, which can bring project payback in one to six years,” said Yuriy Podolyak, the commercial director of IK NET, an energy project management company in Ukraine.
Another reason is Ukraine’s green tariff system, set up in 2009, which offers a higher rate to producers of renewable energy on Ukraine’s national energy market — a rate that’s fixed for a producer when they enter the market. Add to that other favorable factors, such as Ukraine’s large land area and climate, good for both wind and solar power plants, and there are ideal conditions for the renewable energy market to develop.
“A renewable market is not just a cool thing to have,” Mats Lundin, acting chairman of the European-Ukrainian Energy Agency and founder of wind-power company Vindkraft Ukraina, told the Kyiv Post.
“If you look worldwide today, the renewable market is the only (part of the energy market) that is really developing.”
Lundin says non-nuclear renewables will soon be Ukraine’s cheapest energy option, given the social costs of coal power.
“The cost for society to keep coal-fired power plants will be much more expensive than simply going for renewables. So, it’s better to close (coal-fired power plants) and start building more renewables,” he said.
Research by Ukraine’s National Academy of Sciences suggests that, with proper investment, 90 percent of Ukraine’s energy could come from renewables.
Wind and solar power
What sources of renewable energy will prove the most profitable, however, is a different question. The constant, steady winds in the south of Ukraine makes wind-power prospects there good.
Wind energy accounted for 47 percent of Ukraine’s renewable electricity generation last year, or 970.5 million kWh. Sixty-five percent of that energy was generated by a single company: DTEK, owned by oligarch Rinat Akhmetov.
The company operates the biggest wind power station in Ukraine — Botievo Wind Farm in Zaporizhzhya Oblast, with a capacity of 200 megawatts.
That capacity will soon double, as DTEK has partnered with General Electric to build a second plant in Zaporizhzhya Oblast.
The first stage of construction, a $150 million investment, is projected to be completed in 2019.
After wind comes solar power, accounting for 35 percent of Ukraine’s renewable electricity production in 2017–710.7 million kWh.
Just recently Ukrainian solar power company UDP Renewables announced a large-scale partnership with the Spanish company Acciona Energia Global, a global leader in green generation. The plan is to operate a solar plant with an annual capacity of 57.6 megawatts in Kyiv Oblast.
“We plan to reach a capacity portfolio of 100 megawatts in January 2019,” said Sergiy Yevtushenko, managing partner of UDP Renewables.
Another large foreign company interested in solar power investments in Ukraine is TIU Canada, which last year built a 10.5 megawatt station in the city of Nikopol in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast.
“Now we’re planning about four more projects in Ukraine,” said Valentyna Beliakova, director TIU Canada.
After wind and solar power comes biogas, accounting for 194.8 megawatts of Ukraine’s power generation capacity.
Biogas, generated mostly by by-products of livestock farming, has a lower failure rate than solar and wind power enterprises, says Podolyak. “We see the least number of all failures in the biogas and biomass projects, as these projects are initially evaluated as complex, and so are approached more carefully. In terms of documentation, solar power plants are the most difficult.”
Biogas is most effective at a smaller scale: 1 megawatt, says Yuriy Epstein, director of the consulting company Accord.
His opinion is that biogas projects are the most attractive long term, as they don’t depend on weather conditions and produce fertilizers for the agricultural sector.
Ukraine’s green tariff promises profits, but the country’s business climate remains less than welcoming owing to shifting legislation and sparse credit options in the country.
On the legislative side, a new draft law in the Verkhovna Rada proposes that, from July 1 next year, new solar power plants over 10 megawatts and wind projects over 20 megawatts will have to sell their power at auctions, as opposed to benefitting from the green tariff.
Though such auctions have been successful in other countries, investors said this law, as well as other changes to the legislation, makes planning their business difficult.
“Investors always look for a certain amount of stability in order to predict their actions for a long time. But in Ukraine it’s a never ending process.
The Ukrainian market can change for various unpredictable reasons,” said Lundin. “We have just started work with the green tariff, and now they’re cutting it off and changing the rules of the game for investors,” said Beliakova.
Lundin says the idea of switching to auctions for green energy arose because of the great interest in renewable energy projects.
But he cautions that such auctions have failed elsewhere. “Look at the Turkish market… because the tariff is so low, (investors) will have to sit and wait for 5 to 10 years before equipment is cheap enough (for their costs) to match the tariff,” said Lundin.
Another risk is the perennially shaky financial market in Ukraine, where banks will rarely give long-term credit, and, if they do, provide it at interest rates from three to four percent higher than in Europe.
Investors who fail to get a loan from Ukrgasbank, Oschadbank, or other such Ukrainian banks will have to go to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development for credit.
Spanish ACCIONA ENERGIA GLOBAL with a footprint in 20 countries enters Ukrainian market with €54,7m initial investment.
Кyiv, 8 June 2018. – Leading Ukrainian development company in the renewable energy sector UDP Renewables (part of UFuture Investment Group) announces about the beginning of a large-scale cooperation with Spanish ACCIONA ENERGIA GLOBAL – a world leader in green power generation.
The first cluster of projects of the Spanish energy giant in the Ukrainian market consists of the construction of 2nd, 3rd and 4th stages of Dymerka photovoltaic power station (PVPP) located in Kyiv region with 57,6 MW of peak installed capacity which will be owned 100% by ACCIONA Energia. UDP Renewables commissioned the first stage of Dymerka PVPP, which is located close to the new projects, in Q3 of 2017.
«Foreign direct investment in this project alone will amount to 54,7 m€. Dymerka PVPP will operate at full capacity by the 1Q of 2019. We are grateful to our partners for their confidence and hope to expand our cooperation. I am convinced that this case will reinforce attraction of investment and, what is equally important, world-class expertise to Ukraine», announced Vasyl Khmelnytsky, the founder of UFuture Investment Group.
«We are very pleased to start our activity in renewables in Ukraine cooperating with UDP Renewables and with the support of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). We are confident that it will contribute to sustainable economic growth and job creation in the country», CEO of ACCIONA Energia Rafael Mateo said.
Preparation of the project’s technical and permitting documentation, grid connection design and adjustment, and development and commissioning of the first pilot stage of Dymerska PVPP took more than 18 months. This work resulted in pilot joint investment project between UDP Renewables and ACCIONA. The parties agreed to collaborate on a broad pipeline of investment projects in solar and wind power generation on the Ukrainian market.
Sergiy Yevtushenko, CEO of UDP Renewables, stated: «Acciona’s entrance to Ukraine symbolizes a new era for the domestic renewable energy sector. It is the signal for other foreign investors that will lead to growing competition and more foreign direct investment into the country. Sooner or later it will result in the decrease of energy cost for the final customer and boost the competitiveness of Ukrainian economy».
Contact person for the media:
Oleksandra Pogorila, Press Officer +380992883536
ACCIONA ENERGIA GLOBAL is a global operator in renewable energies with 25 years’ experience in the sector and over 9,000 MW under its ownership. It owns and operates 222 wind farms totalling 7,515 MW; 76 hydro plants (876 MW); photovoltaic plants totaling 389 MWp, three biomass plants (61 MW) and a thermoelectric plant (64 MW). The company markets energy to large clients.www.acciona-energia.com. It belongs to the ACCIONA Group, a leader in sustainable solutions for infrastructures and renewable energy projects worldwide. www.acciona.com. The group is headquartered in Madrid.
UFuture Investment Group is one of the largest and most forward-looking business groups in Ukraine, founded by a prominent Ukrainian entrepreneur Vasyl Khmelnytsky. UFuture consolidates the group’s businesses and social projects and coordinates its business development and investor relations activities at national and international levels. The group incorporates a major Ukrainian real estate development company UDP, Kyiv Sikorsky International Airport, national Ukrainian outdoor advertising operator RTM, Bila Tserkva Industrial Park, innovation parks UNIT.City and LvivTech.City, pharmaceutical producer Biopharma and renewable energy generator UDP Renewables. The group is headquartered in Brussels.
UDP Renewables is an investment and development company in the Ukrainian renewable energy sector. The company intends to commission 100 MW of installed capacity in 2018. Total projects pipeline under development is 250 MW. The company is headquartered in Kyiv.
CEELM: What were the most challenging aspects of this project to manage, and why?
K.B: The Renewables business was a new field for UDP Group. Since time is the most critical factor when developing renewable projects we need to build our pilot PV station fast, with no risks, and with our reputation kept high. The complexity of the project was the major challenge for us since it included deal structuring, tenders, tenders for equipment and EPC, a funding arrangement including bank loan and collaterals, import, construction, and finally putting the station into operation and obtaining a “green tariff.”
CEELM: Did entering into the Renewables sector present any unexpected challenges?
K.B.: To be frank the most unexpected challenge was the fact that permission procedures and dealing with regulators took more time than project construction itself. We definitely see improvements in the energy sector in Ukraine but still it takes time and leads to losing several months of electricity generation. So proper planning, risk management, conservative financial models, and top class legal services are among most crucial elements of project management.
CEELM: Why did you decide to reach out to Everlegal for assistance on the project?
K.B: By assessing the firm’s previous expertise, its client-oriented approach, its flexibility and proactive approach in providing solutions, and its competitive pricing, we made our decision to engage with Everlegal on the project.
CEELM: Everlegal’s press release reported that Managing Partner Yevheniy Deyneko «provided specialist advice on certain project-related matters.” What matters were those?
K.B: Yevheniy assisted the team led by Andriy Olenyuk by offering his insights and specialist knowledge on corporate, antitrust, and regulatory matters.
CEELM: If it’s not confidential, what was the nature of the fee arrangement you operated under, and how was it arranged? Looking back, was that model the right one to choose?
K.B: We cannot disclose all the details. Generally, the fee arrangement was flexible and combined several elements wrapped up in a package. Specifically, secondment of personnel for a fixed fee, retainer for a fixed budget, and blended hourly rate specifically designed for our project. Aside from the fee arrangement, the Everlegal team became our legal business partner and both sides benefitted a lot from knowledge sharing and commingling of the teams. This was our first project with Everlegal and since it was successful we are massively expanding and now developing a pipeline of about 100 MW of new projects where Everlegal is engaged in due-diligence and project structuring.
Ukraine, with its vast and windy steppes, meandering Dnipro River, year-round sunny weather and experience with nuclear power disaster, should be fertile ground for renewable energy projects.
But while 98 percent of the power produced in Norway already comes from renewable sources (mainly hydroelectric), Ukraine still lags far behind other countries in the region. Only 7.5 percent of the electricity generated in Ukraine comes from “green” sources and, like in Norway, it’s mainly from hydropower.
The corollary from that is, of course, that there’s still plenty of room for growth in the renewables sector in Ukraine. Why is it not happening? Industry players say it’s not for want of opportunities, but the effect of political instability combined with poor government.
The renewable power sector started to take off in Ukraine in 2009, when the country introduced differentiated green tariffs on various types of power generation. The legislation on green tariffs pegs them to the euro, setting the price per kilowatt-hour in euro cents.
But the modest development of the sector came to a halt with the 100-day EuroMaidan Revolution that drove President Viktor Yanukovych from power on Feb. 22, 2014.
Before a two-year economic recession in 2014 and 2015, the renewable energy industry was increasing generating capacity by about 800 megawatts per year. However, in 2014, the increase was only 26 megawatts.
Turbulence following the revolution, including Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the launch of its war in the Donbas, rattled most investors, according to Oleksiy Orzhel, the head of the Ukrainian Association of Renewable Energy.
“This was the period of maximum instability,” Orzhel said. “The EuroMaidan Revolution, the change in the authorities, and the prosecution of corrupt capital. At that time ‘white’ capital also understood it could be caught up in a general sweep, so a lot of developments came to halt.”
By 2016, however, the economic situation had stabilized, and the euro-pegged tariffs started to attract new capital, Orzhel said.
Pricing in euros “reduces devaluation risks for investors considering coming to Ukraine and developing green power generation here,” Orzhel told the Kyiv Post. “Moreover, this allows investors to raise credit resources in foreign currency at comparatively favorable rates. That’s a nice incentive.”
Since 2015, the sector returned to stable growth. In 2016, another 100 megawatts of generating capacity was added. And in 2017, Orzhel expects another 350–400 megawatts to come online from solar power stations alone.
“People tend to invest in solar panels because they are simpler, in terms of infrastructure, than other ways of generating green power. As a result, a lot of companies now have experience in starting such projects in Ukraine, and they’re intensifying their activities here.”
One of them is UDP Renewables, which has built the biggest solar power plant in Kyiv Oblast. It plans to operate the plant at 50 megawatts annual capacity by 2018; and at 300 megawatts by 2020.
The power plant’s main investor, Vasyl Khmelnytsky, told the Kyiv Post that now is the perfect time to develop renewables in Ukraine.
“Power plants that run on coal, gas, heavy oil, nuclear — they’re things of the past,” the investor said. “Of course, they aren’t going to disappear today or tomorrow, but Ukraine, the country that survived the (1986) Chornobyl (nuclear power plant) disaster, should be especially interested in renewables.”
Khmelnytsky’s UDP Renewables is also going to build another two plants, in Odesa and Kherson with 10 megawatts and 17 megawatts of generating capacity respectively.
The oligarch says he expects to invest up to $200 million in the industry, and he’s not as concerned as other investors are about instability in Ukraine.
“I’m confident in Ukraine’s economic growth,” he said. “This country is much more stable than it seems from the outside.”
Khmelnytsky is not the only one with big plans for the future in Ukraine: Canadian renewable energy company TIU-Canada recently invested 10 million euros in building a 10-megawatt solar power plant in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast.
The company is the first Canadian investor to set up shop in Ukraine since the Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement came in effect on Aug. 1. According to Valentyna Beliakova, TIU-Canada’s country director in Ukraine, the company plans to invest another 100 million euros in 2018.
TIU-Canada decided to invest in Ukraine because of its green tariffs, which are “the most attractive in Europe,” Beliakova told the Kyiv Post.
“Ukraine has potential, while the appealing green electricity tariffs promise quick returns,” she said. “Why solar power? TIU-Canada has an expertise in this field and, moreover, solar power stations are easy to build.”
Andrii Hetman, the CEO of Unasolar, a tech company that engineers and installs solar panels in the country, has seen an uptick in sector development in the last two years.
“The market’s growing, yes, but the problems of doing business in Ukraine remain very real — buying power is still low,” Hetman told the Kyiv Post. “All the same, more people now understand that renewables might be profitable.”
Hetman’s counterpart Elena Skrypnyk also feels that the industry’s changing for the better.
Skrypnyk is a managing partner at Helios Strategia, a company that provides services for setting up solar plants in several countries, including Poland, Senegal, Belgium and Ukraine. According to her the Ukrainian market has better conditions than many others.
“Here in Ukraine, the pay-back time for projects is a lot shorter, so a lot of new investors are appearing, foreign ones included,” she told the Kyiv Post. “It’s easy to work here, so it’s getting competitive.”
Orzhel from the Ukrainian Association of Renewable Energy says solar power’s expansion could have been much substantial if the government had managed it better.
“Our system remains unpredictable,” Orzhel said. “This holds back a lot of foreign investors from bringing their money into Ukraine.”
For a start, Orzhel says Ukraine’s renewable market needs more timely decisions from the government. In particular he’d like to see a cut in bureaucracy, more rapid revision of laws, and more powers for the industry’s regulator.
The activist and businessman is particularly concerned about the regulator, which he says is unable to make decisions on future tariffs as not enough members of its board have been appointed for it to form a quorum.
“This meant the industry remains unregulated, and hence unpredictable,” Orzhel said. As a result, a lot of projects currently under construction are at risk of cancelation.
“The general political instability and other problems have a very negative effect on the industry,” Orzhel said. “I wish we could foresee at least something.”
Helios’s Skrypnyk, however, sees the situation differently. She believes the Ukrainian regulatory system performs better than many others.
One way or another, after weighing the pros and cons of operating on Ukraine’s renewable market, its players still express optimism.
“It is cautious optimism,” summed up Orzhel.
In July 2017, the first phase of Dymerska Solar Power Plant 1 with a capacity of 6 MW was connected to the Ukrainian power grids. In 2018, after the commissioning of three more phases, UDP Renewables will bring the plant’s capacity to 50 MW, which will be about 5% of the capacity of a standard nuclear power plant unit. The first phase has been built from 22,200 solar PV modules.
In October-December, the company plans to launch the construction of two new solar power plants: a 17.5 MW facility in Kherson region and a 10 MW facility in Odesa. The total capacity of the facilities to be commissioned by UDP Renewables in the southern regions is 120 MW.
UDP is one of the leading developer groups in Ukraine. Its most known long-term investment projects include the development of Kyiv International Airport (Zhuliany), the construction of the Kyiv-based shopping mall OCEAN PLAZA and residential complexes Novopecherski Lypki, Boulevard of Fountains, RiverStone, and Parkove Misto. UDP Renewables is the UDP Group’s alternative energy asset.