22 Jan 2024 17:44

Ukrainian Nibulon asks USAID for help in purchasing 250 additional grain cars

MOSCOW. Jan 22 (Interfax) - One of the largest operators of the Ukrainian grain market, JV Nibulon LLC from Nikolaev, needs to expand its own rolling stock by 250 units, the company's press service said, citing Mikhail Rizak, government affairs director.

"Thanks to the assistance of the Economic Support for Ukraine USAID project in the form of 50 hopper cars, we were able to significantly improve our transport economics from July-December 2023 by increasing the share of our own cars used from 10% to 23%. The economic effect, which was redistributed to the procurement price for farmers, totaled $1.7 million (...). In total, Nibulon needs 250 additional railcars, which will scale the effect across the entire network of elevator complexes," Ukrainian media reported, quoting Rizak on one of Nibulon's social media pages.

"We ask USAID to increase its support and to continue helping large companies that mediate that assistance to thousands of small and medium-sized enterprises," he said.

As reported, in the summer of 2023, Nibulon received 50 Ukrainian-made hopper cars purchased by USAID as part of a project to provide economic support to Ukraine.

Rizak said it has now been possible to build new, well-established export routes, but "it is important to focus on increasing the internal efficiency of the new system." This should primarily affect the cost of transportation, which will ultimately strengthen the competitiveness of Ukrainian producers in foreign markets.

"The experience of Nibulon, which, due to the blockage of river navigation, had to reorient itself from water transport to road and rail, shows that it is possible to increase efficiency, even in extremely difficult conditions," he said.

JV Nibulon LLC was created in 1991. Previously, the grain trader owned 27 transshipment terminals and complexes for receiving agricultural crops, with a capacity for simultaneous storage of 2.25 million tonnes and a fleet of 83 ships. The company also owned the Nikolaev shipyard, farmed 82,000 hectares of land and exported agricultural products to over 70 countries.

Currently, the grain trader is operating at 30% capacity.

The Economic Support for Ukraine project, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), provides assistance to the country by restoring and developing its export infrastructure.