How badly damaged is Ukraine’s chemical industry?

How badly damaged is Ukraine's chemical industry?

Ukrainians before the war chemical industry were healthy and successful drivers of the broader economy. in this . included the diverse spread of Chemical, petrochemical, and pharmaceutical producers With over 1,600 enterprises employing over 30,000 workers. really, chemical products It accounts for 9% of all industrial exports of Ukraine.

Ukrainian in 2019 chemical industry production CAGR of 8% over the last 4 years to reach $2.8 billion,” report independent advisors Ukraineinvest, In addition, “Ukraine imported $7.5 billion”. chemical productsWhich accounts for 12 per cent of the country’s imports, indicating strong demand from the domestic market.”

But when the Russian army attacked on 24 Februaryth everything changed. Yet it is only now that Russian forces have allowed re-capture by Ukrainian forces, that chemical industry Able to observe the scale of damage done.

an assessment conducted by Ukrainian Chemists Union (UCU), the country’s trade union, estimated in early April that about 20% of companies had experienced some damage to their facilities. The president of the union, Oleksiy Holubov, adding to all this chemical business Their activities were greatly affected by the war. Many still live with the constant danger that shelling and renewed fighting could damage or destroy chemical facilities,

The report established that by the beginning of April almost half of all chemical companies The Russians were actively behind the lines or in the war zone.

“Obviously, the vast majority aren’t working, production lines are frozen, products are sold or exported to safe areas,” Holubov says. “So far, less than 1% of companies have moved their production to safer areas.”

During this, chemical production In more western, safer places, still struggling to keep up with production. Some workers have been able to return, but many men are still employed solely as armed forces personnel. At the same time, logistics are being severely constrained, with military and humanitarian objectives being prioritized.

The war has also disrupted the banking sector, leading to a lack of funds for some. chemical companies trying to buy raw material, While energy prices are skyrocketing and supply chain issues continues in the global manufacturing industry.

direct consequences on the individual chemical companies Varies greatly depending on product, location and time.

“While some companies will never recover, while others have managed to move on, either they had facilities away from the fight or they had stock,” says Maria Burke, a UK-based reporter. Chemistry World, “As the situation in Kyiv improves, many companies based in the capital are resuming operations and sourcing new distribution routes to get their products out.”

Furthermore, according to Holubov, the industry as a whole still faces the ‘enormous consequences’ of a protracted war.

preliminary data composed by Cherkasy State Research Institute of Technical and Economic Information guess that chemical product sales An average of 30% fell in January-March 2022 compared to the same period in 2021. In dollar terms, this is equal to chemical export $600 million in January and February, falling to $160 million in March, with similar values ​​in April.

Reversing this trend will not be easy. Last year, exports accounted for half of all chemical products sales, but Holubov believes that for now, chemical companies should focus on domestic markets. With the sector regaining momentum after the initial Russian boom, there is already a new demand FertilizerPesticides, and others agricultural chemicals Important for agriculture sector. Meanwhile, other basic chemical products will help support and rebuild more Ukrainian industries. both a military and domestic need plastic and rubber productsWhile the construction sector needs paints, varnishes, cements and adhesives;,

But for now, said Holubov, “the main task of the national” chemical industry To survive in such critical conditions is to save production facilities, to minimize the consequences of destruction and its adverse effects on the environment, and most importantly – to preserve management and production personnel.

Two things are needed in the long run: peace and investment.

Hopefully, the world can see how much Ukraine has to offer. Not as the backwaters of the old Soviet Empire, but as a modern democracy with vast natural resources, a skilled workforce, and the economic benefits of being located between the European Union, Turkey and Asia.

It can motivate investors to set up new delivery methodreconstruction chemical facilitiesInvite Ukraine to the EU Single Market, encourage foreign government aid, and help Expand chemical industry exports,

Like the rest of the population, chemical industry Trying to stay positive. Hopefully one day soon the fight will be over and recovery can begin.

“We believe in our army, in our people,” says Ivan Kondratov, head of medicinal chemistry at Enamine (a Ukrainian supplier of specialist compounds). “Ukraine will overcome these dark days and emerge stronger. The first weeks of shock, confusion and despair are over. We are working 24/7 to adjust to the situation and work through these circumstances. We are moving forward Huh.”

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