After decades of neglect, Ukraine’s government estimates that around €43 billion of investment is needed to bring the country’s infrastructure up to date. As Europe’s largest country connecting east and west, the impact of this investment will be felt far beyond national borders. New laws, incentives and capital are now in place to attract global companies and investors to help construct these key transport links
In 2016, Ukraine’s airports were failing, only one airline was operating and a typical flight from Berlin to Kiev cost around €500. Today, that situation has changed dramatically. The government simplified aviation rules, and the landscape has become more competitive with dozens of added routes and new carriers such as Ryanair. The government expects that the number of airports will go from 12 to 25 in the next five years, and invites investors to help build a 100,000 tonne-capacity cargo terminal. Other opportunities include the renovation of Kiev’s Boryspil Airport or fleet renewal at Ukraine International Airlines.
With 3,783km of coastline and important river connections such as the Danube, Ukraine’s ports are deeply connected to the country’s economy and global trade. With goals to accommodate between 184 million to 245 million tonnes of goods per annum, the planned investment of €1.75 billion euros in the country’s ports by 2038 presents major opportunities to international companies and investors. Not only will international tenders be opened for construction services such as dredging, the Ministry of Infrastructure is focused on putting Ukraine’s state-run seaports up for concession in the coming years.
Ukraine has a massive 170,000km road network, 90 percent of which is in need of significant repair. In the last three years, 7,000km of roads – enough to double the distance between Lisbon and Warsaw – have been restored, but that’s just the beginning. German construction companies are encouraged to bid on tenders for road projects, to which the government has allocated $2 billion for both 2018 and 2019. The EU is already a major partner, financing road projects including the Go Highway, which will link up ports in Southern Ukraine and Northern Poland.
The combined track length of Ukraine’s railway system makes it the 14th largest in the world. Most of it is operated by state-owned company Ukrainian Railways, which is investing around €4.24 billion in modernization efforts between 2017 and 2021. Both the state of the railways and operational efficiency have improved drastically in recent years as a result of a management shakeup, a new procurement system and other reforms. New developments include a $1 billion deal with General Electric to supply diesel locomotives and the addition of railway connections to Poland, Budapest and the Baltic states.