“Clean energy is a strategic investment for UFuture,” Nicholas Tymoshchuk, CEO of UFuture
A landmark agreement for the Ukrainian energy market was recently signed in Doha, the capital of Qatar.
Ukrainian renewable energy investment and development company UDP Renewables, UFuture’s portfolio company, has sold a controlling stake in six solar power plant operators in Ukraine to the Qatari international energy investment company Nebras Power.
Together with the Qatari investor UDP Renewables will continue to develop solar power generation in Ukraine, and in the second stage – wind power generation. Nicholas Tymoshchuk, CEO of UFuture holding company, told how the agreement was prepared and what makes it unique.
UFuture has been investing in green energy projects in Ukraine for years, what makes this sector attractive?
– Green energy is the future, and there is no alternative to it. In 3-5 years, the developed countries, the EU, the United States and Canada primarily, will set special taxes and duties on goods and services created with high greenhouse gas emissions. We are already witnessing the introduction of the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) by the European Union, and this trend will only intensify in the future.
Ukraine cannot avoid the changes taking place in the world economy. In order for Ukrainian goods and services to be competitive in international markets, it is critical to increasing green energy production. And do it fast.
Ukraine needs its own green energy to:
- guarantee the energy security of the country for the next decades;
- ensure the competitiveness of the Ukrainian economy;
- attract international investment to the country.
Therefore, green energy for UFuture is a strategic investment.
How the deal with Nebras Power was prepared, what is its peculiarity and was it difficult to attract investors?
– Almost five years ago, a company with renewable energy projects appeared in UFuture’s portfolio. My colleagues and I have travelled around the world looking for investors and partners to help grow this business. One such trip was to the Middle East: UAE, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia. It was during these trips, 2.5 years ago, that I got to know Nebras Power.
We offered a Qatari company a partnership in the field of renewable energy. The result of long-term negotiations was the signing of six contracts for the sale of controlling stakes in solar power plants in Ukraine. Also within 2-3 months, we expect to sign a partnership for the construction of a joint wind farm with a capacity of 115 MW. These are the opportunities we as a holding company create for our businesses.
What is interesting about the wind energy market for UFuture, how does it differ from solar power generation?
– Renewable energy as such is interesting for us, that’s why we invest in it. Specifically, wind generation is one of the parts of renewable energy, which in Ukraine, in our opinion and according to our calculations, makes sense – economically, strategically, etc.
In Ukraine, mostly solar power plants were built – it’s faster and cheaper. Wind energy is a more complex and capital intensive process. Wind power plants are built on more advanced technologies and require more time. However, the industry is not new for Ukraine: wind farms, for example, have long been in the Crimea.
In my opinion, wind energy is more resistant to economic and, by the way, weather volatility. It is more durable in economic and operational terms. Therefore, this is a very natural and necessary energy sector for Ukraine.
How will the agreement with Nebras Power affect the domestic energy market and the country as a whole?
– The arrival of a large foreign investor in Ukraine is a great victory and a good sign for the country, the industry and, of course, for our company.
Qatar is currently the richest country in the world in terms of GDP per capita. And since Nebras is a state-owned company, in fact, the state of Qatar has invested in Ukraine’s private sector. To successfully use this opportunity, to improve the economic and investment climate in the country, to develop the latest and environmentally friendly technologies, everyone, including the state, must be conscientious in fulfilling its obligations to the investor. It is very important that in Ukraine, for example, the agreements on the “green tariff” adopted in July 2020 are implemented. At one time, investors invested about €10 billion in Ukraine’s renewable energy. Such funds cannot be risked.
What are UFuture’s future plans for developing an international partnership?
– UFuture’s expertise is to find large, international, reputable, strategic partners, investors and buyers for our portfolio businesses. This is our expertise, and we are successful in this.
We open new markets for Biopharma pharmaceutical company, invite new tenants and residents to UNIT.City, help implement and find investors for our real estate projects. We are currently preparing a consortium that will ensure the development of Kyiv Airport. We, as an investor, take an active part in the work of our companies. Agreement with Nebras Power is one of the results of such active work.