Businessman Khmelnytsky intends to invest in 'green' energy projects
Businessman, famous developer and founder of K.Fund Vasyl Khmelnytsky intends to start implementing projects in the "green" energy sphere in the near term, believing this segment is promising in Ukraine.
"We are mulling projects in the 'green' energy now. Today it is profit-making and right – the country is to have 10% of 'green' power capacity before 2020, and today it has only 1%," he said in an interview with Interfax-Ukraine.
Khmelnytsky said that the projects concern power generation at the feed-in tariff. He also is studying the solar and biogas power plant projects.
"This is a separate new direction. We are looking for them [directions]. We want to get rid of less effective and find more effective. We think that this one is more effective, while building shopping centers is less effective," he said.
He said that in the conditions of low buying power the commercial and housing real estate market in 2017 could face serious difficulties.
Among other promising directions to invest money in Ukraine is processing of agricultural products, he said. Khmelnytsky took the project of an industrial park in Bila Tsekva and the project of an innovation park on the territory of Kyiv Motorcycle Plant as examples.
The businessman said that he is ready to take loans to realize projects in the "green" energy sphere, while he decreases his credit portfolio in all his businesses.
"We have loans in the U.S. dollars at 12% per annum and in hryvnias at 25% per annum. We almost do not take [new loans]," the businessman said.
Commenting on other sources of financing, he said that Novopecherski Lypki and Boulevard of Fountains in Kyiv are profit-making projects.
He said that the situation at the Kyiv airport is bad due to a sharp decline in public income, but it starts improving.
"I think that we have passed the bottom. The situation is slowly improving now, but it is far from that we had five years ago," Khmelnytsky said.
He said that the airport would try to invite new low-cost airlines. The airport is ready to participate in the programs to attract foreign tourists.
Commenting on other businesses from his portfolio, the businessman said that they are hostages of the difficult economic situation in the country and low income of the public.
"I think that we will start growing. There will be more money and it would be profit-making again. Now when many businesses are working with losses now and I do not have losses, I think that this is good. This is my approach," he said, asked about the outdoor advertisement operator PTM-Ukraine and the movie producer and distributor Star Media.
He said that one more asset from his portfolio – Biopharma – also suffered from crisis, as 30% of the market was lost: Crimea, Donetsk, Luhansk and a large part of Donbas.
"Local pharmaceutical companies had competitive advantage – the devaluation has passed and we managed to use it: here with local staff and materials we were more flexible than importers," he said.
In general, Khmelnytsky, being First Vice President of the Ukrainian League of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (ULIE), said that the main task for Ukraine is the acceleration of economic growth as quickly as possible thanks to creation of new production facilities. This would quickly help to restore public income growth.
"I am interested in economic growth. People should earn more and then they would spend more. My businesses would sell something to them. I do not have any thought that one can survive in this stagnation as we have today. We should unite to accelerate economic growth," he said.
Khmelnytsky is a majority shareholder in UDP, which is engaged in implementing large-scale infrastructure projects. Kyiv International Airport, Ocean Plaza shopping mall, Novopecherski Lypki residential complex, Boulevard of Fountains, RiverStone and Parkove Misto are among them.
K.Fund was founded in 2015 to support projects related to education and the economy.