Today, November 16, the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the national postal operator Ukrposhta signed an agreement to provide a loan of EUR 63 million for the purchase and interior equipment of about 1,900 mobile post offices, as well as for construction 3 modern automated sorting centers.
"Ukrposhta continues to implement a large-scale investment program for this year to modernize the existing logistics network and reform rural branches. The implementation of the Logistics Network and Rural Branch projects in cooperation with the EBRD will allow us to significantly improve the work of the post office, create new logistics centers with modern sorting equipment to provide even faster and more convenient services to the population. Reforming the network of rural branches and introducing up to 1,900 modern mobile branches in the near future will allow to cover all 100% of settlements and conveniently deliver parcels even to the most remote corners of our country. I am grateful to the EBRD partners for their constant support and cooperation in the implementation of these important projects for Ukraine," commented Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine Vladyslav Kryklii on the signing of the agreement.
The EBRD's Managing Director for Eastern Europe and the Caucasus, Matteo Patrone, said: "We are living in a digital age, but postal and delivery services are more relevant today than ever before. The prolonged COVID-19 pandemic has confirmed the need for these services. We welcome Ukrposhta's desire for a radical transformation that will allow 15 million people in rural Ukraine to use fast, convenient and reliable postal, logistics, trade and financial services."
The EBRD will provide a loan in three tranches. The funds will be used to finance the modernization of the logistics infrastructure and transport fleet of the national postal operator. The third tranche of EUR 10 million will be disbursed subject to the achievement of key results, which will be funded from the first two tranches.
"The year of 2020, despite all the difficulties, opens a record investment in infrastructure for Ukrposhta. As part of the modernization strategy, we are raising about EUR 100 million for the construction of 8 automated sorting hubs, 62 regional depots and fleet replenishment – those are both loans from the EBRD and the EIB, and Ukrposhta's investments. We are talking about large-scale changes in the work of the national postal operator: funding will help improve the quality of postal and social services to the population of Ukraine, in particular to the residents of the most remote settlements, as well as ensure the transformation of the company's operating model. This means that Ukrposhta will become even faster, more convenient and modern," Ukrposhta General Director Ihor Smilyansky emphasized.
The construction of the sorting infrastructure is also co-financed by the European Investment Bank (EIB) with a loan of EUR 30 million. The new facilities will be built in accordance with the requirements of BREEAM - the world's leading sustainability assessment method for masterplanning projects, infrastructure and buildings. This assessment will be co-financed by the European Union under the EU4Climate initiative, which is part of the program of the Finance and Technology Transfer Centre for Climate Change (FINTECC).
Within the framework of cooperation with the EBRD, Ukrposhta will promote anti-corruption reform and increase the efficiency of corporate governance. Relevant action plans will be developed with grants from the EBRD's multi-donor account for the stabilization and sustainable development of Ukraine, with the donors including Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States, and also the European Union as the largest stakeholder. This activity is part of the joint work of the EBRD and the Government of Ukraine to improve corporate governance in state-owned enterprises and prevent corruption. Today, the EBRD is the largest institutional investor in Ukraine. In total, the bank financed 482 projects worth a total of EUR 14.5 billion.
We will remind, in 2018 Ukrposhta launched 130 mobile offices in Chernihiv region. By the end of 2020, another 500 vehicles will serve the villages and settlements of 6 regions of Ukraine: Kyiv, Odesa, Kherson, Zakarpattia, Cherkasy and Chernivtsi. By the end of 2021, about 2,500 mobile branches of Ukrposhta will run throughout Ukraine, and employees of mobile teams will receive tablets or smartphones to fully automate processes.