"United Mining and Chemical Company" | News | Oleksandr Hladushko: “The New Year will be the year of major production upgrade”

Oleksandr Hladushko: “The New Year will be the year of major production upgrade”
Oleksandr Hladushko: “The New Year will be the year of major production upgrade”


On the eve of New Year and Christmas holidays, Oleksandr Hladushko, Acting Chairman of the Board of PJSC UMCC, shared with the readers of Hazeta Moho Kombinata (My Plant's Newspaper) how the company will operate in 2018, what events are to come and what hardships it had to overcome in the process of formation

- How would your describe the year 2017 for the company?
- Every year, starting from 2015, has been a year of tests and trials for the company and 2017 was no exception.
First, we were competing for every consumer, as we started sales of our productions and their production in 2015 from scratch. We fought to unload high volumes of products at our warehouses, while the buyers were 'getting used' to the new player on the market. We fought to restore the status of export for Irshansk MPP, which lost its sales on the territory of Ukraine following annexation of Crimea and became unprofitable. It required a lot of hard work to solve the problems of this subsidiary.
The government, having cancelled lease of plants in 2014, set a task for us to prove that our companies can and must work to ensure proceeds to the budget. In these hard ties, when combat actions in the East of the country are exhausting the country's economy, we were given an honorary mission and we succeeded. The company has proven that it can be successful despite the crisis in consumer markets.
Throughout its existence, UMCC moved only forward, although it wasn't easy to achieve goals. We had to do it without our own special equipment, which the former lessee took, without the corresponding image that was created along with conquering of foreign markets. In 2015-2016, our team accomplished colossal work. In the shortest period and ahead of other state enterprises, our company adopted international standards of corporate governance.
We had to survive at the peak of the global raw material crisis with the prices for our products showing unseen decrease. Despite stiff competition and attacks on our company by ill wishers, we stood our ground.
I am thankful to all employees who came together strong during these difficult years and persistently moved towards achievement of our goals, did not give up, did not leave and can now together with us share the success we've been striving for.
I also recall how we had to adjust to demands of the buyers. This actually gave us a push to invest into production facilities, which we began to do in 2017. That is why I would call the year 2017 – a year of the start of investments, which our subsidiaries haven't seen for the past 14 years.
- Why did you decide to improve production this year?
- Firstly, in the two previous years, the company succeeded in achieving financial growth thanks to titanic efforts of its staff. The revenues that we received formed a financial reserve that we had to return to the production in the form of investments, because it was no longer possible to leave the plants in such materially and morally worn out condition.
Secondly, outdated equipment and absence of own machinery and equipment prevented further growth of the company. We needed to increase stripping and mining work, transportation of products and we experienced shortage of production capacities for all that. We did involve third-party organizations, but that affected the production costs.
That is why, the company's board decided to begin renewing production assets of the subsidiaries. Processing production of Vilnohirsk Mining and Metallurgical Plant was the first to receive investments, specifically concentrate crushing unit with its reconstruction still under way. Its re-equipment is what our consumers demand. In the second half of the year, new special machinery started to arrive at the plants and transport pools of both subsidiaries were updated.
- What was the volume of investments?
- We are talking about more than UAH 115 mn, including nearly UAH 106.9 for VMMP and UAH 8.6 mn for IMPP.
- What kind of equipment, machinery and transport vehicles were purchased for the subsidiaries?
- Vilnohirsk subsidiary received five BELAZ dump trucks, seven loaders, two Multotec separators, second Donaldson cartridge filter, five UAZ Farmer trucks, two Niva cars, new GAZel vehicle and PAZ bus.
Irshansk subsidiary received in 2017 a 25-t crane truck with a 28-m beam, two PAZ buses for transporting workers to their workplaces, three Renault Duster vehicles, Citroen minivan and two UAZ Farmer trucks.
Also, replacement of the hydrotransport line at VMMP has started. The investments into replacement of iron pipes with polyethylene ones will total UAH 36 mn. The subsidiaries have not seen such substantial investments for quite a while.
- Will the company continue to renew its assets in 2018?
- Most certainly. You could say that this year gave a start to modernization at the subsidiaries of PJSC UMCC. Next year, the company plans to take on modernization of core production – processing factories. The year 2018 will become the year of production reconstruction. I believe that next year investments will exceed that of 2017.
- Could you be more specific on the amount?
- It is hard to give you the final figure yet, as the engineering have not yet concluded, which construction options to choose, as there are several of them. But we will certainly exceed UAH 200 mn and it will be the next record for our company.
UMCC experts are currently calculating the costs and technical possibilities of construction of a new rough concentrate factory at IMPP, as the plant is clearly short of capacities. The readers probably remember that this subsidiary is preparing for development of the new areas of Mezhyrichne Deposit. As a reminder, Bukynska Area of this deposit that IMPP will be developing has reserves of 19 mn t of titanium ore. The expected volumes of ilmenite concentrate output are 700,000 t, which approximately equals to three-year load of the plant. That means stable operation and pay to nearly 2,000 Irshansk employees.
At the Vilnohirsk plan, we are considering an option of construction of the factory for processing tailing dumps. It is needed for the period, when the reserves of titanium ore in the area of Malyshivske Deposit that the subsidiary is developing now will be exhausted. For this reason, construction of factories at the subsidiaries is an urgent task.
We are also planning to purchase new equipment for VMMP’s laboratory. We are hoping that it will be state-of-the-art equipment. Upgrading this division will help us improve the quality of work of sales department and also relations with consumers.
I would like to address the employees of PJSC UMCC and thank everybody who has put in efforts at the subsidiaries and in the office to multiply our company’s achievements.
Over the three years, we have made a serious breakthrough in development, formation of the company, successfully overcame crisis in the titanium market that affected our consumers.
But ahead of us will be even harder work: to give the plants a new lease of life – to obtain new areas for development, prepare production for working in new conditions, modernize auxiliary divisions working for the final link – production of finished products. We need to continue to renew transport subdivisions of the subsidiaries to avoid shortage of equipment.

Preparations for privatization are under way. State Property Fund of Ukraine recently announced that our company was included in the list of companies subject to sale in 2018.

So, I will to all of us strength, inspiration and patience to realize all our ideas! And I wish your families prosperity, peace and tranquility.