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UCA calls to European clusters. Forming the common response to Energy crisis in Ukraine.

Russia continues to attack Ukrainian critical infrastructure and has already destroyed more than 50% of Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, affecting 16 regions. Ukrainian energy companies are working tirelessly to repair damaged infrastructure, and this work needs a tremendous amount of equipment, fuel, tools and materials, which Ukraine lacks. As a winter at war awaits Ukraine, 950.000 people are without electricity and 600.000 households are left without gas or district heating services, along with 250.000 households lacking proper water supply.

Find here the full list of equipment needed for Ukraine. Many kind of backup supply equipment can be bought while humanitarian aid is also very helpful.

Matching the scale of Ukraine’s energy sector needs requires a collective effort and prioritized attention.

Reaction of European Union

The European Union started to deliver the aid by delivering energy equipment and forming several initiatives at the level of the European Commission. In particular, The Energy Community Secretariat’s Ukraine Support Task Force (USTF) helps to keep the critical energy infrastructure of Ukraine functional, and it is in everyday communication with the Ukrainian Ministry of Energy. European Collaboration Cluster platform (ECCP) and European Cluster Alliance (ECA) supported these initiatives inviting European clusters to support these initiative on 25th of October

However it is impossible to quickly restore energy infrastructure as many kinds of equipment (such as high-mid voltage electrical power transformers, circuit breakers) have a long cycle of manufacturing and they are in shortage in supply chains throughout the world. You can find the full list of equipment in this category here

Call from Ukrainian Cluster Alliance

Alternative way to ensure energy supply is about immediate delivery of energy backup supply. Ukrainian Cluster Alliance (UCA) as the member of European Cluster Alliance (ECA) calls on European clusters to consolidate and mobilize efforts in this way. 

UCA includes 40 clusters in Ukraine which unites 2000+ SMEs in different industries, from textile and agri-food to machinery. UCA created the special Working Group (WG) considering options of collective reaction and, as 1st step, it asked their members about urgent needs in backup supply and impact of their operations.

The answers say that most SMEs, clusters members are very affected by rolling blackouts. As electricity is disrupted several times per day by 3-5 hours, it makes huge dependence on manufacturing facilities on backup energy supplies such as electrical generators. Many enterprises do not have them as such equipment is in huge deficit in Ukraine. All that means huge operational losses. Surveyed CEOs of SMEs, clusters members say that if the situation continues they will be obliged to stop operations. 

As example, Sergiy Kryvulyanskyy, the owner and CEO of a SME from textile industry from Podillya Fashion cluster, Khmelnytskyi region, says

 “Before the war we gave the jobs to 25 workers and showed the small but steady growth of sales. In the 1st month of the war our turnover decreased by 60% and we had to reduce the number of workers to 15. It took us 6 months to restore production volume to the level of before the war, even though the number of jobs has slightly increased (to 17 people). But in October, during attacks on energy infrastructure we have a set of new critical issues in operation

  • Some manufacturing equipment is damaged as during rolling blackout we observe jumps of voltage and we do not have enough power stabilizers. It leads us to additional expenses for repair of damaged equipment
  • The productivity dropped of 30-40% and we can not keep terms of delivery to our customers as agreed in deals. It means new penalties according to the contracts
  • We had to fire 3 people and this is just the beginning of problems.

So, if this situation lasts still 2-3 months and I do not find the solution with energy supply, I will lose many new orders and staff reduction will take more scale.”

UCA reports about similar situations in many manufacturing SMEs, clusters members. During all previous months, and when 40% SMEs closed their business through Ukraine, UCA emphasized that keeping working is the main challenge of Ukrainian clusters. Today this challenge is still higher.

So, UCA’s clusters answers of the recent survey form the next picture of current needs

1) Generators:

  • 1 phase 230 V
    •  3-12 kW – 35 pcs
    • 25-5000 kW – 14 pcs
  • 3 phase 400 V
    • 5-30 kW – 25 pcs
    • 40-100kW – 15 pcs 

2) Uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) – 128 pcs

3) Stabilizers – 92 pcs

4) Power banks – 166 pcs

Many of UCA clusters members are ready to buy this equipment when humanitarian aid is welcome as well.

UCA greatly appreciates the help from ECA and of many European clusters we had since the beginning of the war in Ukraine. Thanks to our common efforts we were able to continue operations and keep the Ukrainian economic front. But now the situation has become worse. 

UCA calls on European clusters to consider options of delivering the equipment from the mentioned list to Ukrainian SMEs, clusters members. 

For any details and coordination actions, please address to the head of WG ‘Cluster response to Energy crisis’ Anatoliy Dolynnyy,, or the head of UCA Alexandre Yurchak,

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