Opinions Infrastructure DMZ Karpaty 01 May 2023
Also, the company has set up a new line of activity – repair of diesel locomotives
Ukrainian industrial enterprises faced a lot of problems during the war, but they are trying to solve them, continuing to produce basic products, diversifying their work areas and working for export as much as possible. One of these enterprises is the Research and Mechanical Plant «Karpaty» (Noviy Rozdil, Lviv region).
Areas of activity
In the current conditions, the enterprise works in several directions.
- Carriage construction.
In the first quarter of 2023, 237 new freight railcars were produced. The company’s order portfolio was formed by August. Due to staffing problems, we do not increase production volumes, but we maintain the stated production volumes steadily from month to month.
Despite the war, the plant produced 30% more products in 2022 than in 2021.
The cost of railcars mainly fluctuates due to the increase in prices for rolled steel. Despite the fact that the war is going on, during the year we made import substitution for all products. Today we have the opportunity to buy all spare parts that were previously bought abroad in Ukraine. There is a fluctuation in the price of about 5-7%.
- Production of steel structures (press compactors, containers, etc.).
Despite the military actions, the plant continues to develop and modernize its production facilities. More than UAH 50 million has been invested in updating the machine park for 2022.
- Repair of diesel locomotives (new direction).
At the beginning of 2022, 18 km of access tracks belonged to DHHE «Sirka». We bought this asset, which included a locomotive depot. The old owner did not invest a single penny there for more than 30 years. The depot was destroyed and was in a terrible condition.
In 6 months, we repaired and reconstructed the depot, purchased the necessary equipment for repairs, and certified the production. In this way, we became one of the few enterprises that has a certified wheel and cart shop with the possibility of repairing any wheel pairs for diesel locomotives. As a result, 60 new jobs were created.
Despite the surplus of diesel locomotive repair capacity in Ukraine, we decided to develop this direction, as we see a perspective in it. Due to the fact that 80% of Ukrainian diesel locomotives are produced by the enterprises of the aggressor country, the future lies in modernization and remotorization. Also, our plans for the next 5 years include the production of new diesel locomotives.
New markets for steel structures
We invested more than UAH 50 million in new equipment with the aim of optimizing production, additional automation and mechanization. This makes it possible to increase product quality and labor productivity. This equipment will allow us to produce bridge structures, which will be in demand during the post-war reconstruction of the country.
Due to the instability of the domestic market, the company is diversifying its sales in terms of exporting press compactors to Europe. To date, together with our partners, we have set up 5 new models. Having studied the new direction and market features, we already have stable customers in Austria, Germany and the Czech Republic. We hope for the successful development of this direction in order not to lose the personnel potential of the enterprise, which today is staffed with great difficulties.
Industrial steel consumption
Our main areas of activity – railcars building and production of steel structures consume a large amount of steel products. Today, we use about 1.5 thousand tons of rolled steel per month.
We try to buy the entire amount of steel only on the Ukrainian market, despite the fact that the price of some items may be a little more expensive than that of European companies. We support Ukrainian producers and Ukrainian products in every possible way. It is interesting that certain positions of rolled steel in Europe are cheaper than those of Ukrainian producers.
Logistics has changed only for some items of rolled steel, as we have started importing European metal. The reason for the need to import was also the impossibility of obtaining steel products from steel plants in the city of Mariupol. Previously, we received special profiles for railcar construction, which were produced by the Azovstal Iron and Steel Works, and sheet rolled steel – by Ilyich Iron and Steel Works.
Every month, the company increases volumes, connects its partner schemes, so we do not have any urgent questions regarding the supply of rolled steel and logistics. Our key partner – Metinvest – understands the situation on the market, thanks to which we were able to establish close and constructive communication.