YEAR IN REVIEW: Under the sign of Euro 2012
08 January 2013 |
The outgoing year for Ukraine's infrastructure was marked by the holding of the Euro 2012 European Football Championship, to be more precise, preparations for it, as the country hastily reconstructed and built stadiums and hotels, and the country's transport infrastructure tried to keep up with these changes.
When it became clear that new roads would not be built ahead of Euro 2012 and that most fans would arrive in Ukraine by plane, the emphasis in the preparation of the transport infrastructure for the tournament was placed on airports.
The country's main airport – Boryspil International Airport – received new Terminal D, the largest in Ukraine, ahead of the football tournament. The implementation of this project lasted from November 2008 to May 2012, and its cost was UAH 4.8 billion, including foreign investment.
The new terminal is not currently operating at full capacity. The airport can service 15 million passengers per year, while annual passenger traffic at the airport in 2011 was only eight million passengers.
In addition, a new compact and convenient international terminal was built in Kyiv's second airport – Zhuliany. The airport is one of the country's five largest airports in terms of passenger traffic, and in 2012 it plans to service 850,000 passengers, or 80% more than in 2011.
Kharkiv Airport was also reconstructed. Airport Consulting Vienna (Austria) and Airport Research Center (Germany) developed a project for the large-scale reconstruction of the airport. Its implementation began in the second half of 2008. A modern two-story terminal was built, the runway, apron and taxiways were reconstructed, and a parking area was constructed. The reconstruction of the terminal was funded by Development Construction Holding (DCH), an investment company owned by businessman Oleksandr Yaroslavsky, whereas the airfield's reconstruction was financed from the state budget.
In addition, Donetsk International Airport also received a new modern terminal ahead of the European football championship, which has seven floors, and three of them are main ones. The airport can handle 3,100 passengers per hour. The airport, except the terminal building, also has a bus station, a three-story parking garage, an outdoor parking area, and a parking lot for 20 buses. In addition to the new terminal, the airport received a new artificial runway capable of taking any type of aircraft, including Boeing-747s and Airbus-380s.
Lviv Airport was also modernized. On April 12, 2012, the airport opened a new terminal that was also constructed as part of preparations for Euro 2012.
The new terminal can service over 2,000 passengers per hour. The state invested about UAH 3 billion in the project.
In general, aviation infrastructure was completely prepared for the major football event of 2012.
RAILWAY STATIONS AND TRAINS
Ukrainian railways also prepared for Euro 2012. The railway infrastructure was hastily modernized ahead of the tournament, and additional routes for the movement of trains to the host cities were developed.
In addition, tourists and fans saw a new station railway complex in Donetsk, which, after its reconstruction, instead of 15,000 passengers, can service more than 35,000 passengers per day. The total area of the railway station increased from 5,800 square meters to 21,593 square meters.
At the same time, the main event in the passenger rail sector was the purchase of ten new for high-speed trains produced by South Korea's Hyundai Rotem, worth about $307 million. The purchase was 85% financed through a $261 million loan issued by the Export-Import Bank of Korea for ten years under government guarantees.
The new trains gradually arrived by sea to Odesa and then started running from Kyiv to all Euro 2012 host cities - Lviv, Kharkiv and Donetsk. Later, in the autumn of 2012, Hyundai trains started running to Dnipropetrovsk.
Meanwhile, the new trains were marked not only by a new design and speed, but also by new problems. So, initially there were problems with pantographs, and in some cases their air conditioning system malfunctioned, and the weather in Ukraine last summer was quite hot.
Furthermore, problems in new trains became more frequent in cold weather, and during December frosts the Korean trains often could not complete their trips and were towed by domestic locomotives. As a result, the bad experience was criticized by the prime minister and the president, who asked a rhetorical question: why were domestic trains produced by Kriukov Car Building Works not purchased?
At the same time, Hyundai Corporation said at the end of the year that it had detected all of the faults that prevent Hyundai Rotem trains from operating properly in Ukraine and that it is planning to eliminate them in two or three weeks. According to the manufacturer, the defects are the result of several flaws committed during the design and manufacture of the trains and a limited trial period connected with the need to ensure timely transportation of passengers by rail during the Euro 2012 European Football Championship.
NOT ONLY EURO 2012...
Despite the main football event of the year, in 2012, Ukraine also saw significant events in the legislative provision of the infrastructure sector.
First and foremost, on February 23, the Verkhovna Rada adopted as a whole a bill on the principles of creating a state joint-stock company for public railway transport with 100% of its shares owned by the state. The new entity will be formed through the merger of State Railways Administration Ukrzaliznytsia and public railway enterprises, institutions, and organizations.
Ukrzaliznytsia currently expects the new composition of the Cabinet of Ministers to adopt a respective resolution, in order to expand the reform in full.
Secondly, in June, President Viktor Yanukovych signed a landmark law on seaports, which was prepared for about ten years. The law permits the leasing or concession of ports' moorings for up to 49 years. Integrated property complexes of state-run enterprises and shares in economic entities created in the process of corporatization on the basis of workshops, production facilities and other divisions of seaports can be privatized. It is proposed that integrated property complexes and 100% of public joint-stock company will be sold at tenders.