Glass Production in Ukraine

by Olha Povaliaieva
Thursday, July 21, 2022
Glass Production in Ukraine

Previously, sand-rich Ukraine exported glass from other countries. It's time to open own production

Before the war, Ukraine bought 75% of glass from Russia and Belarus. Restoration requires thousands of tons of glass. It is not produced in Ukraine, and before the war, it was imported mainly from hostile countries: Ukraine imported three-quarters of glass from Russia and Belarus.

The Ministry of community and territory development estimates that 116.000 residential buildings, dozens of shopping malls, businesses, offices and other properties were destroyed or damaged in Ukraine during the four months of the war.

Svetlana Startseva, deputy director of the Ministry's housing policy and improvement department, says that 60% of the damaged houses need significant repairs, and only 25% have received minor damage. Usually, we are talking about broken windows, but such glass is not produced in Ukraine.

All glass, from which metal-plastic windows are made in Ukraine, is imported from abroad. According to the State Customs Service, in 2021, Ukraine imported almost 340.000 tons of thermally polished glass worth more than $150 million.

More than 70% of glass was imported from aggressor countries. Russia accounted for about 150.000 tons, Belarus — for about 100.000 tons. Other materials were imported to Ukraine from Poland, Turkey, Bulgaria and several other countries. After the start of the war, they stopped importing glass from Russia/Belarus. Oleksii Bubnov, executive director of the Association of window and facade market participants, said that now the glass is imported to Ukraine from the EU countries (Poland, Bulgaria), Turkey and Azerbaijan.

Be that as it may, window replacement in 2022 will cost more than in 2021. According to Bubnov, the cost of glass over the past twelve months has increased by one and a half times, and the price of windows by at least 50% due to the increase in the cost of fittings.

There are enough window manufacturers in Ukraine. According to the profile association, more than 80% of factories resumed production in April. Up to 10% of the capacities are located in the occupied territories, and the same amount is in the zone of active hostilities.

"One large domestic manufacturer of window profiles, located not far from Kyiv, has unfortunately been destroyed. It will be possible to restore it only after the war. However, it has retained stocks and continues to work. Another manufacturer remained in the occupied Nova Kakhovka. Why has not started production yet, a small manufacturer in Brovary, where the facilities were not destroyed. All the rest, including importers, are working", Oleksii Bubnov.

Ukrainian manufacturers have no problems with logistics. Most of them are concentrated in the western regions and the metropolitan area. Ukrainian factories produce almost all components for the production of windows, except for glass.

Window profile manufacturers provide 65-70% of market needs, hardware manufacturers — 50%. Some of them exported part of their products before the war.

Dozens of glass factories operate in Ukraine, but they mainly produce glass containers. For modern windows, their material is not suitable. Double-glazed windows need high-quality thermo-polished glass, which is produced by casting in a bath of molten iron. It is perfectly smooth, durable and transparent.

The production process of thermopolished glass is continuous and resembles steel smelting. The construction of a plant for producing such glass, according to Bubnov, costs more than $80 million. In 2019, they started talking about the construction of a modern glass factory in Borodyanka in the Kyiv region with a capacity of 600 tons of glass per day, or more than 200.000 tons per year. Investors were going to invest $300 million in the project.

This would cover two-thirds of the domestic market's needs and reduce the glass cost through easier logistics. However, the construction of the plant did not begin.

There are plenty of sand reserves in Ukraine. According to the data portal of the extractive industry of Ukraine, there are 42 such deposits in the state. The most explored reserves — almost 40% of the total — area in the Kharkiv region.

So, Ukraine has raw materials, industrial area and technologies for glass production. If you are ready to develop this area in Ukraine, contact GT Invest and let's open a glass factory together.

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