UKRAINE: The Poltavavagon engineering group controlled by entrepreneur Sergei Tigipko has announced plans to relaunch the production of tank wagons at the Poltavakhimmash plant in Poltava, having acquired the site following the insolvency of the Azovmash industrial group.

According to local media, Azovmash had taken out extensive loans secured by mortgages over the Poltavakhimmash plant. When the group defaulted on its repayments, the plant was seized and it is now being put up for sale in lots.

Tigipko’s TAS Group acquired the main 56 000 m2 production building for 34m hryvnia in 2020, and Poltavavagon recently bought a further 35 600 m2 for 29·7m hryvnia when the site came up for auction recently. Tigiko reportedly plans to buy up the remaining administration buildings and other facilities when they are offered for sale.

With the collapse of sales to the Russian market, the production of freight wagons in Ukraine fell from around 50 000 in 2011 to 1 948 vehicles in 2021. The Poltavakhimmash plant produced 36 wagons last year, with Poltavavagon building just four. National railway UZ has announced plans to build 1 496 wagons this year at its own plants, representing an investment of 2·55bn hryvnia.