The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a division of the World Bank Group, has opened a 35 million USD credit line for 7 years for the OKKO filling stations network. The company plans to use the proceeds primarily to expand the program of providing agricultural producers with fuel and fertilizers, as well as to improve logistics infrastructure, modernize its oil depots and filling stations.
“Funding from leading international institutions specializing in the sustainable and efficient development of both individual countries and entire sectors of the economy has enabled our company to grow from a small regional enterprise into a holding company on a national scale. Now, in this difficult quarantine period, attracting investment from international partners such as IFC will increase our ability to support the country's agricultural sector by USD 50 million annually,” commented Vitaliy Antonov, founder of OKKO Group, President of OKKO network.
Drought and economic downturn due to quarantine carry significant risks for farmers. According to the forecasts of industry experts and the Ministry of Economy, this year is expected to significantly reduce yields compared to last year. Under these conditions, support for the agricultural sector should become one of the priorities of a socially responsible business.
“We support our long-time partner Concern Galnaftogaz, and together we create an efficient logistics infrastructure for fuel and mineral fertilizers in Ukraine, as well as promote a leading in the business of high-speed charging stations in the country. This is even more important in the context of the current economic downturn in Ukraine caused by the pandemic, said Jason Pellmar, IFC Regional Manager for Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova. "The agricultural component of the project will also help the company expand a new market for small Ukrainian farmers and encourage many more Ukrainian suppliers to accept agricultural receipts offered under the IFC program."
During the first five months of this year, 36% more contracts were concluded under the OKKO program to provide agricultural producers than during the same period last year.
As of the end of 2019, the OKKO program to support agricultural producers has completed three full seasons. Each season, the number of applications from the agro-industrial complex has almost doubled. In 2016, they started with 96 applications, and last season they received almost 400. The total value of OKKO's inquiries from farmers during the entire period of the program's operation reached 10.1 billion UAH.
Every year OKKO deepens its presence in the agricultural sector. In addition to providing the agricultural sector with fuel, mineral fertilizers, natural gas, and the company also purchases oilseeds, processes them at internal enterprises, obtaining oil and meal. The vast majority of manufactured products are exported. This makes it possible to increase the value added of goods produced in Ukraine and receive foreign exchange earnings for the company.