The Ukrainian government is currently investing record sums in the construction and repair of what is one of Europe’s most extensive but poorly maintained road networks. This nationwide upgrade promises to transform Ukraine’s transportation potential and bring significant economic benefits by connecting different Ukrainian regions while building on the country’s vast transit potential. Turkey’s ONUR Company is at the forefront of these road improvement efforts, having already carried out many of Ukraine’s most successful and prominent road infrastructure projects of the past thirteen years.
ONUR Company is a globally active group with a portfolio including large-scale projects in Saudi Arabia, Croatia, Moldova, Turkmenistan, Tunisia and Turkey itself. The company has received a string of international awards and has ranked among the top 140 international contractors according to Engineering News Record magazine’s Global Best Project Awards in 2012, 2013 and 2014.
ONUR arrived in Ukraine in 2004 and first rose to public prominence thanks to a series of road, highway and infrastructure projects in Lviv and the surrounding region. The company currently employs over 2000 people in Ukraine and has an expanding portfolio of Ukrainian projects including sections of the Kyiv-Chop, Kyiv-Kharkiv-Dovzhanskiy, and Kyiv-Odesa highways.
The company credits its success in Ukraine to a number of factors including a wealth of international experience, a highly qualified team of local and international experts, and one of the largest machinery parks in the country. ONUR has also implemented unique asphalt production technologies in Ukraine developed to meet the specific seasonal demands of the country’s climatic conditions.
With Ukraine set to boost state funding for road construction and repair works in 2018 by 37% to around USD 1.7 billion, there is obvious scope for further expansion of ONUR’s activities in the country. The company is encouraged by the current commitment to road infrastructure investment demonstrated by the government, with ONUR officials identifying a number of key issues that could contribute to the long-term success of this ambitious upgrade. One important step is the clear classification of all Ukrainian roads, with the main national routes classified in the first category subject to appropriate standards and requirements. ONUR officials also point to issues relating to the delivery of construction materials, either from quarries or from stock areas. Delivery of these materials via railroad services is currently subject to complications due to state regulations limiting the number of railroad cars allocated for these purposes. Revision of these regulations could significantly expedite construction processes and help the overall development of the national road infrastructure.
As Ukraine looks to revitalize the country’s road transport network, ONUR officials also support renewed focus on traffic management and road safety issues. They argue that in order to minimize the number of traffic accidents across the country, Ukraine’s roads should be equipped with all the necessary features including safety barriers, illumination poles, traffic signs and visible road markings.
Meanwhile, to make sure the current spike in investment brings long-term gains, they also point to the need to provide continuous maintenance, either via the state road authorities or through reliable private sector companies with a record of performing such works. This long-term maintenance is also part of the ONUR portfolio in Ukraine and is particularly relevant given the country’s previous post-Soviet experience of road repairs that have all-too-often provided temporary improvements before deteriorating within a relatively short period.
As well as its core construction focus, ONUR is involved in a number of additional spheres in Ukraine. The company manufactures high-quality concrete and reinforced concrete structures, while providing raw materials such as limestone, sand and crushed aggregate from company quarries.
Officials also stress ONUR’s corporate social responsibility policies, which involve support for local community events throughout Ukraine along with provision of technical support for local institutions and investment into the development of social projects at the regional level.