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How business can help Ukraine build a more robust Infrastructure & Industry

The news about blackouts in Ukraine is staggering. Yet, the infrastructure stays strong and far from being completely destroyed. And still the business is suffering and needs to adjust to a new normal. What key challenges Ukrainian industry faces due to the infrastructural damages and how can the global business community react to this – this was a topic of our most recent webinar co-organized with BEMAS and APPAU.

BEMAS, the Belgian Maintenance Association is a dynamic non-profit organization for Maintenance and Asset Management Professionals has been cooperating with APPAU, the Association of Industrial Automation of Ukraine, on the topics of Asset Management since 2020. 

And the need for asset management is clear. If you look at the report from IoT Analytics, predictive maintenance, quality inspection & assurance, manufacturing process optimization are the top 3 industrial AI use cases. And these topics are covered by Asset Performance 4.0 – the initiative and online community started by BEMAS.

From IoT Analytics

Yet, 2022 and the situation with Russian invasion into Ukraine has changed the situation drastically and moved other challenges higher into the priority list.

  • 50% of energy infrastructure of Ukraine is damaged;
  • all regions experience rolling blackouts for more than 6 hours per day and sometimes exceed 24 hours;
  • the productivity sharply decreases in most of economic sectors;
  • the replacement of equipment is challenged by the long production life cycle among the majority of vendors;
  • there is still a major potential risk of a complete blackout.

Thus the Asset Performance Management in 2022 is replaced by Asset Safety Management. At least, it is a priority for Ukraine. Which includes but is not limited to the following needs – safety first, and focusing on the key priorities: spare parts delivery, safety and retention of staff, and CERT in utilities.

And here the global business community together with BEMAS can help Ukrainian industry survive these literally dark times.

The current needs for repair and maintenance of infrastructure and industry in Ukraine are the following:

  1. Urgent needs – where APPAU can serves as a communicator and matchmaker (exact list is attached)
    1. Hi-mid voltage electrical equipment (35-110 – 330 -750 kV)
    2. Backup power supply (electric generators 15-50 kW)
  2. Post war projects – where APPAU is a a key player at building ecosystem elements.
    1. Standardization
    2. Education / reskilling – upskilling
    3. Reactive -> Preventive & Predictive

The majority of participants of the webinar showed their readiness to respond by other means, rather than to react to the urgent or plan post-war projects. And we have already started to receive emails with detailed proposals and are already working on them. 

What key challenges we see in 2022:

1. Absence or insufficient level of appropriate State policies and necessary measures

2. Low level of culture and awareness of most enterprises, especially the Utility sector

3. Lack of modern service centers, training and expertise centers

4. Overall fragmentation and gaps in the state and pace of digitization and implementation of modern methods

How we see the possible input of Belgian and European companies: 

  1. Improving State policies in critical infrastructure (standardization, changes in regulation, fostering maintenance teams, CERTs in Utilities)
  2. Educating end users and forming a market culture through:
    1. Series of online workshops / exchange of BP & experiences
    2. Implementation ISO 5500, ISO 31000, IEC 61508/511
    3. Preparation of independent consultant / auditors 
    4. Creation of modern Centers of training in Maintenance
    5. CERT (on service-based model) in Utilities
    6. Changing the program of education in colleges and universities.
  3. Faster integration into the EU space through:
    1. Common participation in Horizon Europe / Digital Europe (all topic with concern of Safety/ Security and Maintenance)
    2. International aid to key operator in Ukraine in transition to modern standards

And the readiness of the webinar’s audience was the following:

No matter where you stand on the following proposals, if you have any and see yourself ready and capable to step in, please write to Alex Yurchak, the head of APPAU – yurchak.alexandre@appau.org.ua.

Moreover, we invite you to check out the following:

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