By Olga Rosca
Ukraine’s leading yeast producer Enzym is set to expand production thanks to a €10 million (US$12.22million)loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). The project is co-financed by a €3 million loan provided by the TaiwanICDF.
In addition, EU4Business Fund in Ukraine has funded environmental and social due diligence and legal costs. Enzym is a market leader in Ukraine, and now exports 40 per cent of its production to 16 countries in Europe, Asia and Africa.
As conventional yeast is a commodity-type product with limited market growth, the owners of Enzym, the siblings Olena and Rostyslav Vovk, are now investing in the construction of a state-of-the-art facility for yeast-based food ingredients – a fast growing market segment.
Made from the same fresh yeast that is used in bread, beer and wine production, yeast extract has a savoury meaty taste. Made of beet residue molasses and rich in B vitamins, it creates opportunities for moving to a more plant-based diet; promoting a more sustainable, environmentally friendly lifestyle. Yeast extracts can also be used as a healthy taste enhancer and salt substitute.
The €26 million investment programme, to construct the first-of-its-kind-in-Ukraine plant for specialty yeast products in Lviv, will allow the company to capture a rapidly growing market segment, diversifying its product range to include high value-added products and grow export sales.
Decision about the new plant construction followed on from results of the assessment of yeast extracts production technology and new market opportunities with the help of the EBRD’s International Advisory programme.
The EBRD is the largest international financial investor in Ukraine. To date, the Bank has made a cumulative commitment of almost €14.5 billion through 486 projects in the country.