Caris, a South Korean company that first made guardrails using synthetic plastic polymer PVC, said Nov. 22 that it plans to set up a joint venture with Ukrainian investors for infrastructure projects that are expected to be worth a combined $1.4 billion.
The new entity will be joined by Caris, Ukrainian investment banking house Sokrat Investment Group and the State Finance Institution for Innovations of Ukraine. Caris and Sokrat will evenly own 45.5 percent, while SFII will hold 9 percent.
The JV is slated for launch in December and will be led by Caris’ CEO Yu Cheol.
The two-year infrastructure project is aimed at refurbishing Ukraine’s road network -- around 170,000 kilometers in total -- at a cost of $1 billion and setting up some 6,800 new charging points at around 800 stations for $340 million with a local electric vehicle firm, in a state-led push to modernize roads and improve their poor condition.
“Ukraine is seeing a spike in demand for EVs, and subsequently, charging stations for EVs,” Yu told reporters at a press briefing held Nov. 22.
The introduction of EV-friendly infrastructure will accelerate diesel car owners’ transition to EVs, said Sokrat Managing Partner Vladlen Levchuk.
The rest of the budget will be used to install PVC-based guardrails by Caris.
“Caris’ guardrail product not only features cutting-edge technologies but are also financially effective as the JVC material can be recycled. I hoped we could install Caris’ products across the whole country,” said Volodymyr Stavniuk, head of SFII.
The company, based in Uijengbu, Gyeonggi Province, is considering creating production lines for its PVC guardrail products in Ukraine, according to Yu of Caris. Also by the year-end the JV will raise some 50 billion won ($42.4 million) from a fund managed by Sokrat and SFII, in a bid to acquire multiple small and midsized road construction firms there.
The three entities signed a memorandum of agreement earlier in November.
Prior to the announcement, Caris has sealed partnerships for infrastructure projects in countries such as Uzbekistan, the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand.
By Son Ji-hyoung (firstname.lastname@example.org)