The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a development institution part of the World Bank Group, agreed on 19 June to provide a financing package to Ukrainian grain trader Nibulon to aid in improving grain transportation in the country.

The US$100M loan package was intended to help strengthen agri-related infrastructure, reduce crop losses and enhance global food security, IFC said in a statement.

Nibulon is one of the largest domestic producers and exporters of agricultural products including wheat, barley, corn, rye and sunflower.

Its transhipment terminal for grain and oilseed crops in Mykolayiv city handles wheat, barley, corn and rapeseed. It also has elevators in Cherkasy, Kherson, Khmelnyts’kyv, Kyiv, Mykolayiv, Poltava, Zaporizhzhya and Zhytomyr, regions handling these crops.

In addition, it operates a fleet of vessels along the river transport waters in Ukraine.

The IFC said Nibulon was planning to use its funds to modernise and expand its shipping terminals and increase its trading volumes by 40% to approximately 7M tonnes by 2021.

The company’s CEO, Oleskiy Vadatursky, said Nibulon was working on a long-term investment programme that would also contribute to developing Ukraine’s agri sector.

“Last year, we managed to optimise transport costs for grain delivery, reduce delivery times and free up roads in several regions. In the next two to three years, we plan to create a modern system to store and transport grain,” Vadatursky explained.

Nibulon sourced its agri commodities from more than 4,700 farmers across Ukraine, to which it added value through securing storage, transportation, cleaning, and drying.

The company said it was actively investing in developing river transportation, providing a cost-efficient and more environmentally-friendly option to truck and rail transport.

Ukraine is a global leader in producing grains and oilseeds, according to IFC, accounting for 10% of global wheat, 15% of corn and 20% of barley trade.

“This investment is well-aligned with our strategy to help Ukraine maximise its agribusiness potential through modernisation and better access to finance and knowledge,” said IFC’s regional head for Ukraine, Belarus Jason Pellmar.