10 August 2022

Before the war Tana manufacturing enterprise from Sievierodonetsk produced polymer granules for the automotive, construction and furniture industries. In March, due to the war, the company was forced to leave its workshops and part of its equipment, and look for a new location in a safer region to resume operation.

The company had its own trucks, so Tana did not have to pay a lot of money to organize transportation.

“Since the beginning of the war, the cost of freight transportation from Luhansk Oblast has increased tenfold, and in some places even 20 times. If before the war, a truck from Sievierodonetsk to Dnipro cost 10,000 hryvnias, in March I was quoted a price of 100,000 hryvnias, and sometimes 200,000 hryvnias,” says Serhii Voitiuk, Director of Tana production and commercial company.

The manager formed a team online that agreed to transport products and equipment from the company’s workshops. The stock of finished products was evacuated first, as it can be sold to quickly replenish working capital. Later, the company began to dismantle equipment in the workshops – extruders for producing composite materials and auxiliary tools. The team had to work under fire and in the dark, because the electricity was cut off due to shelling. In such conditions they were only able to dismantle and move half of the equipment.

More than ten trips were made from March to May.

“Our company is located near the Azot plant. There was no bombing there for a while, so it was possible to drive. But the enemy tracked the trucks; once on the road from Lysychansk to Bakhmut a quadrocopter flew over and then dropped a projectile near the warehouse. Fortunately, the dismantled equipment had been moved by then. That was our last trip,” says Voitiuk.

The evacuated equipment was first stored in Dnipro in rented warehouses. The company decided to move to Uman, and looked for housing for workers and production premises in Cherkasy Oblast. Ten families of Tana workers agreed to move from Luhansk Oblast to the new region.

Economic Resilience Activity (ERA) partner Ukrainian Food Association of Food Manufacturers played a significant role in choosing a place for production relocation. The association organized meetings with local businesses and authorities, which helped Tana find premises that best met its requirements.

In June Tana started manufacture again. It has lost some customers who stayed in occupied Kherson region, or in Kharkiv where they cannot work as there is shelling daily.

Tana resumed export orders from Uman for customers in the automotive and furniture industry in Belgium and Germany. The enterprise now employs 16 people, down from 85 before the war.

Tana produces window seals, which now are in demand on the market.

“There are a lot of destroyed buildings in Ukraine that need new windows. We manufacture a polymer sealant for double-glazed windows, and believe that there may be great demand in this segment. Now we are cooperating with window manufacturers in Ukraine and looking for new partners,” says Voitiuk. “The raw materials for our products are imported, and in recent months the exchange rate has increased, fuel has become more expensive, and there are difficulties with logistics, all of which affect the cost price of our product.”

The location of production facilities in Uman is logistically advantageous for the enterprise, because any city in Ukraine can be reached within a day. Nevertheless, Tana is considering moving to other regions. Voitiuk, like his employees, wants to return to his native Luhansk Oblast and rebuild the region after victory. The team also plans to begin production of biodegradable plates from corn, for which equipment was purchased a few months before the war.