The attractiveness of a certain country/region as trade partner for the EU not relates to the availability of biomass, but also to the political stability and local governance, the investment climate and potential projections to use the available biomass for domestic applications (energy and other). Also sustainability governance for forestry or agriculture are considered as this will be an important requirement from EU side for potentially imported biomass. The table below gives an overview of the main strengths and weaknesses of Ukraine as a trade partner for biomass with the EU.

SWOT principle






Mobilisation opportunities

Options to mobilise the production/ harvest of biomass for exports

High technical potential of agricultural residues that could be available within acceptable price ranges.  

The difficult political and economic situation in Ukraine make the country less than attractive for investors

The dependence on Russian gas might trigger the increased mobilisation of residues/biomass also for domestic purposes

The aim to become more self-sufficient could result in increased local use of biomass resources.

The risk is that resources will solely be mobilized for regional purposes.

Security of supply

Stable amount of exportable biomass available over next 10 years

Large amounts of technical potential, mainly in the form of agricultural residues. Considering the importance of agricultural production in Ukraine, and the fact that there is very little competition with other purposes, this is very likely to be available.


The poor investment climate in Ukraine combined with a reluctance of local agricultural companies to form long-term contracts, makes it difficult to contract large amounts of biomass for longer periods


There are opportunities for large land holders, notably Western European companies, to invest in the export of biomass residues. The limited local use of residues, and existing trade patterns with EU countries could facilitate export.


In case biomass is used locally to replace natural gas, this may limit opportunities for exports.

Cost of biomass in ARA ports

€/ton DM and €/GJ

Cost are low compared to other case study regions as a result of the close proximity to Europe

Adverse weather conditions (snow, ice) as well as poor road quality in some regions could significantly increase logistic costs

Association treaty with EU could (when ratified) make trade easier

Future prices of exportable biomass feedstock could increase because of increased competition with local uses. Currently agricultural residues are very cheap, if a market starts to arise, residues will probably become more expensive.

Environmental issues (air, water, biodiversity and soil) are not negatively affected

Feedstock production does not affect negatively local environmental conditions

Large potential for the use of agricultural residues or energy crops on agricultural land, this is associated with relatively modest environmental issues. Partly straw is currently burnt in the open air – this could be prevented when it is utilized for energy.

Ukraine is characterized by very fertile soils, to maintain this is very important in order to safeguard future production.



Life cycle GHG emissions incl. direct LUC

GHG LCA assessment in agreement with IPCC guidelines along the supply chain

The feedstock production and supply chains shows GHG savings of 85-90% in comparison with fossil alternatives

ILUC CO2 emissions are not included, these could affect the GHG balance



Social issues are not negatively affected

Feedstock production does not affect negatively local social conditions

Creation of jobs in collecting and pretreating residues


Investments of foreign based corporations in agricultural areas, may improve social issues

Social policies may exist on paper but are not always implemented


Existence of policies and regulations to regulate feedstock production. Implementation/Enforcement of national, local regulations as well as relevant international convention

Ukraine has problems with Regulatory Quality, Rule of Law and Control of Corruption, scoring low on the Worldwide Governance Indicators index. Furthermore, the country has deteriorated on these points. The main weakness as the moment is the Political Stability


Between 2009 and 2014 the county has improved greatly on Government Effectiveness

High general level of corruption.

The difficult political and economic situation in Ukraine could result in worsening governance