Chemical and petrochemical industry
The multi-branch chemical sector of Ukraine includes chemical, petrochemical and chemical-pharmaceutic sub-sectors with over 1,600 enterprises and structural units. The sector accounts for nearly 10% of industrial fixed assets and over 5% of all those employed by Ukrainian industrial sector. About 90% of the capital assets and about 80% employees involved in the industry are concentrated in chemical sector. Petrochemical and chemical-pharmaceutic sub-sectors account for the remaining production potential.
The chemical industry provides the basis for an extensive use of chemical technologies and man-made materials by the national economy. This sector ensures scientific and technical progress, and increases the efficiency of many industrial sectors, agriculture and construction. In Ukraine, manufacturing of various kinds of chemical products (niter, salts, alkali, etc.) was established long ago. However, the sector began developing as an industry only in the late 1800s. At that time, the industry was represented by plants manufacturing dyes, soda, superphosphate, etc. At present, the chemical industry is a developed multi-branch industrial sector.
Until 1990, Ukraine was producing 16% of the total of mineral fertilizers in the former Soviet Union, 24% plant-protection chemicals, 18% sulfuric acid, 25% soda ash, 16% caustic soda, and 13% chemical fiber.
The structure of the chemical sector includes two groups of enterprises – chemical and petrochemical ones. Within the structure of the industry, predominant are asset- and energy-intensive basic chemistry enterprises. This sector is represented by production of mineral fertilizers, non-organic acids and soda. Nitric fertilizers are manufactured in Donbas (Severodonetsk, Horlivka) and Prydniprovia (Dniprodzerzhinsk). Rivne and Cherkasy enterprises use natural gas in their production. Phosphate fertilizers are manufactured in sugar-beet producing areas (Sumy, Vinnytsia) and in Odesa and Kostyantyniv (Donetsk oblast). Production of sulfuric acid is concentrated in the regions where it is consumed and in the centers of phosphate fertilizers production. Basic chemistry is concentrated in the Crimea and comprises production of bromine, magnesium and iodine.
Enterprises of the organic synthesis industry manufacturing synthetic resins, plastic masses, chemical fiber, man-made caoutchouc and threads are located in Donetsk, Zaporizhzhya, Kyiv, Chernihiv, Cherkasy, etc.
The petrochemical industry manufactures a variety of products, of which the most important are car and motor-cycle tires (Dnipropetrovsk, Bila Tserkva), hoses, and consumer goods. The regions where petrochemical and rubber-asbestos enterprises are concentrated are Donbas, Prydniprovia, Prysivashia and Prykarpattya. The major centers of the sector are Kyiv, Cherkasy, Chernihiv, Shostka, Sumy and Rubizhne.
Considerable structural changes are under way in the chemical industry. State-owned enterprises are less than one-fifth of the total number of chemical industry enterprises manufacturing about one-third of the products. The remaining enterprises are in collective ownership, with open and close joint-stock companies being the predominant form.