The Estonian Center for International Development Cooperation (ESTDEV) signed a contract today with Harmet, the largest manufacturer of modular buildings in Estonia, initiating the construction of a kindergarten in the town of Ovruch, Ukraine. Harmet secured a state contract worth 1.7 million euros for the construction of a four-classroom kindergarten, and will work to design, manufacture, transport, and assemble the kindergarten with a guarantee of a one-year warranty. The modular kindergarten, ready within 170 calendar days of this contract, will be Estonia’s first reconstruction project in Ukraine.
The contract is set to be signed today, 25.11.2022, by Andrea Kivi, acting CEO of ESTDEV, and Alo Tamm, CEO of Harmet.
“This kindergarten gives the children of Ovruch the chance to feel like children again: to be with their friends, to learn, and to play. In building this kindergarten, Estonia is helping this community create a safe and inspiring learning environment, which overall supports Ukraine’s candidacy for the European Union,” affirmed Andrea Kivi.
“The kindergarten, built by Harmet, meets European Union building standards, giving Ukrainian companies the opportunity to become familiar with the regulations and codes of European Union construction. Likewise, since we have cooperated with Ukrainian representatives from the beginning, the kindergarten will also be built in accordance with Ukrainian construction standards,” said Kivi, adding that, in the future, it may be possible for Ukrainian companies to be a part of building projects in Estonia.
Alo Tamm, CEO of Harmet, noted that the construction of a kindergarten symbolizes Estonia’s hope for peace, and belief in security for Ukraine’s future through the prosperity of its children.
“Harmet is fortunate to be a part of such an important project for Estonia and Ukraine. With this, we lay the first brick in Ukraine’s restoration. Estonian wooden houses are well known among Scandinavian countries for their excellence. However, by working with ESTDEV, Harmet can now be an ambassador of Estonian wooden house construction, and introduce modular solutions in Ukraine. As a company, we understand the great responsibility that comes with this project, and will do everything possible to implement it successfully,” insisted Tamm.
The Ukrainian Ambassador in Estonia, Mariana Betsa, pointed out that Estonia is the first country to begin rebuilding Ukraine’s Zhytomyr region. “The agreement signed today marks the beginning of an important humanitarian project,” she said, “where our children will be able to learn, grow, and feel safe again. I want to express my gratitude for the Estonian Center for International Development, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia, representatives of Harmet OU, and others for their invaluable work and efforts for the Ukrainian people.”
The contract between ESTDEV and Harmet signals the start of constructing the kindergarten. The first stage of construction will include four classrooms, able to host 80 children in all. In the second stage, the kindergarten will be expanded by another four rooms, growing its capacity to 160 children. Due to active military presence in the country, most construction must be carried out outside of Ukraine, mitigating risks by keeping on-site work to a minimum.
When asked about the decision to build the kindergarten using wooden modules, Kivi explained, “Estonia is Europe’s number one exporter of energy-efficient wooden modular homes. This is our edge: we are building the best kindergarten Estonia can offer from esteemed local experts. Not only that, modulars give us the ability to build the pieces in Estonia, then schedule their transport to Ukraine at the optimal time, making the final steps in construction quick and efficient.”
Once the kindergarten is up and running, Estonia is eager to offer structure, strategies, and resources in education and school management. The country is proud of its experience and ongoing growth in these fields.
In sum, ESTDEV has contracted five private professionals for the construction of this kindergarten. Several entrepreneurs have offered their services free of charge, and this has advanced the project quickly. Tiit Silla Architecture Firm Sport OÜ has created workable blueprints, and Primostar OÜ will supply waterproofing materials for an underground bomb shelter. Kitman Thule AS and SolarStone OÜ have also offered their help. This project is further supported by Woodhouse Estonia. If more Estonian companies would like to join kindergarten construction or other such projects, ESTDEV welcomes their proposals.
The construction of the kindergarten in Ovruch is being carried out by the Estonian Center for International Development. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has allocated 1.9 million euros from this year’s additional budget for the organization of this project.
In addition to establishing a kindergarten, Estonia has promised 1,000,000 euros toward the restoration of a bridge in Malyn, also in the Zhytomyr region.
Harmet is the largest producer of modular houses in Estonia, and among the largest in the Nordic region. Its production capacity is approximately 210,000 m² per year (600 modules/month). Harmet has six factories in Estonia and Finland (48,000 m² of production space). Turnover in 2022 has been approximately MEUR 125.
ESTDEV is a state foundation that organizes and coordinates Estonia’s participation in international cooperation and humanitarian aid programs, with the aim of increasing Estonia’s contribution to global security and sustainable development.
Info: [email protected]
25.11.2022 kell 13:00 at Harmet
Puusepa 8, Kumna, 76614 Harju maakond