Air Date

April 13, 2023

Featured Guests

Laura Lochman
Deputy Assistant Secretary Bureau of Energy Resources, U.S. Department of State

Mark Loughran
President for Central and Eastern Europe, Honeywell

Roger Martella
Chief Sustainability Officer, General Electric

Annie Petsonk
Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Transportation

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Marty Durbin
Senior Vice President, Policy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, President, Global Energy Institute, U.S. Chamber of Commerce


The reconstruction of Ukraine depends on creating basic production conditions to enable economic and commercial activity to resume. Critical infrastructure and the energy grid must be rebuilt to meet the country's most immediate needs. However, restoring vital infrastructure and improving it also provides an opportunity to plan for Ukraine's future needs as well as those of its partners and allies.

During the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s U.S.-Ukraine Partnership Forum, leaders in energy and infrastructure discussed Ukraine’s short-term and long-term needs in these sectors to ensure sustainable growth for the country and its trading partners.

Leveraging the Power of Public-Private Partnerships Will Help Rebuild Ukraine's Energy Grid

Rebuilding Ukraine's energy grid has been a significant challenge in recent years, with issues ranging from infrastructure decay to geopolitical tensions, or global relations. Laura Lochman, Deputy Assistant Secretary at the Bureau of Energy Resources Department of State, emphasized the importance of collaboration between governments and private sector entities. 

“Since October of last year, from the U.S. government perspective, we have been mobilized as an inter-agency … to try to assist with critical materials, critical pieces of infrastructure that were necessary to stabilize the grid and to keep it going through the winter,” said Lochman.

This collaborative approach has been instrumental in addressing immediate challenges and laying the foundation for long-term solutions. Public-private partnerships have the potential to bring together the expertise, resources, and innovation of both the public and private sectors, resulting in more effective and sustainable solutions for rebuilding Ukraine's energy grid.

Strategic Planning and Anticipation of Challenges Are Key Factors for Success

Annie Petsonk, Assistant Secretary for Aviation International Affairs at the U.S. Department of Transportation, highlighted the need for a coordinated approach among different stakeholders, including governments, companies, and international institutions, to ensure a unified strategic plan and specific actions. By anticipating challenges and strategically planning for them, Ukraine can overcome obstacles more effectively and expedite the process of rebuilding its energy grid.

“Reconstruction [is] the bigger challenge,” said Petsonk. “It's immediate, and it's long term, and it requires very broad partnerships. We have been coordinating with the Europeans on the solidarity lanes; now, we need to have much broader coordination through the Group of Seven Plus and others, and our international financial institutions in terms of that broad reconstruction and the role that transportation will play, where they need to replace not only the bridges … but all of those elements of the transportation infrastructure.”

Collaborative Efforts Are Crucial for a Sustainable and Resilient Energy Infrastructure

Collaborative efforts among various stakeholders are crucial for rebuilding Ukraine's energy grid. Mark Loughran, President of Central and Eastern European at Honeywell, emphasized the importance of a coordinated approach that goes beyond just one company or sector.

“The clean energy part, the sustainable part, is going to be really important for Ukraine itself but [also] to be able to export it into the European Union,” he said. “That's going to be a key differentiator and a key criterion [in] the clean energy solution. That has to be thought through, that has to be planned, at the kind of scale that's gonna make a difference to bringing the return for the country, which then they can reinvest in their own redevelopment and recovery.”

Roger Martella, Chief Sustainability Officer at GE, also stressed the importance of collaboration in rebuilding Ukraine’s energy and infrastructure.

“We need to be thinking about our supply chain,” Martella said. “We need to be planning in advance and being very strategic in anticipating all kinds of challenges to the grid, whether in Ukraine or elsewhere, so we can be nimble and ready. I think because of this partnership … and the great work by Ukraine, we feel very good about where we are right now, but we may not be ready the next time.”

“Reconstruction's going to take years,” he continued. “If we’re going to succeed, we’re going to need [public-private partnerships] … We have to come together in a coordinated way, and [with] what each of us can do best, and bring that whole together.”

By fostering collaborative efforts among stakeholders, Ukraine can leverage the collective knowledge, expertise, and resources of various entities to establish a sustainable and resilient energy infrastructure.