Unlike neighboring countries, Montenegro cannot boast of a developed industry. Instead of the opening of new factories and the arrival of world-famous names, in Montenegro, unfortunately, we hear more and more often about the closing of plants, empty halls, machines sold for nothing and thousands of workers who became victims of the transition and bad privatizations.
After the cells in the Podgorica Aluminum Plant (KAP) and the Novi Duvanski Kombinat were shut down last year, this year, the fate of 320 laid-off workers from these companies almost met the fate of the Nikšić Ironworks employees. However, the state intervened in this story, the Ironworks, they say, was saved, and the workers, as they were promised, will keep their jobs.
Our more than modest list of investments shows how poorly developed our industry is and how much we need to invest in this area. Apart from being modest, these are projects that have been talked about for years. Most of it is still only in the story, and some of it has been realized.
Thus, last year, a unique center for the overhaul of yachts and superyachts Adriatic 42 was opened on the premises of the former shipyard in Bijela. As announced during the opening, Adriatic 42 will offer yacht owners and their crews, in addition to moorings, quality overhauls, which relieves them of the obligation to every year they temporarily move from Montenegrin marinas. With the acquisition of the best possible infrastructure and the realization of numerous other investments, over 40 million EUR have been invested in this project so far.
A new generation floating dock for servicing the largest yachts, worth several million dollars, arrived in Bijela even before the opening. While it is 180 meters long, 37 meters wide with a capacity of 10,000 tons of cargo vessels, which allows it to accommodate the world’s largest yachts. Just one such vessel, the largest yacht in the world Black Pearl, was the first client of the Adriatic 42 company, and the overhaul was successfully completed in 14 days.
Behind the Adriatic 42 project stands a consortium consisting of the company Drydocks World, part of the DP World group from the United Arab Emirates, and Adriatic Marinas – Porto Montenegro.
Unlike the shipyard, the project that has been talked about for years, but which, it seems, is still far from being realized, is the construction of a cement plant in Pljevlja. Everyone agrees that the factory should be built, and that the state, through the Coal Mine, should be the future co-owner. As announced by this company, there is a huge amount of marl on Jagnjilo, enough for about 60 years of work according to current projections of cement production of about two million tons per year.
From Rudnik, they believe that they should receive concessions for the exploitation of coal in Otilovići, where they would exploit the coal, after which they would prepare the ground for the construction of a cement plant. They also believe that they should also receive a concession for the man-made deposit of Jagnjilo marl. According to them, the marl is the product of their work, and the marl dump on Jagnjilo is the raw material for the cement plant. Therefore, they say, Rudnik must be included in the cement plant project. At the end of the year, we could hear that companies from Germany and Bosnia and Herzegovina were interested in building a cement plant, and Turkish Tasyapi also showed interest.
There are also the Nikšić Ironworks, which, after numerous vicissitudes and negotiations, was bought by Elektroprivreda Crne Gore. Production at the Nikšić factory was stopped in March 2021, and in the middle of last year, the company Tosčelik, until recently the owner of the Ironworks, informed the workers that they do not intend to start production, as well as that all 229 production workers will lose their jobs. The workers then start protests and fight for the survival of the factory.
Toscelik said that they would sell to Željezara, but that they did not receive any serious offers. Very soon, businessman Miodrag Davidović showed his interest, who offered EUR 15.1 million for the factory, however, the owners asked for EUR 25 million. Although at one point it seemed that the negotiations would bear fruit and that the sale of Željezara was a done deal, Davidović withdrew from the race to buy the factory.
Then, the President of the Municipality of Nikšić, Marko Kovačevič, received a proposal that the factory be taken over by the state, through the Electric Power Company of Montenegro (EPCG). Soon, the Government gave the green light for the start of negotiations, and then bought the shares of this company for EUR 15 million. As announced, that money will be invested in the purchase of the Ironworks.
The contract for the purchase of the assets of the Nikšić factory with the Turkish company Tosjali was concluded on December 30. The value of the contract is EUR 20 million, and as announced by EPCG, Nikšić will become a regional center in the field of solar energy. Since Željezara has a huge energy potential, it is planned that, in addition to the production of structures for solar panels, a solar power plant will also be built within the factory. The company Željezara Solar Nikšić was also founded, within which several production units are planned – solar, substructure, construction, metal processing, forge, etc.). It is projected to employ 304 workers. The plan is for Željezara to start plants for the production of reinforcing mesh and drones.
We have heard that there are many plans, and what of the promises will come true remains to be seen.