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All 9 upgraded wood-processing factories were loss-making in 2017
All of the nine upgraded wood-processing factories reported losses for the year of 2017. From 2007 to 2013, they absorbed over $1 billion in subsidies and again required nearly $55 million more last year, writes analyst Dzmitry Ivanovich.
With approval from President Lukashenka, the food-processing industry enjoyed massive capital injections. Beginning from 2007, nine enterprises - Barysaudreu, Viciebskdreu, Homieldreu, Ivacevidreu, Mastydreu, Recycadreu, Fandok, Mahiloudreu, Mazyr DOK - received loans worth of over $1 billion. Soon, officials would start describing the upgrade of the industry as 'modernization.' This word also became a catch-phrase for perestroika that was taking place in the cement industry.
For example, OAO Ivacevicydreu (just like all the other wood-processing factories, it is part of Bellesbumprom concern) received 34 loans worth 111 506 823.7 euros, 147 551 728.79 Russian rubles, 171 031.36 US dollars from 2008 to 2013. Once again, there are nine factories like this in Belarus.
Accoding to official estimates, the wood processing factories should have started making profit long ago. However, somebody was wrong in calculations. As of today, the enterprises have remained loss-making. In order to pay their electricity bills and service the loans, they obtain new credits from the state.
The modernization deadlines were never met and shifted several times. The State Control Committee identified numerous violations in the process. Barysaudreu CEO Uladzimir Maltsau was even detained and prosecuted but later released in the courtroom. During his working visits to the enterprises, Lukashenka would criticize Bellesbumprom's top managers for 'neglectfullness, lack of control, labor and technological discipline.'
In October 2015, Bank of Development CEO Siarhei Ruman reported to Aliaksandr Lukashenka that 6 out of 9 wood-processing enterprises 'had potential and could become financially sustainable.' Two years later, however, this is yet to happen.