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Serbia, Retrospective for 2022 and investments in the field of industry

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When it comes to investments in the field of industry, the year 2022, like the previous one, was marked by controversies related to the Rio Tinto company and lithium mining. Although it seemed that the storm has subsided, there are still many doubts and questions when it comes to this topic, which is proven by the fact that for the second year in a row, this topic is the most read on our portal in the list of investments in the industry.

While state officials assure us that cooperation with Rio Tinto has been terminated, environmental organizations claim that the project has not been shut down. The President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić, said that the decision to end cooperation with Rio Tinto was wrong and that Jadar could have been the most developed region of Serbia.

The year was also marked by the opening of new factories in Belgrade, Šabac, Valjevo, Nova Pazova, with the presence of the highest state officials and ambassadors. German, American, and Chinese investments will repair aircraft engine parts, produce car parts, develop electric cars, and serious domestic investments in the field of renewable energy sources have also been announced.

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Lithium in the Jadar zone

Like 2021, 2022 was marked by the story of Rio Tinto and the Jadar project. In January, Rio Tinto announced that the Jadar project was being delayed due to the failure to obtain approval for the exploitation field. The company stated that it is not giving up on the project , but that the start of production is expected in 2027, not 2026, as originally planned.

The Minister of Mining and Energy, Zorana Mihajlović, said that the Jadar project was stopped at the request of the citizens , that there is no contractual relationship between the state and the Rio Tinto company, but that it is important to get environmental impact assessment studies.

Prime Minister Ana Brnabić pointed out that the cancellation of the Spatial Plan for Special Purposes has put an end to lithium and boron research. But, as reported by the Belgrade media, the truth is that by canceling that document , Rio Sava Exploration, the daughter company of Rio Tinta, cannot count on the development of the Jadar project near Loznica, but other companies can.

The President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić, joined the story, saying that the decision to end cooperation with Rio Tinto was wrong and that Jadar would be the most developed region of Serbia.

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Despite assurances that there will be no lithium mining in Jadar, the Association of Environmental Organizations of Serbia SEOS pointed out in August of last year that the Rio Tinto website contains “a clear argument for the claim that the Jadar project is not shut down, and especially not dead, since they expect from that company its continuation”.

Rivian development center for electric cars in Belgrade

The American electric car manufacturer Rivian opened a technology center in Belgrade in December, where 200 engineers will be employed. The opening was attended by the Ambassador of the United States of America, Christopher Hill, and the President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić, who said that he hopes that the opening of this center is only the beginning and the first stage, and that electric vehicles will be produced in Serbia.

Film studio Krnjača

City Media Park doo plans to build a film studio in Krnjača , according to the project of the Architonic office. The construction of the film studio complex is planned on the site of buildings that used to be the function of the construction company Trudbenik gradnja, and which are now largely abandoned and unorganized, on an area of ​​12.91 ha. As stated in the conceptual solution, the plan is to establish film studios for the needs of the film industry, with accompanying facilities in the form of workshops, wardrobes, warehouses, dressing rooms and actors’ accommodation.

The film studio will have 12 different scenes in several halls on approximately 3,500m2 of usable area.

MTU Aero Engines factory for repairing aircraft engine parts, Nova Pazova

The new facility of MTU Maintenance Serbia, where repairs of aircraft engine parts will be carried out, was opened in October in Nova Pazova . The facility, which occupies an area of ​​39,000 m 2, is part of the German company MTU Aero Engines, which is one of the leading manufacturers of aero engines.

The President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić, stated that the idea was born six years ago, and that the state invested EUR 14.6 million.

As announced, the number of team members will grow in the coming years, and the number of employees is currently planned to increase to more than 400.

Construction of the plant in Nova Pazova began on July 5, 2021. The investment, as reported by the media, is worth EUR 100 million.

Novi Kovin mine

The Provincial Secretariat for Urban Planning and Environmental Protection informed the public in August that the company Energetski Kompleks doo Beograd, as the project holder, submitted a request for a decision on the need for an environmental impact assessment of the project of underwater coal mining and overburden in part of fields A and B of the metal deposit .

It is a project that was announced more than a decade ago, and it involves the expansion of coal mines in the municipality of Kovin, in which coal has been extracted from the Danube since 1995 using a method of underwater exploitation that is unique in the world.

Two locations were determined from which exploitation would immediately begin – at the first location, in the continuation of the current exploitation field of Rudnika Kovin ad, about 2.25 million tons of coal are available, and at the second, which is located in the central part of field B of the Kovin deposit, where the coal seam is closest to the surface, there is an amount of 5.5 million tons of coal.

Footwear industry Haix Vranje

Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić announced at the end of last year that after the closure of the Italian Geox factory and the dismissal of workers, a German investor, much more solid than Geox, will arrive in Vranje, who will employ around 1,000 workers in a year, without revealing the details of which company it is, nor what does he do.

Judging by the billboards that were placed in several locations in Vranje at the beginning of last year, on which the German company Haix invites interested people from Vranje to apply for a job in shoe production, the media soon speculated that this is precisely the investor from Germany who is arriving in Vranje.

The Haix Group company specializes in the production of footwear for the military, police, firefighters and other uniformed persons.

Robotic hand with touch sensors

The companies HTEC Group and Sigmoid successfully implemented the project of developing the most modern robotic hand with touch sensors in cooperation with the Faculty of Technical Sciences from Novi Sad and the Faculty of Electronics in Niš. This project was financed by the Fund for Innovation Activity of Serbia through the program of cooperation between science and business.

Minth factory Šabac

After the sale of 11 hectares of construction land in the Northwest Industrial Zone in Šabac in 2021, the Chinese company Mint became the owner of an additional 10 hectares of land at this location, where they plan to open a second factory for the production of car parts in August 2023. As stated on the website of the local government, EUR 15 million will be invested in the purchase of land and the construction of a new factory. The expected total investment for 10 years is EUR 46 million.

As previously reported, the construction of the first factory of the Chinese company Mint in Šabac, in the Northwest Industrial Zone, should be completed in April 2022 , when trial production of parts for the largest car manufacturers around the world will begin.

Factory for the production of solar panels in Velika Plana

The first factory for the production of solar panels in Serbia will be built in Velika Plana . The investor is the company DoMi Eko – Solar doo Velika Plana for the production of other electrical equipment, owned by individuals and companies Udarnik gradnja doo from Belgrade and Inženjering DM invest doo from Smederevska Palanka, founded in July this year.

The future complex consisting of a production hall and a warehouse will be located within the service-mixed working zone of Velika Plana, near the Belgrade-Nis highway, on an area of ​​12,601 m². The production will be carried out using a production line (belt), from which 25 solar panels will come down per hour.

Bizerba scales Valjevo

In September of last year, it was announced that the end of 2022 is scheduled for the completion of construction works and the start of operation of the new factory of the German company Bicerba (German: Bizerba) in Valjevo. Bizerba is one of the world leaders in the field of technology for manufacturing products for measuring and cutting food and one of the leading suppliers of hardware and software solutions used in weighing, cutting and labeling technology.

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