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Large Russian greenhouse files for bankruptcyThe recent bankruptcy of Evrika, one of the largest greenhouse complexes in Northwest Russia, once again shows that Russia needs more than just greenhouses and natural gas to become self sufficient.
The history of Evrika (Russian for 'Eureka') has been marked by financial difficulties and bankruptcy. The project was announced in 2012 with an initial investment in a total of 15 hectares of high tech glass. Dutch greenhouse builder Bom Group was contracted to deliver 15 hectares and the project site even was prepared with the infrastructure for a total of 22 hectares of high tech glass.
While the project was announced with a lot of hubbub, construction was several times delayed due to financial trouble, changes in ownership and several lawsuits between owners and investors. This all started when Master Bank, the main financier of the project, lost its banking license in late 2013. Russia's Central Bank withdrawn the license from the midsized commercial bank as it was suspected of dubious operations.
Construction at the Evrika greenhouse. (Photo courtesy of BOM Group)
At that time, Evrika had then just purchased the materials to construct 15 hectares of greenhouse from Bom Group. Due to the cut in funds, the company sourced just enough financing to complete two sections of 5 hectare each.
Over the last two years, Evrika managed to produce cucumbers and tomatoes in the 10 hectare greenhouse, while still being in financial trouble and plagued by lawsuits. The other remaining 5 hectares of greenhouse was never finished and only the structure was raised. Evrika had all of the materials like the glass and heating available to complete the construction, yet there were no funds to finish the construction work.
It remains unclear if they will ever finish the construction of the third phase. Because last week, it was announced that the company will be put up for sale as a result of a bankruptcy. It was said that a local investor was renting the complex since late 2016 and that another company called Premier LLC is renting a three hectare section of the greenhouse.
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