Billionaires refrained from investments into Vladimir region landfill due to protests

Billionaires refrained from investments into Vladimir region landfill due to protests
Inskandar Makhmudov

Company Santar of Iskandar Makhmudov and Andrey Bokarev left the project for the construction of a garbage processing station in the village of Filippovskoye in Kirzhachsky district of the Vladimir region, as high social tension in the region carries "political and economic risks" for businessmen.

Santar company, whose beneficiaries are Russian billionaires from the Forbes list Inskandar Makhmudov (No. 19 in the rating) and Andrey Bokarev (No. 52), withdrew from the project to build a garbage recycling station in Kirzhachsky district of the Vladimir region because of "political and economic risks ", connected with protests of ecologists and the locals, Life reports. Makhmudov and Bokarev were to become the main construction investors.

The project for the construction of a garbage recycling complex in the rural settlement of Filippovskoye on the border of the Vladimir and Moscow regions was approved by local authorities in 2017. Three plots with a total area of 1.2 thousand hectares were allocated for the station. The station was supposed to take garbage from Moscow, the Moscow region and the Vladimir region.

The investor of the project was Ekotekhstroy Vladimir LLC. The company was going to build a sorting facility, an automatic line on which sorted plastic and organic garbage would be processed into RDF fuel for industrial furnaces, as well as organize land for a dump.

The construction of the complex was supposed to take 1.5 years, and the volume of investments was roughly 1.2 billion rubles ($19.4 m).

According to the SPARK-Interfax database, the founders of Ekotekhstroy Vladimir LLC, registered in March 2017, were Santar and Rikko Invest companies. The beneficiaries of Santar are Iskandar Makhmudov and his longtime business partner Andrey Bokarev.

Plans for the construction of a garbage recycling complex have spurred protests of residents of the Vladimir and Moscow regions. In the fall of 2017, local residents staged several rallies and gatherings, and sent a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin asking to prohibit the construction of the station, since this could cause an "ecological catastrophe" not only in the Vladimir region, but also in the Moscow suburbs.

The conclusions of independent examinations confirmed the fears of the residents. Experts with Geolink Consulting CJSC conducted a hydrogeological survey of the territory where the complex was planned to be erected. As a result, it was found that the investment commission of the administration of the Vladimir region, which approved the project, did not take into account the impact of the would-be waste-processing complex on the sources of water supply to the nearest settlements, and also turned a blind eye to the data of geological exploration carried out at Sherna site of the Klyazma-Sherna underground fresh water field that supply the eastern districts of the Moscow region.

The conclusions of the examination say that the filtrate from the landfill may provoke chemical and bacteriological contamination of the rivers Sherna and Melezha. The construction of the complex can make it impossible to provide fresh water to all settlements between these rivers. In addition, the construction of the landfill poses a threat to the drinking water supply to towns and villages in the eastern part of the Moscow region.

Similar conclusions were made in November 2017 by experts from the Institute of Water Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The examination showed that the contamination of the rivers of Sherna and Melezha can occur as early as 500 days after putting the landfill into operation. The materials of the study say that the construction of the landfill in the planned location is inadmissible.

The authorities of the Vladimir region, however, denied issues with the construction of the new landfill. The Vice-Governor of the region Lidiya Smolina stated that the situation with the plant is "artificially stirred up by someone". According to her, it is not residents of the region who protest, but Muscovites, so the administration does not plan to communicate with them.

In April 2018, it became known that the investors themselves had abandoned plans to build the garbage processing plant. The firm of Makhmudov and Bokarev Santar withdrew from the capital of Ekotekhstroy Vladimir LLC. Currently, the company has the only owner - the Foundation for the Promotion of Industry. Sources from circles of the entrepreneurs told Life that the building of the landfill provokes social tension in the region, which carries "political and economic risks" for the investors.

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