There are 38 years since the Soviet Union decided to build a huge plant in Krivoy Rog, current Ukraine, along with other states from the communist bloc. This plant was supposed to enrich the oxidized ore deposits, but it has never been completed.
Romania joined this “socialist joint venture” in 1986, along with Bulgaria. Nobody knew at that time that this was about to become one of the worst investments of the Romanian Government.
After finishing almost 80% of the plant, the change of regime from 1989 and the lack of resources during the economic transition phase led to the abandonment of the construction. Corruption and looters did the rest until the plant became almost a ruin. Estimations are that the plant needs an additional 800 million EUR to be finished.
Romania has so far lost around EUR 800 million at KGOKOR. From 1999 alone until now the costs are around 1 million EUR a year for the security firms dealing with protecting the site from being looted.
Only now, the Romanian Government decided to do what other countries did long ago. The decision to sell the Romanian participation of almost 27% at KGOKOR is meant to stop the waste of public money. Moreover, it could bring Romania some money.
Of course, Romania cannot get back the investment made. But, at least, the country won’t spend more money on a deserted and looted plant.