Belarusian National Biotechnological Corporation (BNBC) is suffering from insufficient capacity utilisation ratio and problems selling finished products, Alexander Lukashenko, Belarusian President, claimed in a statement on social media channels. The operational issues hamper BNBC’s financial performance, Lukashenko added.
This is the first time the Belarussian authorities officially admit BNBC problems, a $733 million worth export-oriented feed additive project.
BNBC has outperformed its operational plans, Daniil Uritsky, head of the BNBC, said during a press conference a few weeks ago, not providing concrete figures. He also said that in the next stage of the project, BNBC planned to commence feed additives production, again not elaborating.
In August, BNBC management said that since the start of production in 2022, the company manufactured 50,000 tonnes of feed additives.
In 2019, BNBC officials said the company intended to manufacture 64,700 tonnes of lysine, 5,900 tonnes of L-threonine, and 1,300 tonnes of L-tryptophan per year.
“Things are not going down exactly as we planned,” Lukashenko emphasised, criticising the authorities for “window dressing”.
The State Control Committee, which was instructed to carefully examine the situation at BNBC, reports that the company failed to beat its production and sales targets. Lukashenko also voiced concerns that the BNBC predicament could cast a shadow on Belarus’s public image.
“I want you to understand that this project is vital to our reputation. It is an essential technological project for our country. You know how much it costs, not only me, but also the state,” Lukashenko told during a government meeting.
As a shareholder, the state will appoint its representative to the BNBC top management, Leonid Zayats, Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus told during a press conference following the meeting.
He explained that the government decided to “strengthen the leadership” of BNBC with a representative of the state, who “will be responsible for strategy, while the head of the corporation will be responsible for tactics.”
It is yet to be seen whether the change in management will entail any alterations in the BNBC sales policy.
The company has not been disclosing much about its exports. Western sanctions imposed against the country in several rounds since 2020 have barred the company from the EU market. Instead of exporting goods to Europe and the Middle East, the company ramped up deliveries to Russia, the company disclosed in August.