Air pollution from Jugohrom-Jegunovce, Macedonia

Jugohrom Ferroalloys demonstrated little willingness to introduce environmental measures and reduced air pollution, which is why experts and CSOs demanded from the government to temporary close the factory and put more pressures on its management.


Jugohrom Ferroalloys DOO Jegunovce (previously a state owned company Silmak from 1952) is located in the Macedonian village Jegunovce, in the Region of Polog valley, around 10 km from the city of Tetovo. Jugohrom produces ferro-alloy, particularly ferro-silicon and is the main employer in Jegunovce. In 2010, the company was privatized by the Russian company Camelot Group.

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Basic Data
NameAir pollution from Jugohrom-Jegunovce, Macedonia
CountryMacedonia, FYR
ProvinceThe Region of Polog
SiteMunicipality of Jegunovce and Tearce, city of Tetovo
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Industrial and Utilities conflicts
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Metal refineries
Specific Commoditiesferro-silicon, silicon–chrome, low carbon ferro-chrome and technical silicon
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsProduces up to 6 tonnes of ferro-silicon per month.
Project Area (in hectares)2,417
Type of PopulationUrban
Potential Affected Population300,000
Start Date2005
Company Names or State EnterprisesJugohrom Ferroalloys DOO Jegunovce (Jugohrom ) from Macedonia, FYR - Polluter
Camelot Group from Hong Kong SAR, China - Owner of Jugohrom Ferroalloys DOO Jegunovce since 2010
Relevant government actorsThe Government of Macedonia; The Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning of the Republic of Macedonia; The Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Macedonia
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersEcoGuerilla; The portal;; citizens of Tetovo; DOM- The Democratic Renewal of Macedonia
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginMobilization for reparations once impacts have been felt
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Industrial workers
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Forms of MobilizationArtistic and creative actions (eg guerilla theatre, murals)
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Potential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Groundwater pollution or depletion
Health ImpactsVisible: Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Deaths, Other environmental related diseases
OtherRespiratory infections, heart disease, stroke and cancer.
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Violations of human rights, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseEnvironmental improvements, rehabilitation/restoration of area
Technical solutions to improve resource supply/quality/distribution
Application of existing regulations
Project temporarily suspended
Prolongation of deadline to introduce environmental improvements; reduction of production capacity to 50%; voluntarily two-months closure
Development of AlternativesExperts, citizens and CSOs demanded from the government to temporarily close the factory and put pressure on the company to install filters and reduced pollution. The permanent closing of the factory is not an option as the large number of Jegunovce inhabitants work there.
Do you consider this as a success?Not Sure
Why? Explain briefly.Since the changes in the Environmental Law from 2005, the management of Jugohrom has not demonstrated willingness to introduce environmental measures. Instead, it has been asking for several deadline prolongations, while keeping the production on-going in order to keep the social peace. After a voluntary two-month closure in 2016, the factory resumed production in March 2016, while the ongoing work on installation of de-dusting equipment should be completed until the end of October 2016.
Sources and Materials

The Law on Environmental Protection 2005
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The Third National Plan on Climate Change in December 2013
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The dangerous pollution of the Pollog region
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Jugohrom Got New Deadline to Replace Filters After All
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Protests as Macedonia's Government Gives a Polluting Factory in Tetovo Another Break
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Дали македонската влада ќе им го скрати животот на нејзините граѓани? Will Macedonian government shorten the life of its citizens?
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Ndotja nuk ndalet, çdo vit 4.500 njerëz të rinj të sëmurë nga kanceri! - Pollution does not stop, each year 4,500 new people suffering from cancer!
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Nothing new about Liljana Popovska's accusations vs Jugohrom
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DOM party: Tetovo and Bitola remain polluted, Skoplje is saved
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DOM party request a meeting with polluters Makstil and Jugohrom
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Macedonia's Jugohrom Ferroalloys halves output to cut gas emissions - govt
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Jugohrom ugasion cetiri peci, 400 ljudi ostalo bez posla
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Macedonia’s Jugohrom Ferroalloys Closes Four Furnaces - Media
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Camelot has bought former Jugohrom plant
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Jugohrom and Masktil to stop operations until meeting environmental standards
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JUGOHROM employees testify party pressures, the Management denies
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Protest in Tetovo: Citizens on the Street, They Want to Breathe Clean Air
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Facebook page EcoGuerilla: STOP ndotjes kancerogjene ne Tetove
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Zagaduvanje na vodite (Water pollution in Macedonia)
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Можно ли е загадување на Рашче со шествалентен хром?
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"Југохром" се уште ги загадува Вардар и Бистрица
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After Closing Jugohrom Plant, Air Pollution in Tetovo Decreased
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Macedonia’s Jugohrom Ferroalloys plant relaunches production - report
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Macedonia: Jugohrom Smelter Will Close for Two Months to Improve Air Quality
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Environment Minister: Jugohrom Fails to Make Progress on Eco-standards, Faces Closure
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Jugohrom shut down, but Pollution still the same in Tetovo
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Media Links

Protest in Tetovo, January 2014
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Protest in Tetovo, December 2013
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Photos of the pollution from Jugohrom
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Protest in Tetovo, March 2014
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Los Angeles Times photography
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Mos Hesht! Video about air pollution in Tetovo made by Cr3w Production and Wilson school students
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Photos from the protests against Jugohrom
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Pollution from Jugohrom Jegunovce
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И без "Југохром" воздухот во Тетово е екстремно загаден
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Other Documents

Protest in Tetovo A scene from the protest again Jugohrom
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Tetovo protest Some of the slogans heard by the citizens of Tetovo were “Air for Tetovo" and "Tetovo – Say No to Carcinogenic Air"
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Meta Information
ContributorJovanka Spiric, Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona, vankajo(at)
Last update23/05/2016