Russia’s Largest Flour Mill Launched in Ingushetia

The authorities of Russia’s North Caucasus republic of Ingushetia launched the first stage on Wednesday of a flour mill expected to be the country’s largest flour producing plant.

“By launching the first stage of this enterprise today, we are opening a new chapter in the history of Ingushetia and the republic’s social and economic development. By building a large plant here, we’ll create one of the most powerful grain clusters in the region,” Ingushetia head Yunus-Bek Yevkurov said at the launch ceremony.

The flour mill project, estimated at 5.2 billion rubles ($168 million), will process 2,400 tons of grain a day when it reaches its design capacity. The mill will produce 1,800 tons daily of flour, which will be supplied both to the domestic market and abroad. The second stage of the mill is expected to be launched by late 2013.

The mill will export flour to Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Armenia, Georgia, South Africa and Peru through Russia’s Black Sea port of Novorossiysk.

The mill, which will employ 1,500 people when it reaches full capacity, is part of the Russian government’s efforts to implement large-scale infrastructure projects in the North Caucasus to spur the area’s social and economic development.

Poor economic conditions and unemployment in North Caucasus republics are believed to be the main factors driving local residents to join militant groups. The troubled North Caucasus region sees frequent attacks on law enforcement officers and government officials as Moscow continues to battle an Islamist insurgency there.