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Photo: Bilsen smelters did not survive Russian capitalism, and their buildings will soon turn into reality

Pilsen Steel, a manufacturer of ship and power plant shafts, rotors for wind turbines and castings for gas turbines, was once one of the largest in its field in the world with profits estimated at several billion crowns annually. Last year, Max Aicher Pilsen acquired the trunk of the Pilsen Steel business, which had sales of nearly three-quarters of a billion crowns in 2017. Production has not fully resumed after 2019.

“What struck me was the fact that the demise of the steel mills in Pilsen did not really matter to the locals. They simply did not build a relationship with the smelter that has been here for 150 years” Industrial Photographer Victor Matcha, who was the company photographer for Pilsen Steele from 2009-2012. According to Matcha, the end of Pilsen Steel meant, among other things, the end of the great installations in Bohemia.

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In June 2019, 87 creditors filed for insolvency, noting that the company owed them 9.4 billion kroner. At that time, the official denied about 7.8 billion crowns, including the claims of the three largest creditors – Russian banks Vněšekonombanka, VEB Kapital and the International Investment Bank. Banks are sued for claims in occasional disputes. Vněšekonombanka and VEB Kapital also agreed to sell Pilsen Steel as the largest collateral, that is, mortgage creditors.

The Russian engineering and metallurgical group OMZ bought the former smelters and smelters of Škoda Plzen 20 years ago, and since 2010 Russian businessman Igor Shamis has a 100% commercial stake in the company.

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