Ex-head of Ukroboronprom and his partners launched the production of paving stones in the USA worth $15 million

Ex-head of Ukroboronprom and his partners launched the production of paving stones in the USA worth $15 million

More than 100 km from New York, four Ukrainians founded the Pocono Industrial Park, where a new paving stones plant was launched

Roman Romanov, who in the early 2000s was a dealer of Bogdan Motors and then the general director of Ukroboronprom, and three other partners invested in a plant for the production of paving stones on the territory of the Pocono Industrial industrial park they created.

In Ukraine, Romanov has an automobile business segment, which included 20 car dealerships. However, most of them are not working now. Also, the former head of Ukroboronprom has a construction business, which unites enterprises for the production of concrete products under the Planet RS brand. Romanov estimated the group’s turnover in 2021 at approximately $65 million, but in 2022 it did not have even a tenth of this amount left.

According to the analytical company Pro-Consulting, in 2022 the market for the production of concrete products in Ukraine decreased by 60%, to $16 million. At the same time, the capacity of the US market is 19–22 times larger – $300–350 million.

In 2021, Romanov and partners purchased 22 hectares on the border of Pennsylvania and New York for $1.25 million. The main advantage of the site is the nearby deposits of crushed stone used in the production of paving stones.

Investments in the project to build a plant called Orange Pavers are estimated at $15 million, of which $3 million are the entrepreneurs’ own funds, and the remaining $12 million were raised in Dime Bank under the Small Business Administration program, which compensates part of the interest rate.

According to Roman Romanov, the plant can produce 4800 sq. m of paving stones per shift. It will employ up to 70 workers with a gradual increase to 250 people in three shifts.

Orange Pavers' potential clients include large developers from New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, as well as regional dealers. Romanov estimates the payback period for the plant to be three years. The businessman cites lower employee costs as an advantage over competitors. About a hundred Planet RS specialists from Kherson and Borodyanka were involved in the project. Most are remote.

In the future, the Ukrainians plan to create an industrial cluster on 18 hectares adjacent to the plant. The cost of the Pocono Industrial project is estimated at $60–80 million. Negotiations are currently underway with potential residents claiming 30% of the space.

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