The Veles vegetable oil factory Blagoj Gorev was fined 50.000 EUR over the fire that broke out in September.

A silo filled with 400 tons of pressed sunflower seed husks caught fire which required a major intervention by the fire brigade and endangered the near-by houses. The city was covered with dark smoke as the silo burnt

An inspection that followed the fire found that the factory still has not obtained its B environmental licence, mainly because it uses oil and the sunflower seed pellets to fuel its production process. Veles is Macedonia’s most polluted city, as a legacy of the large zinc and lead smelter built within city limits. Although the smelter has been closed for 15 years, the large amount of left-over waste and the land pollution continue to plague the city.