Miloje Blagojevic Factory for Nitrocellulose Gunpowder

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Last Updated: June 10, 2014
Other Name: Lucani Explosive Plant, Cacak
Location: Lucani, Serbia
Subordinate To: Military Technical Institute (MTI) (CW-related activities?)
Size: Unknown
Facility Status: N/A

The history of this facility dates back to the late 19th century. A facility capable of producing 180 kg/day methylphosphonyldichloride (DC), a sarin precursor, was installed during the period 1965 to 1968. Some small scale production, approximately 600 kg appears to have been undertaken in the period 1969 to 1970 in support of a sarin trial production run at the Potoci facility over the same period. A more substantial production run over the period 1988 to 1989 produced 40 metric tons of methylphosphonyldichloride (DC) that was shipped to Potoci for use in a sarin production campaign. However, the sarin was not produced, and when the MTI operation in Potoci was abandoned, all 40 metric tons were returned to the Miloje Blagojevic facility. It is probable that other unused chemicals held at the Potoci facility were also sent to Lucani along with the DC, but this is not clearly indicated. These other chemicals were 5 metric tons of isopropyl alcohol, 5 metric tons of methylene dichloride, 10 metric tons of sodium-silicofluoride, and 3 metric tons of sulfur monochloride. [1]

One report suggests that this facility engaged in the production of mustard (HD) and sarin (GB) beginning in 1989 and continuing up to the early to mid-1990s. However, this report is unreliable, and the balance of evidence suggests that no additional production took place after 1990. [2]

Sources:
[1] General Zlatko Binenfeld, Production of Chemical Weapons at the Military Technical Institute – Mostar Plant by the Former Yugoslav National Army (JNA), Statement at seminar on "National Authority and National Implementation Measures for the Chemical Weapons Convention" in Warsaw, Poland, 7-8 December 1993, p. 3; "Towards an Understanding of Yugoslav Capabilities: CBW Research, Development, Production," The ASA Newsletter, www.asanltr.com.
[2] Igor Alborghetti, "Yugoslav Army has 40 Metric Tons of the Poisonous Gases Sarin and Mustard Gas in the Underground Storage Facility of the Chemical Plant in Lucani," Zagreb Globus, 16 April 1999, pp. 18-19.

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This material is produced independently for NTI by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of and has not been independently verified by NTI or its directors, officers, employees, or agents. Copyright 2017.