Riko to build a EUR 100 million complex in Belarus

Photo: Riko archives

May 2012

The Slovenian company Riko will build a multi-purpose complex featuring a five-star Kempinski Hotel and 81 apartments and offices in the centre of the Belarus capital, Minsk. The construction of the hotel is valued at EUR 57 million, while the cost of the entire complex is estimated at over EUR 100 million.

Architectural model of the hotel Kempinski. Photo: Riko archives

The Kempinski Hotel will have approximately 22,000 m² of floor space, while the residential units and offices will stretch over 14,000 m² and 15,000 m² respectively. The complex will also include parking and support facilities covering 23,000 m².

Riko, which has been present on the Belarusian market for a decade now, gained investors’ confidence with its competitive bid, flexible business structure and its numerous references, particularly the construction of the hotel Peter I in the centre of Moscow and that of the transformer stations in Minsk. The company will involve Slovenian partners to participate in the construction phase and in the supply of equipment.

Architectural model of the hotel Kempinski. Photo: Riko archives

The investor in the project is the company Elite Estate JLCC, with the architectural solution being provided by Moscow’s architecture bureau SPEECH LLC. The deadline for the construction of the hotel is the end of 2013, while the construction of the residential and commercial complex is to be completed before the end of 2014.

Slovenian companies will be awarded 40% of the business regarding the construction of the hotel, 15% will go to Belarus companies and the rest to companies from other countries. 

Janez Škrabec, Riko’s owner and director

Riko is the largest civil engineering company in Slovenia. Most of the credit for this goes to its director Janez Škrabec. As he says himself, he is in general very satisfied with Slovenia and its macro environment. 'I believe that it is innovative leadership that has made Riko a successful company. The management style is very democratic, while the structure is lean and allows a lot of autonomy', he says.

Riko’s strongest activity is industrial engineering, primarily the sale of technology for the automotive industry to the countries of the former Soviet Union. The company’s long standing partners in Russia include Avtovaz and Gaz, and Maz, MTZ, Belaz and MTZ in Belarus. A high percentage of the company’s revenue is generated in the ecology and energy sector.

Riko Houses

Kekec kindergarten - extension, Ljubljana. Photo: Riko archives

Riko Houses is a company that manufactures and markets ecological and energy-saving wooden buildings. The innovative living space solutions designed in Riko Houses are prefabricated in the production facilities in Ribnica using the company’s own patent. The company takes care of the entire project, from the birth of the idea to the construction of the building and the design of the façade.

Ever since 1997, when Riko Houses started manufacturing massive wooden elements for a foreign partner, the company has continued the valuable heritage of building with wood. Two years later, the company took over the system patent for the production of massive wooden houses, marking the beginning of its promising growth and the story of its success. To date, Riko Houses has developed into an internationally recognised and successful company, while the many Slovene and foreign certificates it has earned, as well as design and architecture awards are a testament to the quality of Riko wooden constructions.


The roots of Riko reach back to the 19th century, when a sports and medical equipment factory was established under the name of JOR in the town of Ribnica, the cradle of Slovenian entrepreneurship. The company Riko, a Slovene acronym standing for ‘Ribnica metal processing factory’, was built on its very foundations. From that time onwards and until 1990, its production programs gradually developed to include agricultural mechanisations, tractor trailers, aircraft, municipal equipment and waste management equipment, as well as highly sophisticated flexible systems.

In the 1990s, Riko shifted its focus from pure manufacturing to engineering, and began producing prefabricated Riko wooden buildings.

The Riko company and Riko Houses owe their development and growth to the long entrepreneurial tradition of the Ribnica valley. Craft and small business began to flourish in 1492, when the Austro-Hungarian emperor granted an imperial patent to the people of Ribnica, allowing them to sell whatever they produced themselves. This heritage is imprinted in Riko’s genes.

Wooden products, namely wooden household items, became a selling hit of the peddlers from Ribnica, after Friedrich II granted them a patent.

Based on 500 years of tradition, Riko Houses has developed into a company recognised and successful throughout Europe.

Text by Vesna Žarkovič, Sinfo, May 2012 

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