Crivina Blues

Ioana Cîrlig

The project documents the site of the former power plant at Crivina, where the Communist regime intended to generate electricity from oil shale – a sedimentary rock with a low heating value. It was part of the Ceaușescus' ambition to make Romania achieve energy self-sufficiency. To achieve this, in the mid-70s, a mountain was levelled, thousands of people from all over the country were mobilised to build and operate the industrial behemoth, a pipeline was built from Reșița – 45 kilometers away – through the mountain to Crivina, and water was pumped up to an altitude of 500 metres. The project cost over a billion dollars. Production began in 1984, and the plant ran, unsuccessfully and with long periods of downtime, until 1988.


The project was co-financed with a grant of AFCN and OAR