27 Apr 2024

Glavbolgarstroy selected for Aurubis cathode copper production expansion project construction

Aurubis has initiated a new investment program at its oil extraction plant near Pirdop and Zlatitsa, to be executed over the next four years. The focal point of this program entails expanding the cathode copper refinery and erecting two new photovoltaic parks.

"This marks the largest German investment in Bulgaria," stated Roland Harings, CEO of the Aurubis Group, during the symbolic groundbreaking ceremony. The event was graced by the presence of Acting Minister of Economy and Industry, Dr. Petko Nikolov.

For the expansion of cathode copper production, the German company has entrusted the Bulgarian construction group "Glavbolgarstroy", a longstanding partner.

Emil Angelov, CEO of Glavbolgarstroy Holding, expressed gratitude to the involved parties for their trust and precise cooperation over the past nearly 8 years on two separate tailings storage facilities.

"Effective planning is perhaps half the success of a site. We value our partnership for numerous reasons - your commitment to compliance, your clear regard for human life, and your receptiveness to our expert opinion. Together, we navigate the complexities of project realization", stated Emil Angelov during the ceremony.

With Aurubis' new investment, the cathode copper refinery's capacity will increase from 230,000 tonnes to 340,000 tonnes per year. Refined copper stands as a pivotal material for energy transition, connectivity, and digitalization, serving as Bulgaria's primary export product.

Simultaneously, the construction of two new photovoltaic parks, "Auribis-2" and "Auribis-3", has commenced. With the addition of a fourth park next year, the green energy capacity will reach 41 MWp.

This program aligns with the company's long-term strategy to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 and ensure sustainable production of materials vital to the European economy.

Roland Harings highlighted Aurubis' intention to increase production by 100,000 tons of cathode copper, surpassing 50 percent of the plant's current capacity. The Group's overall investment program amounts to 1.7 billion across production sites in Europe and copper recycling facilities in the USA. Harings emphasized that Aurubis prioritizes production methods with the lowest carbon footprint.

The ceremony saw the presence of Sonja Miekley, general manager of the German-Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Tim Kurth, executive director of Aurubis Bulgaria and president of the German-Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, as well as the mayors of Pirdop and Zlatitsa municipalities.

In a video message, European Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton, stated that this project will have lasting environmental benefits and address many challenges, positioning the European economy competitively and contributing to sustainable, environmentally friendly economic development goals. Breton emphasized the crucial role of copper demand in reducing dependence on external suppliers and boosting European industry competitiveness. He highlighted projections indicating a twofold increase in copper demand by 2025 and underscored the importance of sustainable copper supply as outlined in the European Commission's new act on raw materials, unanimously approved by all EU members.