History

 

The Swiss company Holcim Ltd. first stepped on the Bulgarian market in 1997 when it privatized the cement plant of Beloizvorski cement in Northwest Bulgaria.

Beloizvorski cement was commissioned in August 1960 with 2 process lines. Two more lines were put into operation in 1962. The production grew steadily until 1990, which saw the commissioning of Kiln 7 and the shutdown of the oldest 5 kilns, which had become obsolete. The production capacity reached 0.8 mio t. clinker per annum. Due to falling market demand Kiln 6 was mothballed in 1998, leaving Kiln 7 the sole focus of production. Around 2004 the market situation began to improve and the prospects of steady growth in subsequent years became the driver for a significant large-scale investment in capacity increase. In 2006 Holcim Bulgaria commissioned its upgraded kiln line at Beli Izvor with new preheater and grate cooler, increasing capacity from 1,400 to 2,500 tpd of clinker. Responding to strong market demand, in October 2006 the company began planning a second capacity increase from 2,500 to 3,300 tpd of clinker. The newly upgraded plant was recommissioned in February 2009.

Holcim has been present at the aggregates market in Bulgaria since 1999 with two significant acquisitions in the two biggest Bulgarian cities - Sofia and Plovdiv. With 10 production sites for gravel, sand and crushed stone up to date, Holcim Bulgaria has a definite market leadership in these regions. In 2004, another step forward affiliated the cement plant in Pleven (capacity: 226 500 tpa) with the Holcim family.The year 2005 marked another milestone in the company's history on the Bulgarian market - stepping forward to the ready-mix segment with the acquisition of a ready-mix operation in Plovdiv.

To strengthen its strategic presence on the aggregates market, at the end of 2007 Holcim acquired Rudinata pit. It is situated near Sofia and produces crushed stone for ready-mix concrete and road construction.

In September 2008 Holcim ensured for itself a stronger position at the ready-mix concrete market by the merger of its company Komars with Remos beton into Holcim Beton Plovdiv - the biggest supplier of ready-mix concrete in the region of Plovdiv.

The beginning of 2010 saw further expansion in the aggregates business. Holcim Bulgaria acquired Dinkata pit near Pazardjik and integrated it into its structures as a separate legal entity under the name of VRIS OOD. With the acquisition of Dinkata pit Holcim has gained access to a new market - Pazardzhik and its region, along with the opportunity to strengthen its current market positions in Sofia and Plovdiv.

Because of the difficult economic situation the Pleven plant was closed for good in 2011 and in June 2012 Holcim Beton Plovdiv merged into Holcim (Bulgaria) AD.