EUR 14 million will be invested by Balkan Agrikalcaral in a warehouse and production facility in Trakia Economic Zone in the land of the village of Kalekovets. This was announced by the mayor of Maritza Municipality Dimitar Ivanov and engineer Plamen Panchev, CEO of TEZ.

The investment will take place in two stages. The first is the construction of a logistics center and a specialized warehouse for fresh fruit and vegetables with a total area of ​​55,000 sq. M and a built-up area of ​​1,000 sq. M. The estimated value is 4 million euro. A processing plant for the production of fruit and vegetable concentrates worth EUR 10 million is the second investment stage. It will be on 45,000 square meters, of which 7,000 square meters of built-up area. The plant will be equipped with high-tech Italian equipment and will process the vegetables to puree – such as tomato puree, for example, and fruits to mousse – such as apple mousse, specified mayor Dimitar Ivanov.

Balkan Agricultural already has one factory near Pazardzhik. The selection of the second factory in the village of Kalekovets was made after studying the conditions offered by the Trakia Economic Zone and the Maritsa Municipality. But also because of the fact that in Plovdiv there are registered the largest number of producers of fruits and vegetables in the country. The term for construction is the next crop, 2020, to be processed in their new factory, said Plamen Panchev, engineer. He added that investor Muhannad al-Nuaimi, who has been in Bulgaria for 15 years, has shared with him that he is ready to even double his production base as long as he has a stable relationship with fruit and vegetable producers in the Plovdiv region.

Dimitar Ivanov announced that in 2018 the administration of Maritza Municipality issued a total of 230 building permits mainly for new and expansion of already existing industrial enterprises. The emergence of an investor in the field of fruit and vegetable processing will solve one of the most significant problems for farmers in the region – the purchase of the produced produce, the mayor of the municipality underlined.

To attract and retain investors, “Cluster Trakia Economic Zone” offers to train and qualify their staff at a training center. The Association is a beneficiary of the project “Targeted Development and Update of Cluster Information Assets”. The project is implemented with the financial support of the Operational Program “Innovation and Competitiveness” 2014-2020, Priority Axis 2 “Entrepreneurship and Capacity for Growth of SMEs” under the “Cluster Development in Bulgaria” procedure co-financed by the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund development and from the national budget of the Republic of Bulgaria.

The total value of the project is BGN 1 754 167,51, of which BGN 1 057 221,95 European and BGN 186 568,61 national cofinancing, the project manager Emil Dimitrov announced today at a final press conference. The activities for the implementation of the TRACIA project are finalizing. Equipment and equipment for 10 theoretical training rooms and 1 training practice center, including 211 computers, modern software and electronic platform for management of electronic masses of the “Cluster Trakia Economic Zone”, and distance learning are purchased.

This training center is an additional infrastructure for investors that offers ICT, said Georgi Stoev, Managing Partner of Industry Watch. According to him, the human capital reserve in the Plovdiv region is in the range of about 200,000 people. This figure is obtained if only people who are in the low-tech and service sectors come together. There are also many who do not participate in the labor market at all. With professional qualifications in the training center of “Cluster Trakia Economic Zone” they can easily start work in a medium-sized enterprise in the automotive, machine-building or manufacturing industries, sectors with higher added value and better pay, Stoev pointed out.