Greek building materials producer Titan will have invested €40m (US$50m) by the beginning of 2007 to increase the capacity of its Bulgarian plant by 50 per cent to 1.5Mt of cement annually, a company official said on Thursday.
The company, has launched an investment programme aimed at raising the plant’s capacity three years ago and has financed the upgrade through its own funds, a company official, who asked not to be named, told SeeNews.
"The Bulgarian market is going well, the cement consumption is increasing, due to both private and public projects, and we also believe that there is a good potential in the longer term," the official said.
Construction activity in Bulgaria, which will join the European Union in 2007, has been growing strongly over the past couple of years, as many large infrastructure projects have been carried out. Private companies have invested heavily in the real estate sector, lured by its potential in line with the southeast European state’s EU membership.
Titan, which runs the Zlatna Panega factory in central Bulgaria, expects to exploit the full capacity of its plant next year. The plant currently operates at full capacity and also imports cement from Bulgaria’s neighbouring countries to meet domestic demand.
Titan, which holds some 30% of the domestic market, competes in Bulgaria with Italy’s biggest cement producer, Italcementi, and world’s second biggest cement maker Holcim. Italcementi said on Wednesday it would spend 185 million euro to modernise its two Bulgarian plants in the next year.
Titan has plants in Bulgaria’s western neighbours Serbia and Macedonia. The company also plans to build a factory in Albania.