Aurubis launches engineering hub in Sofia and works on its “centres of excellence”

Aurubis Bulgaria is part of Aurubis AG, a leading multimetal producer and world’s largest copper recycler based in Hamburg, Germany. The company is the largest industrial taxpayer in the country and has a structural importance for the economy of Bulgaria. Aurubis Bulgaria main activities are processing of copper concentrates, production of cathode copper registered on the London Metal Exchange as Pirdop brand, of copper anodes and co-products such as sulfuric acid and iron silicate.
Tim Kurth,
Aurubis Bulgaria CEO

Aurubis Group is planning to launch a new office in Sofia. What are the reasons for this decision?

To answer this question, we will have to go a little bit back in history. When Aurubis took over the smelter in Srednogorie region, located between the towns Pirdop and Zlatitsa we were mainly focused on the operations at the plant. At the time, we needed just a small representative office in Sofia mostly for business meetings. We came up with the idea to enlarge the capabilities of the Bulgarian organisation. We will establish a new service centre in Sofia and its activities will be linked to the core business of the Group. For the shared service unit, we are recruiting engineers and IT specialist who would focus on strategic business expansion projects and innovation for Aurubis international network of plants.

I’m happy to add that we are not only expanding in Sofia. In our production plant we used to have a laboratory which was responsible only for the needs of the Pirdop smelter. Over time, our lab covered higher international quality standards. We realised that we had a significant cost logistic benefit in Bulgaria that remained unused. We took over the activities and the analytical services of several plants within the group in Hamburg and Luenen in Germany and our two plants in Belgium.

We recently had a ground-breaking ceremony for a new recycling smelter in Richmond, in the US state of Georgia, and it is foreseen that all the laboratory analyses for that plant will be performed here.

Another exciting project is again focusing on our plant and the development of our personnel in Srednogorie region. It will be our approach to face an increasing gap for the entire industry – the knowledge transfer from experienced professionals to new generations of motivated employees.

The Aurubis Bulgaria Centre for Development (ABCD centre) will be created in a fully renovated historic building within our plant premises. The certified centre will focus on dual-education students, university graduates and continued development of employees with over 800 users annually: apprentices, internship students, trainees and visitors.

How many jobs will be created with these projects?

With the expansion of our laboratory we are expecting to create approximately 30 new highly qualified working places, while in the new Sofia office another 50 will be opening in time, starting with 25 at the first stage.

When do you plan to open the new office in Sofia?

The design is aligned and we expect that in October or November at the latest we can have a small opening event. However, we are not waiting until then to start the hiring process. Our current office is good enough to accommodate several new colleagues and the first six engineers have already joined us.

What type of projects are these?

These are mainly growth projects that will involve introducing new technologies.

Our new colleagues are already working on projects in Germany and Belgium. I would say that some 80% of the projects that the centre will work on will originate outside Bulgaria. Currently we have teams working with Group Controlling and Purchasing functions and we might need to extend further.

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