70% of Honeywell Bulgaria Operations Serve Clients Abroad
Bulgaria is an integral part of Honeywell's global customer development strategy, Edwin W. van den Maagdenberg, Vice President and General Manager, Honeywell Process Solutions, Europe, Middle East & Africa, told Novinite.com (Sofia News Agency).
In an exclusive interview for the Bulgaria-US Survey of Novinite.com (Sofia News Agency), Van den Maagdenberg pointed out that Honeywell's business in Bulgaria has been growing with the Bulgarian branch of the multinational American giant having installed more than 60 Honeywell systems in Bulgarian industrial plants and completed more than 100 international engineering projects.
Honeywell's projects in Bulgaria have delivered technologies for improving, safety, efficiency and operational reliability to Bulgaria's main industries such as metals, mining and minerals, power generation, petrochemical, chemical, and pharmaceutical, pulp and paper and oil and gas.
One of the major examples of projects that Honeywell has carried out in Bulgaria is the modernization of the Maritsa East 2 thermal power plant where it delivered its Experion PKS platform, which is a scalable plant control and ESD system, installed and fully supported by the local Honeywell team in Bulgaria.
At the same time, however, more than 70% of the Honeywell-Bulgaria activities, services and production are dedicated to projects and services abroad.
At present Honeywell employes full-time more than 100 specialists in Bulgaria.
In 2006, Honeywell decided to consolidate the customer service activities for process automation in one location and, indeed, Sofia was a natural choice when deciding where to locate the Customer Solutions Center (CSC) for several reasons... In Bulgaria, we can draw on a pool of talented and experienced engineers, many of whom have worked with Honeywell systems over the years as we built up our business here," Van den Maagdenberg said.
He explained Honeywell decided to consolidate its the Central European customer service activities in one location in 2006 and selected Sofia. The new Customer Solutions Center employs 60 people and their number is expected to rise to 90 by the end of 2010. Honeywell has invested USD 2 M to enlarge and upgrade its CSC to handle the projects for our European client base.
"Because of this consolidation we are able to offer our customers in this region upgraded services and we are closer to them. We started building up the Customer Solutions Center (CSC) in Bulgaria and this year we opened our new Regional Center in Sofia, which is a certified location employing We are proud to say that every project executed by the Bulgarian Customer Solution Center needing external equipment and services was sub-contracted to local Bulgarian companies; in total we placed USD 3 M in orders during the second half of 2009 supporting local industry and jobs," the Honeywell Process Solutions VP for Europe, Middle East and Africa told Novinite.com (Sofia News Agency).
Another significant development has been the enlargement of Honeywell's echnical and sales support center for Europe Middle east and Africa in Bulgaria with the company only recently hiring 17 new specialists, and now having more than 30 people working in this highly specialized engineering group.
"Both the OECD and World Bank forecast a return to growth for Europe in 2010, Bulgaria's process industries stand to benefit... Bulgaria is historically a country with a tradition of well educated people in the fields of IT and electronics. The country was one of the first in the former eastern block to start developing IT specialists. Such new investments in high-tech sectors can help the country to further develop knowledge and competence, and retain talents. We devote considerable effort worldwide to promoting science and technology as a choice of career and then supporting those students that go onto to perform research. We would like to support the next generation of Bulgarian engineers and scientists as well," declared Van den Maagdenberg.
To achieve these goals, Honeywell has signed a long term co-operation agreement with the Technical University of Sofia and University of Chemical Metallurgy and Technology in Sofia in June 2009, supporting both universities with the UniSim (demo) software modules for modeling industrial processes, and working with students during the course of their studies via a program called Jet Pro.
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