Region Varna - Some basic information
Location : Varna region lies in the northeastern part
of Bulgaria and covers a surface of 3820 square kilometers,
i.e. about 3.5 % of the total area of Bulgaria. The region
has a broad entrance to the black sea. Varna bay is a deep
cut, which leads about 30 km deeply into the interior. A water
way reaches thus up to the chemistry and the other industrial
complexes in the neighbour cities of Devnja, Provadia and
Population : The population of Varna region amounts
to about 490,000 inhabitants, by those approx. 70% live in
the city of Varna. Varna is the third biggest city of Bulgaria.
Climate : The climate of the region is a very pleasant
moderate-continental sea-climate, which prolongs the tourist
season up to 150 days.
Natural resources : In the region are won: rock salt,
manganese ore, limestone with higher degree of purity, quartz
sand, kieselgur and granite. In the Black Sea shelf natural
gas has been discovered. In addition a large gas line from
the Ukraine crosses the territory of Varna region. A gas line
is built, which will lead from the gas sources from Varna
shelf to Devnja.
22% of the territory of the region is covered by forest,
with estimated approximately 8 million Cubic meter wood.
The water supply of the region is ensured by a network of
artificial lakes and local sources of water. In addition the
region is very rich at hot sources of mineral water. The iodine
and bromine content of the sea water offer in principle possibilities
of the industrial production of these products.
Energy: The energy needs of the region are mainly
covered by two local combined heat and power stations with
an overall capacity of 1500 MW, which are a part of the national
Technical infrastructure/traffic route : The technical
infrastructure of the region is well developed. The road system
in the region has a length of 1200 km. In Varna the main traffic
line Varna Sofia begins, through Varna leads also the road
connection Constanta Varna Burgas Istanbul.
One passenger port and five commercial ports are at the disposal
to the transportation by sea. The port is ordered with 30
dock places for general cargo, chemical products, wood, grain,
cattle and other goods. It is the largest in Bulgaria and
in addition there are two container terminals and a ferry
boat terminal. The storage space in dock amounts to about
70,000 square meter considered and about 400,000 square meters
as open space. From here ferry boat lines and Ro-Ro-connections
with the ports in the Ukraine, Russia and Grusia exist. These
lines are of special importance in connection with the realization
of the project Rhein Main Danube channel. The largest Bulgarian
shipping company has 700,000 TDW, among them tankers, container
ships, ferryboats, two-cover ships and ships for bulk material.
The railroad network is very well developed. By means of
daily ferry boat lines a direct connection with the national
railroad networks of the GUS states exists
Varna has also an international airport, which can take up
in the summer tourist season over 100 airplanes daily, among
them heavy air freighters. The airport has at present direct
connection with 101 cities in 35 countries. The freight amounts
at present to 10,000 tons per year.
The telecommunications network in Varna is the best developed
in Bulgaria. In Varna 44,4 % of the telecommunications network
is digitized, in Varna region 36 %, with a state average of
21 %. The density of telephone lines is 481 per 1000 inhabitants
and 300 km fiber optic cable (MAN - ATM/STM). In addition
there are digital telephone exchange centers from Siemens
Varna is one of the basic nodes of two optic cables: KAFOS
(connecting Varna with Istanbul and Mangalia/Rumania) and
BSFOCS (Black Sea Optic Cable System), which connects Varna
with Odessa/Ukraine and Novorisysk/Russia.
With all these possibilities Varna is a natural bridge between
Europe, Asia and Africa. It is a large industrialist, transport
-, trade -, cultural and scientific center.
Production profile: The production profile of Varna
region becomes predominantly determined by metal and mechanical
engineering and machine building including shipbuilding and
ship repairing, chemical industry, transportation by sea,
as well as light and food industry, textile industry, and
construction. Numerous companies are working in the fields
building of ships, ship repair, production of diesel engines,
radar technology, medical technology, production of household
appliances, building material and building, production of
furniture, textile, canning of fruits and vegetables, alcoholic
and alcohol-free beverages, meat products, milk and milk products.
The chemical industry is concentrated in the city of Devnja.
There are large capacities for the production of calcined
soda, cement, mineral fertilizer, polyvinyl chloride, wash
and cleaning agents, household chemistry, household and industrial
Varna region is the largest touristic center of the Bulgarian
Black Sea coast. The health resort complexes have more than
135 hotels with a capacity of more than 35000 beds and 200
reconvalescent homes. The number of visitors in the tourism
rose particularly in the last two years again strongly, which
released a substantial building activity within this range.
A new emphasis represents the development of the alternative
tourism, including cultural or religious objects of interest
as well as the village tourism (rural or traditional Bulgarian
ways of life). In addition the beauty of nature is included
more for the use of an ecologically compatible tourism than
so far. The tourism, which took place in the Black Sea region
until now mainly in the summer season, is to take place more
strongly all year round. A further starting point for this
are the numerous hot sources of mineral water, which can be
used for balneological applications.
The privatization process in Varna region is finished to
a large extent, apart from a few exceptions. For the moment
privatizations still line up within the range of shipbuilding,
merchant fleet, in the energy sector and in the water supply.
Varna has five universities and several scientific institutes,
so that a large potential of well trained specialists is present
in the region.
Regional key players:
Navigation Maritime Bulgare
Solvay - Sodi
Italcimente - Devnja Cement
Odessos Ship Repair Yard
Navigation Maritime Bulgare: about half of the total
income of the region and about 90 % of the revenues in the
total transportation sector of the region are provided by
Navibulgar. The company is the largest Bulgarian shipping
company and the national carrier in this field. The enterprise
is nominated for privatization now.
Tourist Companies: Tourism as the most prospering
sector of the economy in the region is very interesting for
foreign investors. Different large tourist complexes were
recently privatized, among them Golden Sands, St.St. Constantine
and Elena, Sunny Day and the Riviera Holiday Club. The largest
number of tourists comes from Germany, Great Britain, the
Scandinavian countries and Russia.
Solvay Sodi: Solvay acquired 1997 the soda ash plant
Devnja in a consortia with the Turkish company SiseCam. Solvay
Sodi has a stable position on the international market and
produces traditionally to low costs. 80 % of the output is
exported. The soda ash plant is worldwide the largest single
production unit for synthetic soda.
Italcimente - Devnja Cement: The cement plant in Devnja
was acquired 1997 by Marvex (Spain) and sold in October 1998
to Cement Francaise/Italcimente. It is a prominent producer
and exporter of cement and clinker in Bulgaria.
Agropolychim: In 1999 during the liquidation acquired
by & Acid Fertilizers, a Union Miniere/Hardland Investment
joint company. Agropolychim is a major Bulgarian fertilizer
producer with a capacity of 800,000 t per year. According
to the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry it is the
second largest enterprise in northwest Bulgaria regarding
the annual sales revenues. In September 2001 completed the
first section of the construction of a liquid chemicals terminal
in Varna. The scope of the project: export of approximately
400,000 mt sulfuric acid per year.
Varna Shipyard: bankruptcy proceedings since 1999.
This was leading to a loss of 5000 jobs. An unsuccessful attempt
of privatization by the British company Cammell Laird was
to follow. In January 2002 the shipyard was declared insolvent
and on 2. April 2002 it was acquired by Navibulgar. At present
the renewed privatization procedure for the shipyard is proceeding.
Odessos Shiprepair Yard: the largest and best equipped
Bulgarian shiprepair yard suitable for dry-docking of vessels
up to 35000 dwt and afloat repair up to 150,000 dwt.
Investment possibilities for foreign investors in Varna region:
Varna region is after Sofia the most attractive Bulgarian
investment region in Bulgaria. 418 million US dollar have
been invested between 1992 and 2001 in Varna region. The biggest
foreign investments are from Belgium, Greece, Germany, Singapore
The structures of the economy and the production in Varna
region can encourage investments in the following fields:
1. Use of the distribution possibilities and the stores basis
for storage and re-export of raw materials, metals, chemicals,
agricultural products, particularly into the GUS and to Asia.
2. Highly effective trade with products of the large and household
chemistry. Investments in reconstruction and renovation of
the production capacities within this range.
3. Use of the existing production capacities of the agriculture
and food processing industry for the ecological production
4. Development of a highly effective international tourism
with various programs and offers. Participation in the development
of the tourist sector and the infrastructure.
5. Reconstruction and modernization of Varna port on the basis
of a new master plan.
6. Modernization and common enterprise of the existing telecommunications
7. Execution of ecological projects in the region, e.g. within
the range of improving the cleanness of sea water, avoidance
and utilization of industrial and household wastes, energy
saving measures and thermal insulation, in particular with
old buildings, renewable energies.
8. Establishment of a "High Tech Incubator" as a
center for technology-oriented enterprises (European Union
conveyances for it are intended).
9. Establishment of a duty-free zone.
10. Reconstruction and modernization of Varna airport with
an investment of approximately 160 million Euros.