Industry

Kozloduy Nuclear Power Plant
Kozloduy Nuclear Power Plant

Industry is very important to the economy. Although Bulgaria is not very rich in reserves of coal, oil, and gas, it is a major producer of electricity and the most important exporter in the region due to the Kozloduy Nuclear Power Plant with a total capacity of 3,760 MW. A second plant, the Belene Nuclear Power Plant with a capacity of 2,000 MW is under construction. There is a $1,400,000,000 project for construction of an additional 670 MW for the 500 MW Maritza Iztok 1 Thermal Power Plant (see Energy in Bulgaria).

Ferrous metallurgy is very important. The production of steel and pig iron is concentrated in Kremikovtsi and Pernik. There is also a third metallurgical base in Debelt. In production of steel and steel products per capita the country is first in the Balkans.

The largest refineries for lead and zinc are in Plovdiv (the biggest refinery between Italy and the Ural mountains), Kardzhali and Novi Iskar; for copper in Pirdop and Eliseina; for aluminium in Shumen. In production of many metals per capita, Bulgaria is first in South Eastern Europe and among the first in Europe and the world.

About 14% of the total industrial production is related to machine building and 24% of the people are employed in this field. Its importance decreased since 1989 but is growing again.

Electronics and electric equipment production is very well developed. The largest centres are Sofia, Plovdiv and surrounding area, Botevgrad, Stara Zagora, Varna and many others. These plants produce household appliances, computers, CDs, telephones, medical and scientific equipment.

Many factories producing transportation equipment do not work at full capacity. There are plants producing trains (Burgas, Dryanovo), trams (Sofia), trolleys (Dupnitsa), buses (Botevgrad), trucks (Shumen), motocars (automotive assembly plant in Lovech). The main centre of agricultural machinery is Ruse. Shipbuilding is concentrated in Varna, Burgas and Ruse. Arms production is mainly developed in central Bulgaria (Kazanlak, Sopot, Karlovo).

The property market has been boosted recently by foreigners seeking additional homes. Buyers come from right across Europe but most are British, encouraged by relatively cheap property and because the country is more accessible through cheap air travel.

 






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