Press Release

Aurubis invests around € 60 million in the Pirdop site and concludes maintenance shutdown in Bulgaria as planned

Hamburg/Pirdop | Wednesday, June 28, 2023

  • Investments of ~ € 60 million in maintenance and expansion set the stage for ongoing high operative performance
  • Strong focus on safety: 40-day large-scale project proceeded without a single accident; all activities completed in the planned timeframe and budget
  • Clear plus for more sustainability: new technology improves energy efficiency and environmental balance

As part of the planned maintenance shutdown, Aurubis, a global leading provider of non-ferrous metals, updated its production facilities in the Pirdop plant with state-of-the-art technologies and executed additional improvements. Following the successful completion of the project, operations fully resumed in Pirdop today. The investments implemented will allow the site to achieve even better environmental standards in the future while also creating ideal conditions for maintaining the Pirdop plant’s exceptionally high operative performance from recent years.

The successful completion of the large-scale shutdown in Pirdop demonstrates our ability to execute complex, major projects on schedule and within the planned budget. This is an essential skill for realizing our comprehensive strategic agenda

, said Heiko Arnold, COO Custom Smelting & Products of Aurubis AG. “The regular maintenance shutdown also represents a considerable investment in the reliability and sustainability of our facilities. This project will help us uphold the exceptionally high plant availability achieved after the previous shutdown in 2021. And it is a clear signal that we are continuing to develop our important site in Bulgaria.”

During the 40 days of the maintenance shutdown, more than 130 maintenance and repair activities were carried out in all the major production areas at the plant. A large number of components were renewed and repaired as part of the technically and logistically extremely complex large-scale project. With a total investment volume of around € 60 million, the project was completed in the planned timeframe and budget.

The maintenance shutdown was also an opportunity to execute investment projects and optimizations that will raise the plant’s energy efficiency even higher. Additionally, a second anode casting wheel with all the feed lines to the anode furnace was installed. This will further improve plant availability and production stability along with it.

In addition to safety and process efficiency, the large-scale standstill in Pirdop also focused on enhancing the site’s environmental performance: Efficiency measures realized as part of the ongoing project will lower the plant’s CO2 emissions by another 2,100 tons per year while also improving the energy efficiency of production. Furthermore, these investments will contribute to Aurubis’ sustainability target of a 50% reduction in CO2 emissions from production and energy input (Scope 1&2) by 2030.

Executing a maintenance shutdown is a major logistical and technical project and planning for the most recent shutdown in Pirdop began back in 2021. The Aurubis workforce was joined by more than 900 workers from a number of external companies. As during regular operations, occupational health and safety took highest priority and no accidents occurred during the project.

“Everything unfolded seamlessly and according to plan despite difficult weather conditions. Our team on the ground worked with local partners to execute this unique project with exceptional focus and impressively well all around,” Pirdop plant manager Tim Kurth emphasized. “We would like to thank everyone who contributed to this success and are proud that our focus on the very highest occupational safety standards during the large-scale maintenance shutdown as well delivered.”

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Ivailo Georgiev
Ivailo Georgiev

Head of Sustainability and External Affairs

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