24 Nov 2021

Еxperience and knowledge… in partnership with the best

Time magazine presents "Trace Group Hold" Plc in the column "BULGARIA – At the Strategic Crossroads of Europe". In its publication from November 8, 2021, the magazine published a journalistic article entitled: “Trace Group Hold Plc – Building for the Future", telling of the Holding company and the Executive Director Eng. Boyan Delchev. Time magazine chose photo from the international Corridor X, construction of Highway E 75, within the section Grdelitsa (Gorno Pole) - Tsaricina Dolina, executed by Trace.

Here is the full text of the publication:

BULGARIA – At the Strategic Crossroads of Europe

TRACE GROUP HOLDPlc – Building for the Future

In the three decades since Bulgaria began its journey from one-party state to parliamentary democracy, the Balkan country on the Black Sea has undergone a significant social and economic transformation as well as a political one. It has been a gradual rather than dramatic change from a highly centralized, planned economy to an open, market-based, upper-middle-income country at the heart of the European Union (EU).

Bulgaria secured membership of the EU in 2007, and since then incomes have risen sharply with billions of euros flowing into the country’s industries. EU membership has worked to Brussels' advantage as well as Sofia’s because Bulgaria’s geographic location means that the development of its transport, infrastructure is vital to the EU’s plans to link central Europe with the Mediterranean to the south and with routes north to Germany.

Most of the projects required to realize this objective are enshrined in the EU’s Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) initiative. Part of the wider Orient/East Mediterranean corridor, TEN-T is the vehicle through which Brussels is channeling funding for the network of airports, roads, railways and water infrastructure that will eventually form a seamless east-west trading and transport corridor.

Founded in 1996 by Prof. Ph.D. Eng. Nikolay Mihaylov, who is still majority shareholder, was listed on the Bulgarian Stock Exchange in 2007, the Sofia-based Trace Group Hold has been actively involved in several of these Ten-T projects. Underwritten by $450m of EU financing, the modernization of the railway infrastructure between the cities of Plovdiv and Burgas in the south-east of the country is among the most important and financially substantial of these projects.

The group has also been involved in a long list of other specifically Bulgarian flagship infrastructure initiatives. These include the Sofia Metro development, where as the prime contractor, the company has played a major role in the highly complex construction of 45 station and 50 kilometers. Elsewhere, Trace has helped build Sofia Civil Airport and several wastewater and sewage treatment facilities, was entrusted with several special-purpose projects such as the reconstruction of the Graf Ignatievo Military Airport.

Along with the capital’s new underground system and its extensive work in the upgrading of Bulgaria’s road and rail networks, Trace is also responsible for Bulgaria’s first state intermodal terminal in Plovdiv. The sheer expertise and quality of its work is even more easily appreciated by a visit to such structures as the Trapezitsa roundabout in Burgas, and the Western Arc of Sofia’s ring road which are both masterpieces in their combination of traffic and pedestrian flow planning and execution. Over the years, Trace has won several awards for its work, most recently for the design, development and reconstruction of a major overpass in Stare Zagora.

Trace’s technical and organizational skills have clearly played a large part in its success, but so too has the company’s ability to work constructively in partnership with blue-chip multinationals including Siemens and Alstom. “We have a successful track record in partnering with some of the EU’s most experienced logistics and building materials supplier,” says CEO Boyan Delchev. “This means we can always rely on sourcing the best products and services.”

Outside Bulgaria, the group acquired a majority stake in the Vior Velika Morava engineering company back in 2008 and the acquisition of PZP’s Niz and Vranje subsidiaries followed in 2015. Three years later these were merged into Trace Serbia which since then has been instrumental in upgrading some of the country’s major highways. The Trace Group Hold also has subsidiaries registered in Germany, Ukraine and North Macedonia, and has been involved in several projects in Prague.

Romania is next. “We calculate that over the next five to seven years contracts worth a combined total of $100bn could be put out to tender as Romania finally gets to grip with its road and rail problems,” Delchev predicts. “We would hope to be in the running for at least $1.5bn of that.”

As the Group prepares to celebrate its 25th anniversary and Delchev ponders where the Trace Group Hold might be in another quarter century’s time, the prospect of bringing the company’s skill and experience to bear in projects in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa is coming into view. In partnership, of course, but only with the best.

You can find here a link of Time Magazine publication.