You have announced that your company’s focus will be on the production of RR and foodstuffs, and on environmental protection. Have these projects started?
– In the Balkans, the focus will shift from the food industry to other light industries. RR and environmental protection projects started a few years ago but it takes a few years for their concrete results to become visible. GEA Group is involved in several projects of this kind in the region, one of them concerning a biodiesel plant for Victoria Group in Šid. Without substantial government subsidies for this type of product these plants are not economically viable due to the current ratio of global prices of raw materials to that of fossil fuels. Environmental projects will soon become important part of economic activities. GEA Group is actively involved in projects concerning municipal and industrial waste water treatment (WWT) plants in the region. Our equipment has found its place in WWT plants in many municipalities and indystries, like Subotica Dairy, Apatin and Heineken breweries, etc.
GEA has subsidiaries worldwide. Does Serbia have any comparative advantages? Is our legislation sufficiently harmonised with that of the EU?
– The global regions and countries organisation consisting of 45 regional organisations which is tasked with covering the market and providing the high quality services to which the partners of GEA Group across the globe are accustomed. Both globally and in Serbia, we follow and are involved in the projects concerning RR and the environment. The initiative and ideas are there but the road to their realisation is often long. One of the problems is the lack of professionals to support the realisation of projects. The laws of the countries in the region are largely harmonised with relevant EU laws and we believe that it’s just a matter of time for their full realisation to start. The involvement of local governments, government institutions and local comanies, and favourable loans and subsidies from the EU and the World Bank have pushed several important regional projects forward and injected a necessary dose of optimism.
A network of 45 regional organisations is tasked with covering the market and providing the high quality services to which the partners of GEA Group across the globe are accustomed
Your business requires constant innovation in production and design. Do you aspire to be a leader in this area as well? What innovations have already found their use in regional plants?
– Over 70% of the equipment we deliver contains innovations and patents not older than five years, recognised and awarded globally as innovative and progressive. The plants in the region are the result of continuous work on innovative solutions to enhance the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of our partners’ production processes. As regards the innovations that have found their place in the region, worth mentioning are the global premiere of the separator with an integrated drive for the oil industry, which was installed at the oil refinery in Šid, and the latest series of decanter centrifuges for sludge treatment, which have found their place in several WWT plants in the region. GEA Group will continue to focus on innovations that will enable our partners to be a step ahead of their competition.