Peter Novak, Managing Director at Kolektor Etra

Transformers for the Most Demanding Consumers

Ljubljana-based Kolektor Etra has a tradition of producing power transformers that dates back over 90 years. It is present with its products in more than 40 countries worldwide, to which the company exports 90% of its transformers

Here CorD Magazine discusses with Kolektor Etra MD Peter Novak how the company’s Barajevo factory – thanks to innovation, expertise and quality – became an exemplary company and an important exporter, but also a reliable partner to the local community and the Serbian economy, with an annual turnover of 20 million euros.

Mr Novak, could you tell us something about your company, which is achieving ever-better results year on year?

— We produce power transformers of rated power of up to 500 MVA and voltages of up to 420 kV. With the development of our Ljubljana factory, we reached production volumes of approximately 250 energy transformers annually, with total power of approximately 15,000 MVA, we were last year able to generate 230 million euros in sales, as well as added value per employee exceeding 100,000 euros.

We are proud of our development, which enables us to sell our products to the most demanding customers in Europe and around the world. Some of those customers – from Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands – joined us in early June for the ceremonial opening of our new high-voltage transformer testing laboratory.

It was six years ago that you expanded your operations with the takeover of a company in Serbia that enabled you to be even more competitive in the segment of smaller power energy transformers?

— Kolektor Etra has expanded its business via its own development and we today have a transformer tank production company with 200 employees in Poland, an engineering company with 50 employees in Ljubljana, sales companies in London and Stockholm, and a company that produces smaller power transformers in Barajevo.

Our employees have opportunities to further their education and acquire knowhow at the parent company in Ljubljana, thereby developing excellent mutual relations and friendships.

We found out in 2018 that the then owner of company Minel Dinamo was a strategic partner who would buy a majority stake in the company and invest in its further development and growth. We recognised the opportunity, took on the majority ownership and began investing. The most important element was investing in the knowhow and education of employees, as well as transferring knowledge from Ljubljana. We developed it from a company that then generated a turnover of less than three million euros, primarily on the domestic market, to the point at which Kolektor Etra Belgrade today generates an annual turnover of 20 million euros, 90% of which is from exports to European countries.

Could it also be said that Kolektor Etra in Barajevo is also an important exporter and a reliable partner to the local community and the Serbian economy?

— Everything starts and ends with people. Our employees switched relatively quickly from fearing and mistrusting the new owner to feeling a sense of pride in working at a factory that’s developing quickly and successfully, taking care of people, paying monthly wages regularly and providing a 13th monthly salary each year, which really isn’t customary among companies in the surrounding area. Our employees have opportunities to further their education and acquire knowhow at the parent company in Ljubljana, thereby developing excellent mutual relations and friendships.

We can state today that Kolektor Etra Belgrade is developing into the most modern manufacturer of transformers in this part of Europe, working for renowned customers like Germany’s E.ON, Sweden’s Fortum, the UK’s Scottish Power etc. Our aim is for quality and good service to become synonymous with this factory – just as they are synonymous with our Ljubljana factory. The construction of the new production hall should be completed by the end of next year, which is why we plan to launch production of 110 kV transformers as early as the beginning of 2026. We are currently working at full capacity and already taking orders for 2026, and we will produce also 110 4kV transformers in 2026 in Barajevo.

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