Branimir Stojčević, General Manager, Burdock Consultancy d.o.o.

Synonym For Environmental Solutions

Burdock is a company that provides services in the domain of complete project management, engineering, preparations and the supervision of major turnarounds and construction projects worldwide. This company, which was founded in the Netherlands, has a clear intention and goal to develop its business in Serbia over the long run

Discussing Burdock’s plans here is the company’s general manager, Branimir Stojčević, who decided to share his wealth broad experience of knowledge in Serbia after having spent many years working abroad for renowned world companies, side-by-side with top experts.

Burdock Consultancy Belgrade is the seventh full member of the Burdock Group. What prompted your arrival in Serbia? What are your goals?

I was more than pleasantly surprised at the beginning of 2017 when I received an offer to support the establishment and further development of our organisation in Serbia. The direct reason for that, and the first prestigious project on which our staff were engaged, was the implementation of construction works on the Delayed Coker Unit (DCU) plant, for deep oil refining, at the Pančevo refinery that’s owned by our client NIS.

We want to create an essential stable structure between technology, clients and contractors, establishing the uniformity of works and total transparency of all activities and cases. We want to provide our workers with the maximum space for further development, for them to gain serious experience that can subsequently be passed on to future generations for decades.

As a company, we have the clear intention and goal of developing our business in Serbia over the long run. In accordance with that, we held very constructive meetings with representatives of the Ministry of Energy and Mining, after which we also expressed our clear intention to establish strategic and long-term cooperation.

As for me personally, after many years spent working abroad with renowned world companies, side-by-side with top experts, I realised that I should share the wealth of knowledge I’ve gained in Serbia.

Your portfolio is exceptional… What are all the sectors of industry and services that you cover? What is your core business?

Burdock was founded 27 years ago in the Netherlands and provides services in the domain of complete project management, engineering, preparations and the supervision of major overhauls and projects worldwide.

With a broad multinational and multidisciplinary network of people comprising more than 400 highly skilled experts, we cover a wide array of industries, such as refineries, petrochemicals, food, pharmaceuticals and civil and infrastructure facilities.

The turnkey concept is what characterises Burdock Consultancy Belgrade specifically, and that’s why it differs from other companies. We have a more than conscious approach to temporarily taking over project management and ensuring the continuous justification of quality, budgets, delivery deadlines, health and safety at work etc. Here there is simply no room for any kind of compromise that destabilises fundamental principles and processes.

As a company, Burdock is very satisfied with the way the entire business environment in Serbia has improved over the last few years

What are the goals of the Eco Solutions consortium that you’ve formed with your Netherlands-based partners Energo Group and Afmitech?

This is about a combination of Dutch technology and highly qualified international and local professionals, as the key to achieving our goal of becoming synonymous with ecological solutions. Our extensive international experience, coupled with our strong business practises, is aimed at providing project solutions that will help Serbia on the path to resolving its ecological issues.

When it comes to technology, our partner is Afmitech Friesland, and when it comes to fabricating equipment, construction and installation, there are Energo Group Netherlands and DAM projects Priboj. I will give the floor to our associate, Afmitech representative Bojana Vlassak, M.Sc. Ing.

What sets Afmitech’s technical wastewater treatment solutions apart from the rest? What are their specificities?

Afmitech Friesland is a Dutch company specialising in decentralised wastewater treatment that has amassed more than 45 years of experience. Its wastewater treatment systems are patented and satisfy CE standards in terms of quality and performance. The product range encompasses the pre-treatment of wastewater (rotating aerators) and final treatment that enables the reuse of water in, for example, the agroindustrial sector. There is no use of materials that are subject to clogging (filters and membranes) and thus maintenance is simple and accompanied by much lower costs compared to conventional systems. Furthermore, these systems automatically adapt to changes in the load and composition of wastewater, are characterised by high flexibility and are able to withstand an increase in nominal hydraulic loads of up to 200%.

Where are the aforementioned technical solutions applicable in Serbia?

It is known that the problems of municipal wastewater are being resolved in our major cities, which is commendable in every sense, because we know that our natural resources and natural wealth are not inexhaustible.

Apart from the pollution of our rivers and lands, we must also pay great attention to the polluting of our rural areas, hamlets, villages and smaller settlements. Afmitech’s solutions are tailored to municipal wastewater for the broad spectrum of individual households, floating facilities, cruise ships, hotels, resorts, spas, hamlets, villages and settlements of up to 15,000 inhabitants. In order to avoid overloading the existing infrastructure in overcrowded cities, our systems provide investors with a solution to the problem of wastewater in new residential facilities. In terms of industrial wastewater, we have references in the dairy and meat processing industries, breweries etc.

How does the Burdock Group, and you personally, view the investment climate in Serbia?

Like all other professional companies, my personal view is a given. We monitor the business climate in Serbia and we must point out that we are very satisfied with the way the entire business environment has improved over the last few years. This is especially so if we take into account the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here I’m primarily referring to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth, which the European Central Bank this year confirmed as being at the level of 5.6%, with low inflation of 1.5% annually, a low share of public debt in GDP, at 58.6%, further general business activity of both banks and companies, extremely dynamic investment activity, particularly in the field of infrastructure and construction projects to build processing plants, as well as everything else in economic terms that has happened in Serbia in the past. That’s precisely why Burdock believes in the Serbian economy, its vitality and growth, and we therefore want to be active participants in this process.

You are currently active on a public tender for the technical supervision of the installation for a 110 km cross-country gas pipeline between Serbia and Bulgaria. What are your expectations?

How can we stay reserved without stressing our genuine expectations? It would really be a great pleasure for us, not to mention a privilege, to show what we know and are capable of as a company, to contribute maximally to the successful implementation of this exceptional project. As mentioned, we as an organization have the clear intention and goal to develop our activities in Serbia in the long term in order to make a positive contribution to the overall Serbian interest.

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