Vander Vorst Construction Services

Exclusive interview with Solvay Sodi CEO Eric Vander Vorst for the "Investors of the Decade" Business Survey of Novinite.com (Sofia News Agency) and Novinite.bg.

Solvay Sodi is the largest Soda Ash plant in Bulgaria and Europe for synthetic soda ash production, with a nominal capacity of 1, 5 Mt/y.

The first soda ash plant was opened in 1954. In 1974, an entirely new larger factory was built near the old one.

Sodi Devnya was privatized in 1997. 98 % of the company's share capital belongs to Solvay Sisecam Holding, registered in Vienna and comprising of the Belgian chemicals group Solvay (75 %) and Turkey's chemicals group Sisecam (25 %).

In 2000, Solvay Sodi acquired ownership of some of its main suppliers of raw materials and energy – Deven power plant, the brine supplier Provadsol, and jointly with Devnya Cement – the limestone quarry of Devnya Varoviк.

Solvay Sodi is one of the biggest industries in Bulgaria, representing around 1% of total Bulgarian export.

Eric Vander Vorst became was born on October 7, 1962 in Uccle, Belgium. He holds a degree in Business Management (Solvay Business School in Brussels) and mechanical and electrical engineering (University of Brussels). Vander Vorst had followed postgraduate courses at the Business Schools IMD of Lausanne and INSEAD (France, Singapore).

In 1987, he joined Solvay, held various positions for the company in Belgium and was in charge of the Vinythai PLC, a joint venture of Solvay in Thailand. For 8 years Vander Vorst was Solvay's corporate Purchasing Manager in charge of a portfolio worth EUR 1200 M a year.

Currently, Eric Vander Vorst is CEO at Solvay Sodi, & Chairman of the Board at Deven, and Chairman of the Board at Provadsol and Solvay country manager for Bulgaria.

Mr. Vander Vorst, what were the biggest challenges you faced when you took over management of the factory in Bulgaria?

As usual when entering in a new job and a new country, there is a kind of cultural shock. You need to be acquainted quickly with the do's and do not's, find new habits of life and become at the same time accepted by the staff. The 3 first months are also critical in order to build your credibility, demonstrating your competences and added value and develop with your team the vision and short term priorities.

I would say that living in Varna's area is not difficult, the language is not easy but fortunately Bulgarians are good in English and sometimes French. The difficulty at beginning was to understand what the environmental priorities were: there were accesses and depots problems, CO2 quotas issues, taxation audits and changes...

Bulgaria: Solvay Sodi CEO Eric Vander Vorst: We Strongly Hope Chemical Industry Will Have Future in Bulgaria

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Q&A

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How does all the construction material transported to Kedaranath without vehicle road?

There are so many constructions around kedarnath temple

by mules they can negotiate slopes of mountains