Landscape of the European Chemical Industry 2020

Landscape of the European Chemical Industry 2020




€1.578 billion

Number of companies


Capital spending

€678 million

R&D investment

€127 million

Direct employees


National contact

Bulgarian Chamber of Chemical Industry (BCCI)

Yoncho Pelovski

Vice President



Chemical industry snapshot

The priority areas of the chemical sector in Bulgaria for the period 2020 are related to the development and implementation of new environmentally friendly technologies, producing chemical products needed on the market. Priority is given to the use of generated wastes converting them to the secondary raw materials, minimizing emissions and saving energy resource, contributing for circular economy.

  • The chemical industry in Bulgaria is important for the country, contributing to better productivity, gross domestic product (GDP) and a better external trade or selected products like soda ash, mineral fertilizers, petrochemicals, cellulose and some others. The location is important for our country and for the chemical industry in the region. From 2015 up to the end of May 2019 the export of chemical products, mainly soda ash, mineral fertilizers, fuels and cellulose increased by 22.5 % – the highest rate in Bulgaria for all sectors. Leading companies are Solvay Sodi, Lukoil-Neftochim, Agropolichim, Neochim, Svilosa and Orgachim for chemical products and AGRIA for pesticides; ZEBRA for rubber and PLASTIMO for plastics.
  • In 2018 chemical products had positive export/import balance.
  • Production of chemical products contribute 4.7% of the industrial output and 4.9% of added value; Production of rubber and plastics also have a positive trend and contribute 4.5% of added value from the industry in the country. During last decade the productivity multiplied by 2.67 but the number of workers decreased.
  • The sector in Bulgaria faces particular breakdowns related to employment, with an ageing workforce and the need for a better education of students.
  • Long-term co-operation between the Bulgarian Chamber of Chemical Industry (BCCI) and leading companies and Universities is a precondition for better and more effective joint research pilot studies and the development and implementation of new technologies in the practice.
  • Low administrative capacity and long term procedures of permits remain an obstacle to efficiency and progress.

How are we doing


  • The Bulgarian chemical industry is in an advantageous competitive position for soda products, fertilizers, fuels and motor oils, cellulose among others


  • Shortage of domestically-produced oil and natural gas resources
  • Specific energy consumption
  • Low acceptance of chemical industry and products by the Bulgarian public and green NGO’s
  • Increasing legal pressure – taxes and fees; burdensome and too long procedures in Bulgaria
  • Low level of recycling and use of plastics, paper and biodegradable wastes

Our contribution to a competitive Europe

The top objective of the National Public Strategies is the use of biomass from different sources – with the emphasis on wastes of different origin.


As a result of co-operation at national and EU-level, new products are expected and needed:

  • New chlorine production using membrane technology. Two sites were proposed, but not approved from State Authorities
  • New sulfur – containing complex fertilisers. Some new productions have already been introduced
  • New nano-products on organic and inorganic base. Research has started
  • New soil conditioners from industrial and agriculture wastes. Already one example in the practice
  • Better use of industrial wastes

Source: National Statistical Institute for the period January-Decemeber 2015 – 2019