South-East European Industrial Market 3/2023

THE INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTS & SERVICES MAGAZINE FOR THE SOUTH-EAST EUROPEAN COUNTRIES SEPTEMBER ISSN 1312-0670 Visit the SEEIM web site: issue3/2023 Additive manufacturing technology suppliers in Bulgaria

south-east european INDUSTRIAL MARKET 2 South-East European Industrial Market is a bimonthly industrial products & services magazine for the South-East European countries Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Northern Macedonia, Romania, Slovenia, Serbia, Montenegro, Turkiye, Albania. It is distributed free of charge among the working specialists in the industrial sectors in the region, and the engineering, manufacturing and trade companies in South-Eastern Europe. Editorial Department Dilyana Yordanova - Lead Editor % (+359 2) 818 3823 Lyuben Georgiev % (+359 2) 818 3808 Pepa Petrunova % (+359 2) 818 3822 Advertising & Communications Marieta Krasteva % (+359 2) 888 956 150 Petya Naydenova % (+359 2) 818 3810 Gergana Nikolova % (+359 2) 888 595 928 Elena Dimitrova % (+359 2) 818 3815 Development Mirena Russeva % (+359 2) 818 3812 Secretary Maria Apostolova % (+359 2) 818 3811 ISSN 1312-0670 TLL Media Ltd. © All rights reserved.The artwork, layout design, the articles and all the graphical and text materials used - images, photos, texts, etc., are copyrighted and protected by the law. Unauthorized and unpermitted use is illegal and a copyright infringement. The Publisher shall not be held liable for the contents of the advertisements, advertising layouts and banners, video advertising publications, advertorials and company articles. Copyrights of all mentioned trademarks, registrated trademarkes, etc. belong to their owners.  IN THIS ISSUE: Publishing House 104, Acad. Ivan Geshov Blvd., entr. A, office 9, 1612 Sofia, Bulgaria % (+359 2) 818 3838, Fax: (+359 2) 818 3800 e-mail: ® 4 Additive manufacturing technology suppliers in Bulgaria 10 The Western Balkan power sector 16 Opportunities for adopting robotic applications in Romania 18 Serbia’s automotive sector 20 Aluflexpack expands its plant in Drnis 20 EBRD launches its Youth in Business programme in Albania 21 Aurubis completes EUR 60 mln update of its production facilities in Pirdop 21 OMV Petrom to take part in the development of network of ultra-fast EV recharging points 22 Record breaking number of registrations for BUMATECH 22 Expo Plast 2023 to examine key trends in the plastics processing industry 23 First edition of INDUSTRY.TEC to gather leading industrial equipment companies in Athens 23 ALUEXPO to host the Eurasian aluminium sector for 8th time

south-east european INDUSTRIAL MARKET 3 PAID ARTICLE Using low power, wireless ad hoc local mesh network technology with cellular gateway to enhance smart sensor solutions Kiss Zoltan, Export manager - Head of R&D, Endrich Bauelemente Vertriebs GmbH Endrich's award winning E-IoT ecosystem offers a possible solution to transfer smart sensors' data directly to cloud using NB-IoT/LTE-M cellular technologies. This is quite a perfect solution in general converting conventional devices into "Smart", in case of relatively small number of sensors in an application. Integrating NeoCortec's low power wireless ad hoc mesh network technology to the Endrich IoT Ecosystem offers a smart sensor local networking solution, which goes with highly scalable, long service life, independent, battery driven set of nodes. Instead of direct sensor to cloud communication with several exits to the internet, it is enough to have an industry safe, sub-Gigahertz local mesh with a single gateway. This solution supports amongst others predictive maintenance, environmental parameter monitoring and security surveillance of industrial equipment at much lower cost, higher reliability and elevates the robustness of the sensor network in harsh environment. The E-IOT platform A major challenge industry faces today is digitalization of conventional processes, extending machinery with low power, feature rich microcontroller-based electronics to collect sensor readings, and forward data to a Cloud Database. Like this, it is possible to convert conventional devices to connected (SMART) devices, which report their operational and environmental parameters into Cloud Database making it possible to support operational safety. Smart features support predictive maintenance, optimize energy consumption, and remote monitoring. The E-IOT eco-system helps enter this industry by offering hardware and service solutions to convert conventional into smart devices. A mass of sensor readings needs to be organized into central database for future processing to meet the expectations of Industry 4.0., our ecosystem deals with this challenge. Our team has developed several hardware elements using various sensors and cellular communication (M2M/Narrow-Band IoT) technology to deliver sensor readings to the cloud. The beginning of the processing chain consists of sensors detecting and measuring different physical parameters, which are processed all the way to cloud database storage and visual data representation at the end. There is a sophisticated gateway in between, which collects the sensor readings, pre-processes these data and sends it through a communication channel to a cloud-based database service, where it can be displayed after processing, or used for any purpose appropriate for a given task. But what if the used low power wide area networking does not offer the right solution with its direct sensor to cloud concept? What if the battery service time is not sufficient due to the frequency of sending data required by the application? The E-IOT platform combined with low power ad hoc local network. In this case, we call for the help of a low power ad hoc local area sensor mesh networking solution such as the one offered by NeoCortec with its Neo.Mesh. Huge number of smart sensors can be then connected with ultra-low power consumption into a local network, where a data concentrator gateway is taking care to deliver the data to the Cloud DB through the cellular network such as LTE-M or NB-IoT. Our engineering team has developed a modular sensor network infrastructure, offering either direct sensor to cloud, point to point communication or local low power sensor mesh network and multipoint to point communication to cloud using LPLAN to LPWAN gateway. With the help of the complete E-IoT ecosystem consisting of the above-mentioned smart sensor networks, the Cloud database and the visualization and data processing system, our company can offer a good solution to make conventional devices to connected, "SMART" devices to support predictive maintenance. This solution at its core with Neo.Mesh, the Wireless Mesh Networking Protocol represents a paradigm shift from traditional network architectures. Unlike the conventional solution with a central Network Manager to control communication between nodes, this protocol employs autonomous intelligent nodes as its backbone. This feature empowers each node to act as an independent entity, facilitating direct communication between nodes without the need for a central authority. The result is a unified network that simply works, no matter how large or complex it grows. As more nodes join the network, they seamlessly link with existing nodes, forming an interconnected web of communication that can span vast distances. This adaptability and scalability are particularly valuable as an extension of the E-IoT platform when applied in an area, which should be covered by hundreds or thousands of sensors. One of the protocol's most impressive features is its patented routing mechanism. This mechanism ensures that data travels seamlessly through the network, even in the face of obstacles in the RF (Radio Frequency) path or the movement of nodes within the network. Traditional networks often suffer from performance issues when nodes are blocked or dynamically change their positions. However, the Neo.Mesh Networking Protocol eliminates such concerns, guaranteeing reliable data transmission at all times. In practical terms, this means that the network's performance remains unaffected by environmental factors or dynamic changes within the network itself. Whether nodes are added, removed, or repositioned, the network remains robust and fully functional, ensuring uninterrupted connectivity for all devices and users. The protocol's ability to address weak spots in real-life networks is noteworthy. By simply adding another node, assigned with the appropriate network ID, it seamlessly integrates with the existing network, reinforcing its coverage and performance. At the heart of the Neo.Mesh technology lies a robust protocol stack with integrated security and reliability features. A key aspect of this security measure is the encryption of all wireless communication between nodes using AES128. By employing this encryption, the payload data and the network communication remain impervious to monitoring by any untrusted entity. The system is built for long-lasting performance. The power consumption is exceptionally low, enabling the batteries to last for several years. The Neo.Mesh network follows a timesynchronized protocol, wherein each node spends most of its time in a sleeping state. This architectural approach ensures a highly predictable power consumption pattern for every node in the network. As a result, all nodes consume nearly the same amount of energy, enabling each network node to operate efficiently for many years. The E-IoT with its Neo-Mesh local sensor network extension operates at sub-Gigahertz frequency to overcome the problems of other protocols in harsh industrial environments. When comparing sub-GHz networking to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, using the same antennas and transmission power, it becomes evident that sub-GHz networking offers a longer range. The reason behind this extended range lies in the fact, that the lower radio frequency waves are not as easily absorbed by physical matter as the 2,4 GHz signals utilized in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. These capabilities of the Neo.Mesh Protocol make it an ideal solution for smart sensors installed across large-scale industrial complexes, such as factories, buildings, real-estates and shops. Encounter E-IoT with Neo-Mesh on stand A6a/Hall 4 at MachTech & InnoTech Expo in Sofia, 03-06.10.2023!

south-east european INDUSTRIAL MARKET 4 Additive manufacturing technology suppliers in Bulgaria 3D printing is among the key technology trends set to revolutionize global manufacturing and bring the next industrial revolution, according to the World Investment Report. Additive manufacturing was until recently seen only as a design, prototyping and testing tool, but in recent years it has become a regular manufacturing operation in a number of industries, including in Bulgaria. The Bulgarian additive manufacturing ecosystem has been rapidly developing in the last five years and the 3D printing business in the country, in step with global trends, is gradually moving from prototyping to full-functional production in many industries. In the past on the Bulgarian market low-budget printers were mostly bought. However, this helped Bulgarian users to become more familiar with the specifics of the use and application of 3D printers and in recent years companies have increased their requirements and started looking for reliable mid- and high-end 3D printing systems with more applications, experts conclude. Apart from widely used desktop printers, today industrial 3D printers and materials are becoming more and more affordable. Ecosystem, technologies and applications The additive manufacturing ecosystem in the country includes much more than just 3D printers and the companies that make or sell them. There are also material producers, software providers, post-handling machine makers, and service providers. The market is divided into many segments besides desktop and industrial 3D printing systems, including hardware (main and auxiliary components), software, consumables (including filaments), scanning and inspection solutions, design and manufacturing services and so on. In addition to the automotive industry, where it is among the top technologies today, 3D printing has been successfully applied to rapid prototyping and mass production in the fields of engineering, machine building, electronics, architecture, industrial design, power and energy, construction, aerospace and defense, dental, medical and healthcare, biotechnology, fashion, education, footwear, jewelry, food and many other areas. Technologies that are gaining significant traction as they are applicable in specialized additive manufacturing processes in industry, are: stereolithography, fuse deposition modeling (FDM), direct metal laser sintering (DMLS), selective laser sintering (SLS), inkjet printing, polyjet printing, laser metal deposition, and electron beam melting (EBM), digital light processing (DLP), laminated object manufacturing, etc. Additive manufacturing in Bulgaria is increasingly used for the production of not only prototypes and models, but fully functional machine parts, system components and end products, tooling, jigs, fixtures, etc. The main materials in the process are thermoplastics (standard, engineering, and high-performance polymers), metal, composites, alloys, ceramics, etc. The National Statistical Institute (NSI) regularly publishes the results of its information society research in enterprises. In 2018, for the first time, the study observed the implementation rate of the enterprises of modern technologies such as three-dimensional (3D) printing. The data showed that these technologies still did not find great application in the activity of the Bulgarian business. In the previous year (2017) only 1,8% of enterprises used 3D printers. The most active in the implementation of these technologies were enterprises with 250 and more employees, with 7,6% of them using 3D printing. For the last five years though, the picture has been gradually changing and the number of suppliers and users of additive manufacturing technologies on the Bulgarian market has been rapidly growing. Educational, R&D opportunities and events A large part of the Bulgarian technical universities and higher education institutions offer a wide range of programs and specializations (specialties) in the field of 3D printing and additive technologies. Young talents in the country can

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south-east european INDUSTRIAL MARKET 6 SEE NEWS Chimcomplex gets EU funding to build cogeneration plant Romania’s Chimcomplex announced that it has signed the financing contract for the RON 690 million project „High-efficiency, flexible gas cogeneration in the district heating sector of Rm. Valcea“, financed from European sources in a ratio of about 60%. The project aims to build a high-efficiency cogeneration plant to serve the municipality of Ramnicu Valcea starting in 2026. The total value of the project is approximately RON 689,4 million, of which the maximum non-refundable eligible value is RON 405 million. In addition to increasing the installed cogeneration capacity by 108 MW within three years of signing the financing contract, the project aims to reduce greenhouse gases by 84,468 tonnes of CO2 per year within Ramnicu Valcea, while also decreasing annual primary energy consumption by 418,105 MWh. EIB Global boosts green transformation of SMEs in North Macedonia In cooperation with the Development Bank of North Macedonia (DBNM) and local commercial banks, EIB Global, the arm of the European Investment Bank for activities outside the European Union, will provide EUR 100 million to boost development and the green transition of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and midcaps in the country. The funds will address the liquidity and investment needs of local businesses, and finance energy and green transition projects. This will support low-carbon and climate-resilient growth in North Macedonia, in line with the European Union’s Economic and Investment Plan and the Green Agenda for the Western Balkans. The funds are part of the set of measures adopted by the Government of North Macedonia in 2022 to support households and businesses amid the economic slowdown and the energy crisis. Photo: Chimcomplex study, for example: “Computer design and technologies in mechanical engineering” in the Technical University of Sofia, “3D technologies for design and production” in the Technical University of Varna, “3D design and manufacturing technologies” in the Faculty of Physics and Technology of the Plovdiv University, “Modeling of objects for 3D printing” in the New Bulgarian University, “Computer modeling” in the Burgas Free University, “3D technologies for design and production” in the Varna Free University, and also “Additive technologies” in the Trakia University – Stara Zagora. Sofia Tech Park – the first science and technology park in Bulgaria, runs a “3D Creativity and New Products Rapid Prototyping Lab” as a part of its laboratory complex. The main objective of the rapid prototyping laboratory is to develop research capacity for the application of innovative technologies for materialization of virtual 3D models with complex forms in a very short time. Bulgaria also used to be home of the Balkan festival for additive manufacturing Additive Days, organized and initiated by B2N in 2018 and 2020 – an international event dedicated to sharing knowledge, exchanging contacts and aimed at supporting a better understanding of the role of 3D printing in various fields: engineering, medicine, business and economics, science, education, architecture, design, fashion, etc. Latest novelties in 3D printing by tradition are presented at the country’s leading exhibition for industrial technologies MachTech & InnoTech in Inter Expo Center. This year’s edition will be held from October 3 to October 6. On the second day of the event (October 4) a new and exciting event format will take place, which will also feature additive technologies among its main topics – the premier edition of Industrial Tech Forum, organized by TLL Media and IEC. Company overview The Bulgarian technological system in the field of additive manufacturing is broad and heterogeneous. It consists of many global manufacturers of 3D printers, software and consumables, including filaments, their local partners and distributors, trade companies, system integrators, engineering companies offering development and implementation of complete production solutions based on 3D printing, service providers in the fields of 3D printing, 3D modeling, scanning, virtual engineering and so on. In the following section of this article, we will present in alphabetical order some of the leading companies in the sector with the clarification that the list is non-exhaustive. The information is taken from company websites, official company profiles and catalogues, the exhibitor list of the upcoming MachTech & InnoTech Expo 2023 and our databases. 3DBGPRINT is a trade mark, created in 2013. It is fully focused on the technology applications, sales and support of 3D printers and all related industries, subsequently expanding its business through 3D scanning services, 3D design and modeling, 3D printed parts finishing and product design. The company has its own base for 3D training and its own 3D lab for the production of details with various technologies. B2N was founded in 2006. With the development of its activities, the company gradually reoriented to offer the Bulgarian market a full range of high-quality 3D printers, scanners, software, consumables and 3D services. B2N is an official representative for Bulgaria and a distributor for the whole of Southeast Europe of some of the market leaders for industrial 3D production and a preferred provider of 3D services and 3D training. BMG Data presents to the Bulgarian market solutions for the design of complex details, construction of assembled units, simulation of the

south-east european INDUSTRIAL MARKET 7 movement of mechanisms, strength and deformation analysis, to prepare the CAM data for production with CNC machines or 3D printers. The provided software prepares the models for direct printing with a 3D printer. CAD Point is an Autodesk authorized gold partner. The company offers software and hardware solutions for the mechanical engineering sector, including 3D printing part production and generative design. Its portfolio includes state-ofthe-art desktop 3D printers for a wide array of applications from the concept to the prototype, high-precision, large-print FDM 3D printers, and 3D printers with alkaline LCD curable resins. Dassault Systemes Bulgaria is the local unit of Dassault Systemes, which offers solutions in the field of additive technologies, including an online 3D printing service platform. It groups all of the necessary steps in the additive manufacturing process together to provide a comprehensive view of what’s available in terms of technologies, materials, finishes, etc. DiTra is the center for 3D solutions of TechnoLogica with three decades of expertise in the field. The company offers complex solutions for product design, engineering simulations, technical communication and overall management of engineering activities. 3D printing and 3D scanning systems supplied by the company are effectively used in dozens of enterprises. Easy3D offers a wide range of services that cover the entire process of creating an object. The company helps its customers navigate the many possibilities of 3D technologies and gain competitive advantages by encouraging innovation and introducing them to different ways of making, related to new production methods and a new approach to analysis and design. GF Machining Solutions Bulgaria is a local unit of one of the world’s leading providers of complete solutions for precision components and tool manufacturers and the mold-making industry. The company successfully implements its own technologies for additive manufacturing and its portfolio includes a wide range of metal additive manufacturing machines. Great Master is an engineering company established in 2006. Since 2014, the company has been an importer of products in the field of 3D technology and with a new marketing name – GreMa 3D. Currently, GreMa 3D is aimed at offering complete solutions in the field of 3D technologies:

south-east european INDUSTRIAL MARKET 8 SEE NEWS EC approves EUR 179,5 mln grant to Croatia’s Project 3 Mobility The Directorate-General for Competition (DG COMP) of the European Commission has approved a grant of EUR 179,5 million to the company Project 3 Mobility. The Croatian company is being granted funds for the project „Research, development and production of new mobility vehicles and supporting infrastructure“, which is registered as a part of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan. The process of approving the project at all levels lasted almost a year and a half. Project 3 Mobility is developing a new urban mobility ecosystem that will significantly improve mobility patterns and transportation systems in urban areas. The ecosystem consists of three main components: the autonomous electric vehicle, specialized infrastructure, and a complete service platform. Furthermore, Project 3 Mobility will build a production facility in Croatia for the large-scale production of autonomous electric vehicles. Turkiye’s Appsilon Enterprise considers building new plant in Plovdiv Turkish diamond manufacturing startup Appsilon Enterprise is exploring an investment opportunity in Bulgaria and is considering the country’s second-largest city of Plovdiv as a potential site for its production plant. The company is expected to make a decision on the plant’s location by the end of this year and begin production by the end of 2024. Upon completion the project will create about a hundred jobs.Appsilon Enterprise is a startup specializing in lab-created diamonds, recreating the natural process of growing single-crystal diamonds. Aside from their application in jewellery, diamonds are also used in chip manufacturing, quantum sensors, optics and detectors for hightech sectors. Netherlands-headquartered Appsilon Enterprise has offices in the Dutch city of Delft and Turkiye’s Istanbul. software, 3D scanners, 3D printers and a wide range of materials, consumables, accessories, equipment for post-processing of the details. HabitAdd is a technology company with a focus on the industrial sector. It develops its services in three main directions: production of 3D printed products in small and medium series of polymers, outsourcing of engineering design, technological consultations, trainings and analyzes related to the applications, design and variety of materials in the field of industrial 3D printing and 3D scanning. HERZ Bulgaria represents the global specialist in the production and sale of devices, machines and accessories for welding and heat treatment of plastics HERZ. The company is also a manufacturer of high-quality and diverse welding consumables and filament for 3D printers. K-Industry is the official distributor of Han’s Robot for Bulgaria. The company’s activity includes design, manufacture of automated machines and lines for optimization of various processes in large factories and small enterprises. KIndustry also offers a wide range of 3D printers. Mazzari aims to develop and implement innovative methods for the production of metal parts. The company says it invests in 3D metal printing technology, because it gives an advantage over conventional metalworking methods. Printme-3D is the Bulgarian distributor of BCN3D – a partnership with a distribution agreement to drive growth in Bulgaria, Ukraine and other Balkan countries. PsB3d is a young and innovative company with knowledge and experience in reverse engineering, rapid prototyping and 3D printing. Among its partners are leading global software and hardware companies, providing solutions for 3D modeling, analysis and object scanning. RE3D is a Bulgarian manufacturer of filaments for 3D printing. The company specializes in the production of engineered 3D printing materials that allow for excellent performance and durability while also recognizing the environment as a priority. Sodibul is a representative of Sodick in Bulgaria. Among the latest developments of the Japanese manufacturer of erosion machines are 3D printers for metal elements that combine metal laser sintering and high-speed milling and make it possible to produce metal elements and details of very high quality in terms of accuracy and smoothness of surfaces. SolidFill is a pioneer in professional 3D printing/rapid prototyping services in Bulgaria. Since 2013, the company is fully focused on the applications of the technology and all spin-off industries. Subsequently, it expanded its activities through services for 3D scanning, reengineering, 3D design and modeling, finishing of 3D printed parts and product design. Spacecad is a provider of metal and plastic 3D printers, scanners, industrial robots and automation services, consulting and technology transfer for the needs of industrial companies, project-oriented teams and engineering firms wishing to take advantage of the benefits of digital design and manufacturing. TechnoLogica has been the representative of the American manufacturer Stratasys for Bulgaria since 1996 and is among the first partners of the company in Europe. Stratasys is the largest manufacturer of professional and industrial 3D printers, with nearly 50% share of the global market, the company says. The company “Three-dimensional Prototypes” offers its customers the unique for the Bulgarian market three-dimensional color printing (prototyping) service which allows the production of architectural models, machine elements, conceptual models, industrial models, sculptures, design models, etc. Top Metrology is a distributor of industrial and laboratory metrological equipment. Trumpf Bulgaria is a subsidiary of the hightech German manufacturer of metalworking machines and laser equipment TRUMPF SE +. The company’s portfolio also includes 3D printing solutions, as well as software products and solutions for networked manufacturing.

south-east european INDUSTRIAL MARKET 9 PAID ARTICLE Our dedication and the added value we offer make us a preferred long-term partner The applications of 3D printing in industry and beyond seem to know no boundaries. Could you give our readers a brief overview of the most recent developments in the field? Whereas 3D printing used to be all about prototyping in the past, now the main production is for functional parts and shortrun manufacturing of up to 1500 pieces per year. Naturally, prototyping as an application has not disappeared, but it has declined as a service in demand. Printers today are getting faster, industrial 3D printing systems are more sought-after because in these times of tight supply, the market is demanding more and more 3D printed parts that are hard to find or difficult to make using conventional technology. Companies that manufacture short-run products are increasingly turning to 3D printing to get their designs into production and bring them to market. Among the main sectors that we work with are the fashion, automotive, light and heavy industries. 5 years ago, moving from desktop to industrial printers was one of the main tendencies in 3D printing. How have the major trends in the sector changed since then? To some extent, this trend has persisted, but not entirely. The change here is noticeable at the application level of 3D printing. Desktop 3D printers today remain in households and education. And hopefully more households and educational institutions will have 3D printers in the coming years. This will prepare people for the new challenges of the future as 3D printing is set to become an integral part of our daily lives. Industrial 3D printers nowadays are mainly used in the manufacturing sector. This is due to the fact that more and more manufacturing companies are familiar with and interested in the 3D printing technology to innovate their work process. A growing number of electric car manufacturers offer their car parts in electronic STL format. This way anyone can 3D print them at home or by using an external provider of this service. So electric car manufacturers are among our main customers as well. How does 3dbgprint reflect the latest innovations in additive technologies, equipment and materials? What are the current highlights in your portfolio of products, services and partners? We are constantly trying to keep up with the changes in the world of 3D printing. We are determined to keep developing our workshop, mainly by upgrading it with industrial printers. Currently we have over 30 FDM printers, SLS systems, professional 3D scanners. We are continuously introducing new materials and working with new manufacturers that are established on the market with their high-quality and well proven products. We put emphasis on the speed of the printers in order to be able to print a higher volume of parts in a shorter time and, of course, to satisfy our customers. We are also improving our production base with more and more 3D printers with different printing technologies. It is noticeable that a number of companies with medium-volume production contact us and we are among the main suppliers of components that are parts of the final products they offer. For each type of technology in our portfolio (SLS, FDM, LCD, etc.) we partner with one globally recognized manufacturer, so different brands do not have to compete in the local market, while at the same time, we are able to offer high-end quality and innovative equipment. We are currently negotiating a partnership with a supplier of specialized machinery for the recycling of waste filament, its subsequent processing and the creation of new filament. We believe that the future lies in new recycling and post-processing technologies. Which of the company’s current projects would you describe as a challenge and what creative approaches did you take to successfully implement it? We have many interesting projects, each of them is different, and each one is a challenge for us. One of the interesting things about our work is that we encounter projects in different areas and, as specialists with more than 10 years of experience, we very often offer additional solutions to our clients as we gain insight into the problem and suggest practical changes and improvements. Our dedication and the added value we offer make us a preferred long-term partner of such customers. One of our recent projects was in the entertainment industry, namely in fashion design. We were challenged to 3D print a bust of one of the most popular, world-famous performers. We can’t disclose much about many of our projects as we have confidentiality agreements. Every project for us is an extraordinary task that our team commits to and solves all creative challenges with great desire and love. Petar Angelov, 3D expert at 3dbgprint, for SouthEast European Industrial Market Magazine

south-east european INDUSTRIAL MARKET 10 The Western Balkan power sector Energy transition in the Western Balkans has long since begun, but – like EU accession – it has been neither a linear nor hurried process, states a CEE Bankwatch Network study report, titled “The Western Balkan power sector: between crisis and transition”. Countries have taken it in turns to enjoy short stints as the regional champion of the moment, only for their efforts to stagnate later due to pressure from incumbents, political changes, lack of capacity or being distracted by false solutions. But against this background, a quadruple energy crisis has been brewing. Although not nearly as dependent as the EU on fossil gas, the Western Balkans have been hit hard by knockon prices of electricity imported from the EU in the last year. This was exacerbated by a series of technical problems at coal power plants and mines across the region during late 2021 and 2022 which further increased electricity import needs in Serbia, Kosovo and North Macedonia. To make matters worse, despite exceptions, 2022 has been a generally dry year. This has prevented the region’s hydropower plants from making up for the coal plants and causing Albania to increase imports even further. And finally, biomass prices have massively increased across the region, leading some countries to impose export bans. “This crisis is both a serious threat to the energy transition and an opportunity. On one hand, wind and solar development is speeding up in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia and Serbia. But despite the fact that the crisis has revealed the unreliability of the region’s antiquated coal plants, it is paradoxically making governments less willing than ever to commit to a phase-out. Neither have the sky-high gas prices convinced the region’s governments that creating a new lock-in by building new gas infrastructure is a bad idea”, explains CEE Bankwatch Network’s study report. Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro particularly benefit from exporting coal-based electricity to the EU, and can now rake in more income than ever, even if it comes at the expense of public health. In blatant breach of the Energy Community Treaty’s provisions on pollution from power plants, both countries are now running coal plants illegally in pursuit of additional revenues. However, this cannot continue for many more years as the operation of the carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM) or a national or regional carbon pricing system to avoid CBAM is guaranteed to further raise coal-based electricity production costs. Since late 2019, when the EU first disclosed its plans for a CBAM, a clear increase in awareness among the region’s decision makers has been observed that if they do not take action themselves, they are going to be pushed. According to the Commission’s proposal, the EU is going to start imposing charges on electricity imports in 2026, with higher impacts on countries with higher exports, higher emissions and a higher percentage of fossil fuels used in electricity generation. If the countries are to avoid being hit by CBAM, planning a just transition and introducing carbon pricing is more important than ever. Revenue from CBAM will be used for the EU budget, whereas domestic carbon pricing can directly contribute to energy transition in the countries. In fact, with a moderate carbon price of EUR 50 per tonne, the countries could collect a total of around EUR 2,8 billion annually to spend on a just and sustainable energy transition, underlines CEE Bankwatch Network’s study report. In late 2021, all the countries committed to introduce carbon pricing in the next few years as part of the Green Agenda Action Plan and the Energy Community’s Decarbonisation Roadmap, but this has been threatened by the ongoing energy crisis. As ever, the Western Balkan governments bear the primary responsibility for speeding up the deployment of sustainable energy, improving energy efficiency, phasing out fossil fuels and ensuring an inclusive, bottom-up just transition planning process. But the European Union and Energy Community Secretariat can help to keep this on track, especially in times of crisis when domestic attention is focused on solving immediate supply problems. According to CEE Bankwatch Network the EU needs to increase momentum towards a just and sustainable energy transition and carbon pricing,

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south-east european INDUSTRIAL MARKET 12 especially through the creation of a dedicated Just Transition Fund, and by ensuring a stringent CBAM which persuades decision makers in the region to introduce their own carbon pricing and improve compliance with EU energy, competition and environmental law. The EU also needs to ensure that the Energy Community Treaty is strengthened to include penalties. The Western Balkan countries must not be allowed to continue accessing EU energy markets without playing by environmental and State aid rules, says CEE Bankwatch Network’s study report. Albania Albania, with a population of around 2,8 million, has, for decades, been almost entirely dependent on hydropower for its power supply. This is an advantage in decarbonising its energy sector but also makes it highly vulnerable to the changing climate, and means that it has to import electricity most years. Albania therefore needs to make an energy transition not from fossil-based sources to renewables, but rather from hydropower to diversified renewables. While electricity is already widely used for heating, this needs to be done more efficiently, with heat pumps, and electrification of transport needs to take place. Until 2017, Albania only offered renewable energy incentives for hydropower, and as a result solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind have remained underdeveloped. In that year, Albania finally changed its legislation to allow incentives for solar and wind developments and to switch to an auction system for awarding them. In 2020, only 0,4% of electricity was generated by solar photovoltaics, just under 70% by hydropower and the remaining 30% was provided by imports. As well as its continued plans for hydropower projects – including the highly controversial Skavica plant, which would see thousands of people displaced – the main issue threatening to distract Albania from its energy transition is gas. Albania produces a small amount of gas, mostly used in oil production and the refining industry, but the country plans to use gas in the power sector, thus undermining its decarbonised electricity supply. It has a 98-MW gas/oil fired power plant at Vlora, financed by the World Bank, EBRD and EIB, which has never operated due to technical faults. Not only does it plan to relaunch this plant, but it is also considering building new gas power plants. Albania is one of the few Balkan countries producing oil – 910 000 tonnes in 2018. The state-owned Albpetrol is active in the development, production and trade of crude oil, while the largest oil producer is Bankers’ Petroleum, previously supported by the EBRD and IFC and now Chinese-owned. This sector will also need to be phased out in the coming decades, but the first step will be to avoid opening new oil fields. Although a net importer, Albania’s electricity exports to EU countries, on average, equalled approximately 7% of its total generation between 2011 and 2020. This amounted to an annual average of 489,9 GWh. Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), with around 3,8 million people, is currently a net exporter of electricity. More than half of its installed electricity generation capacity – around 2,2 GW – is hydropower, while most of the remainder – around 2 GW – is made up of five lignite power plants at Tuzla, Kakanj, Gacko, Ugljevik and, since September 2016, Stanari. Generation levels hover at around two-thirds coal to one-third hydropower, depending on the hydrological conditions. In 2020, coal generation made up 70%, hydropower 27,5%, wind 1,6%, solar 0,3%, oil 0,3%, and gas 0,1%. The country is, alongside Serbia, the only one in the region still planning new capacities from lignite. Gas power plants have not been much discussed in Bosnia and Herzegovina yet, with the exception of a plant planned in Zenica, which has stagnated. The country does not have its own natural gas extraction so it is dependent on the Beregovo – Horgos – Zvornik import route from Russia via Ukraine, Hungary and Serbia.

south-east european INDUSTRIAL MARKET 13 In March 2022, both houses of the Federation of BiH parliament approved the abandoning of the opt-out regime for Tuzla 4 and Kakanj 5. Both of these plants had been operating under the optout regime and as of March 2022 were at the end of their allotted 20 000 hours. Bosnia and Herzegovina exports about 20% of the electricity it produces to the EU on average, based on 2011 to 2020 figures. This amounts to an annual average of 3408,85 GWh. Kosovo Kosovo has around 1,8 million inhabitants. Its electricity generation is almost entirely dependent on two ageing lignite plants: Kosova A (5 units with 800 MW installed) and Kosova B (two units with 678 MW installed). The current real capacity of these plants is around 915 MW altogether. They are infamous for their contribution to air pollution, and Kosova B is the second highest emitter of dust out of all the coal plants in the Western Balkans. In 2020, 96,4% of Kosovo’s electricity was generated from coal; 3,6% from hydropower; 1,4% from wind; 0,3% from oil and 0,1% from solar. Kosovo has very large lignite resources, totalling 12,5 billion tonnes, which it claims are the second largest in Europe and fifth largest in the world. It has no oil or gas extraction and no gas import infrastructure, thus providing an opportunity to leapfrog to a fully decarbonised energy system. However, Kosovo’s progress in developing renewable energy was hampered for many years by plans for a new 500 MW lignite power plant – Kosova e Re – which diverted efforts and resources from the development of more sustainable forms of energy. It was only in early 2020 that the project was finally abandoned. Due to the dominance of lignite in Kosovo’s energy mix, it is very inflexible, and better interconnections with neighbouring countries are needed. A new 400 kV interconnection with Albania was completed in 2016, but due to political issues between Kosovo and Serbia, it only started operating in late 2020. Kosovo does not have abundant water resources like other Western Balkan countries, but for many years, the government’s plans still relied on hydropower plants to meet the country’s 2020 renewable energy target. There are no direct transmission lines from Kosovo to the EU; however, Kosovo is an exporter of electricity to Serbia, so some of the coalheavy electricity produced in Kosovo may end up in the EU eventually. Montenegro With around 621 000 inhabitants, Montenegro’s electricity needs are mainly met by the 225MW lignite power plant at Pljevlja and the 307MW Perucica and 342-MW Piva hydropower plants, all run by state-owned utility Elektroprivreda Crne Gore (EPCG). Until 2009, Montenegro imported significant amounts of electricity, mostly to power the KAP aluminium plant, which has at times accounted for up to 40% of the country’s electricity consumption. However, the plant is now almost entirely closed, with only a small section still operating. Since 2011 its demand for electricity had generally decreased, and with it the whole country’s demand, but in 2020 it still accounted for 17% of the country’s electricity consumption. In the last decade, Montenegro’s ability to meet its electricity demand domestically has varied according to the hydrological situation. In 2010, 2013, and 2018 – rainy years – it was able to meet demand domestically, while in dry years – 2011, 2012 and 2017 – it still had to import relatively large amounts of electricity. In 2020, coal made up nearly 46% of electricity generated in Montenegro, hydropower around 44%, wind 9,9% and solar 0,1%. Montenegro is dependent on hydropower, which is prone to massive fluctuations in generation. Against this background, difficult decisions need to be taken regarding the Pljevlja lignite power plant and nearby mines. Since 2020, the power plant has been running illegally as its limited lifetime derogation under the Large Combustion Plants Directive expired.

south-east european INDUSTRIAL MARKET 14 Montenegro’s government signed a deal in 2020 with a consortium led by China’s Dongfang for the modernisation of the plant in the hope of running it for at least fifteen more years, raising numerous questions about the technical and financial viability of the plans. The country is also planning to open new lignite mines and even export coal to Serbia. In June 2021, however, the government declared a very late coal phase-out date of 2035, which would clearly require the modernisation project to go ahead. In April 2022, nearly two years after the signing of the contract, works reportedly started. Montenegro’s electricity network was connected with Italy’s in November 2019. In 2019, Italy imported only 37 GWh of electricity from Montenegro. Exports increased drastically to more than 1600 GWh in 2020, representing over 50% of the country’s entire generation. North Macedonia With a population of just about two million, North Macedonia relies predominantly on fossil fuels (low-grade lignite and gas) and hydropower, and is dependent on electricity imports. The total annual production of electricity in 2020 was 5347 GWh, and another 2326 GWh was imported to satisfy the total domestic electricity demand. Domestic production of electricity was stable from 2016 to 2019 but imports increased to around 30% of total consumption in 2020. In 2020, coal made up 34,3% of electricity supply in North Macedonia, hydropower made up 16,6%, gas made up nearly 15%, wind 1,5%, oil 1,2%, biofuels 0,7%, and solar 0,3%. The remainder – 30,3% – came from imported electricity. In July 2021, North Macedonia joined the Powering Past Coal Alliance and committed to a coal phase-out by 2027, in line with the ‘green scenario’ of its Energy Development Strategy until 2040. Since winter 2021-2022, however, instead of working towards plant closures as planned, the government and state-owned electricity company Elektrani na Severna Makedonija (ESM) are planning to extend the lifetime of the coal plants with the opening of new opencast lignite mines in Zhivojno for Bitola and Gusterica for Oslomej. These new developments were explained as a need arising from the energy crisis; however, it turned out that ESM had signed the contract for the mining study and environmental impact assessment (EIA) for Zhivojno in late 2019. Of all the Western Balkan countries, North Macedonia is the one that exports the largest share of its electricity produced to the EU – although, overall, the country is dependent on imports. Between 2011 and 2020, its average annual share of electricity exported to the EU stood at 38%. In absolute terms, the annual average exports for these years amounted to almost 2173 GWh. Serbia Serbia, with a population of around 6,9 million, used to satisfy most of its electricity demand from domestic production until its coal power plants started failing in winter 2021-2022 and its hydropower reservoirs were seriously affected by prolonged drought in 2022. Electricity production in Serbia relies mainly on low-quality lignite coal, causing serious pollution, and most of the remainder is generated by hydropower plants. Although Serbia produces some oil and gas, the country remains dependent on imports, especially gas from Russia. In 2020, coal made up almost 70% of electricity generated in Serbia, hydropower 25,6%, gas 1,5% and biofuels 0,5%. Despite strong growth in wind power in 2019, in 2020 it still made up only 2,7% of electricity generated. As Serbia intends to join the EU, it should also be aiming for complete decarbonisation by 2050, in line with EU policy. However, the Serbian government and state-owned electric power utility company Elektroprivreda Srbije (EPS) plan to remain locked in to a carbon-intensive energy system for years to come. Most notably, this will be through the construction of the 350 MW Kostolac B3 lignite power plant, which was ongoing as of November 2022, as well as by deepened dependence on gas, e.g. with the newly opened cogeneration plant in Pancevo. Serbia exports to the EU about 6,8% of the electricity it produces, on average. Between 2011 and 2020 this amounted to an annual average of 2590 GWh.

south-east european INDUSTRIAL MARKET 15 PAID ARTICLE Unleashing the future: Taiwan’s smart machinery revolution takes center stage at EMO Hannover 2023 Get ready to be spellbound as the dynamic prowess of Taiwan’s Smart Machinery Industry takes center stage at EMO Hannover 2023. Ranked 7th globally with an astonishing output value of USD 4 billion in 2022, Taiwan’s cohort is set to make an awe-inspiring return with an entourage of 144 leading exhibitors. This showcase is orchestrated by the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) under the “Taiwan’s Smart Machinery Overseas Promotion Program”, sponsored by the Bureau of Foreign Trade (BOFT) at the Ministry of Economic Affairs. A testament to Taiwan’s technological mastery, the Taiwan Smart Machinery Pavilion will be the heart of the event, hosting a series of interactive events designed to captivate and inspire. A glimpse into the future Emerging from a four-year hiatus, Taiwan’s foremost exhibitors – a formidable 144 in count – stand ready to unveil innovative concepts interweaving automation, eco-friendly manufacturing, intelligent streamlined processes, and high-performance components. In collaboration with esteemed partners, including the Taiwan Association of Machinery Industry (TAMI), the Taiwan Machine Tool & Accessory Builders’ Association (TMBA), and the Taiwan Cutting-Tool Engineering Association (TACEA), TAITRA’s “Open Innovation Platform” promises an electrifying array of activities, from panel discussions and expert seminars to dynamic elevator pitches and illuminating solutions. This meticulously crafted showcase features the pinnacle of Taiwan’s machine tool industry. Be sure not to miss the group press conference and panel discussion on September 18, at which distinguished leaders from TAITRA, TAMI, TMBA, and TACEA will converge to cast a spotlight on Taiwan’s eminence in smart machinery. A testament to Taiwan’s prowess in the industry, the event promises an engaging discourse on the future of smart machinery innovation. Seamless solutions at your fingertips After the press conference and panel discussion are to be three themed seminars on September 19 and 20, curated in collaboration with TAITRA, TAMI, and TMBA. These seminars will encapsulate the forefront of modern manufacturing trends, converging on the key domains of precision metal processing, digital transformation, eco-conscious innovation, and high-efficiency energy applications. The 12 participating companies – YCM, Tongtai, Buffalo, HIWIN, Honor Seiki, Palmary, 7-Leaders, Habor, Quaser, Accutex, HOLD WELL, and Walrus – promise to showcase the best-in-class. Adding to the excitement, September 20 to 22 will feature five dynamic elevator and solution pitches, offering comprehensive insights into high-efficiency cutting lathes, revolutionary automation techniques, and tailor-made applications. Eleven pioneers including FFG, Kao Ming, SYIC, and Yinsh will lead these presentations, offering buyers an abundance of knowledge in a mere 30 minutes. Elevating industry through innovation TAITRA’s “Open Innovation Platform” aligns industry associations and exhibitors to elevate discourse within the sector. Expert forums, themed seminars, and innovative presentations promise to encapsulate Taiwan’s technological prowess, while elevator and solution pitches aim to amplify understanding of Taiwan’s smart manufacturing industry, ushering in a new era of proactive and comprehensive information sharing. Adding a touch of cultural flair, the “Taiwan Way” Happy Hour from 15:30 to 16:00 every day from September 19 to 22 will offer a delightful fusion of Taiwan’s rich culture, featuring top-notch brands like Wufeng Sake, Yundao Coffee, Taiwan Kobayashi Cookies, and the internationally acclaimed Kavalan Whisky. In addition, EVA Air plane models will also be given away to visitors by lucky draw in the Happy Hour event. Empower your future Secure your place now at the TAITRA booth, Hall 16, G31, during EMO Hannover 2023 to contribute to the shaping of the smart machinery innovation landscape. Don’t let this chance slip by to connect, learn, and grasp coveted giveaways. Your presence is eagerly anticipated – mark your calendar and join us for an experience like no other! See you there! For detailed information and registration, please contact the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) at To pre-register now for the Taiwan Smart Machinery International Press Conference at EMO, please fill out the following form:

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