Eurocopter may build telecom equipment plant in Samokov

Eurocopter may build telecom equipment plant in Samokov

Eurocopter, a wholly-owned unit of aerospace and defence group EADS, has formed a partnership with Bulgaria's Samel 90 for the production of military telecommunication equipment, said Nikolai Gigov, the Eurocopter corporate consultant for Bulgaria.

The 100 mln euro project is part of the offset program incorporated in the contract for the procurement by Eurocopter of 18 transport helicopters for the Bulgarian armed forces.

The Samokov-based Samel 90 is active in consumer electronics and special purpose telecommunication products.

The project will be implemented on the Samel 90 site in Samokov with the delivery of additional equipment and possible construction of further facilities, said Gigov. He added that Eurocopter hopes the project will fulfil its indirect offset obligations stemming from the chopper contract

The vendor is currently in talks with the Bulgarian economy ministry on the multiplication factor which will be used to calculate the actual size of the investment.

Gigov said the two partners intended to bid at an upcoming tender for the procurement of communication equipment for the Bulgarian military. The project was recently elevated to no.1 priority for 2007. According to unofficial sources, the tender procedure should get underway within a month. The project will span 8-10 years, costing in the area of 200-220 mln euro.

In January 2005, Bulgaria hired Eurocopter to supply twelve AS 532 AL Cougar helicopters and six AS 565 MB Panther helicopters over a 3-year period.