The economic meaning of foreign investment has been a long-commented topic in Bulgaria. In recent years multiple regions revived and managed to find sustainable solutions of the problems with the high unemployment rate and the lack of perspective, thanks to the good partnership between the local administrations and big investor companies. This cooperation often brings along added value to the local communities which is rarely a topic of discussion but is of vital importance for improving people’s lives.
With a population of little over 12 000 people, the town of Galabovo is a good example what the presence of foreign investors might mean for the local communities. One of the biggest foreign companies in the region is ContourGlobal Maritsa East 3 TPP. The power plant has a substantial contribution for the local and national economy by producing around 10 percent of the electricity needed for the domestic energy market. Besides, ContourGlobal Maritsa East 3 TPP is among the most up-to-date and 5 ecological facilities of its kind on the Balkans and employs over 500 highly qualifies energy experts.
The social significance of the company’s presence is quite impressive as well. For years the Galabovo Municipality has had an Agreement for Social Investments with the company, under which the TPP annually invests BGN 500 000 in projects supporting the local community. In the last eight years alone, the company has invested over BGN 4 million in dozens of social projects aimed at improving the living conditions in the municipality. The funds supplied by CONTOURGLOBAL MARITSA EAST 3 modernized the buildings and yards of the two kindergartens in the region. The flooded sports hall was fully renovated and after the nearly BGN 700 000 worth of rehabilitation work the facility hosts regional, national and international sport events among which the only Sports games for people with disabilities, again sponsored by ContourGlobal Maritsa East 3.
Once again, thanks to the company the people now have an entirely new park including two safe playgrounds for mini-football, volleyball, badminton and beach sports. An attractive asset for the town is Energy sports complex, also built entirely under a project fully financed by ContourGlobal Maritsa East 3 It covers an area of 1800 square meters and its street fitness grounds and badminton table and tennis fields attract dozens young people from the region.
“We are happy that ContourGlobal Maritsa East 3 has the ability to help the development of the region. We keep adhering to the European safety practices and to responsibly protect the environment. We will continue to grant Galabovo our support through our social programs, so that the municipality may guarantee a better tomorrow for the future generations.”, said Krasimir Nenonv, the executive director of ContourGlobal Maritsa East 3
As part of the efforts aimed at the young people in the region, ContourGlobal Maritsa East 3 supports in long-term the Professional Energy High School in the town. The company is the first fully corporate sponsor of an assistant teacher in English under Fulbright – the international program for educational exchange in Bulgaria. With the help of the company in the last five years the children of Galabovo had to opportunity to study English with two American adjunct teachers which substantially improved their marks and language skills. The partnership with the professional high school doesn’t end there – representatives of the power plant often hold lectures for the students on the topics of ecology, energy, safety and the like.
Apart form that, on various occasions the students have had the opportunity to get acquainted with [practical sides of their chosen profession as experts from the TPP make the important link between education and actual experience. Besides the good social environment in the town itself, ContourGlobal Maritsa East 3 helps the people from the nearby villages as well. Throughout the years, two of the municipalities had their buildings. The healthcare center and the children’s daycare center in Mednikarovo were fully renovated. Iskritsa has a new village square, playgrounds, outdoor fitness grounds, modern bus top.At the end of 2019 ContourGlobal Maritsa East 3 entirely rehabilitated the yard of the Home for the elderly in Galabovo by supplying greenery, new alleys, benches, chess table and a gazebo.
With the outbreak of the global COVID-19 pandemic the company directed its focus towards the healthcare centers in the region. In the beginning of the year ContourGlobal Maritsa East 3 donated BGN 100 000 to the United Against COVID-19 Fund as part of the funds helped the hospital in Galabovo which is the sole fully functioning medical center in the region of the Maritsa East complex. In addition, by the end of August the TPP will provide the institution with more protective masks, costumes, gloves, disinfectants and PCR tests. In October the arrival of expensive medical equipment is expected, for the doctors to use in the fight against the virus – 5 multiparametric reanimation and intensive care monitors as well as one mobile lung x-ray machine.
The true perspective for quicker overcoming the epidemic lays in our joint forces. We lend a hand to the hospital in Galabovo with the clear conscience that the healthcare workers there need material aid to raise the standards for caring for the sick while the medics themselves to be able to confidently stand up to the challenges they are faced with”, says Nadya Sinigerska Bohorova, Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainable Development Manger at ContourGlobal Maritsa East 3.
In 2020 Galabovo marks 51 years since it has been declared a town and the local people’s perspectives for good quality of life remain tied to the responsibility of the big investors in the region. For the local authority they keep on being good partners with key contribution for the region’s development. For the local people they are something more – close friends sensitive to their problems and with abilities to solve them.