International b2b Forum
28 – 29.06.2018
International b2b Forum<br/>28 – 29.06.2018

Cathodic protection development in Bulgaria. The most important issues and measures to be taken

An interview with M.Sc. Ernesto Stefanov, General manager of the Bulgarian company Paradise Electric Consult Ltd

Eng. Stefanov, in what core sectors of industry is it most necessary to apply cathodic protection systems?
Cathodic protection systems (electrochemical protection (EHZ) are applied in the most important sectors of the economy): Water Supply (Water), Ship Repair, Construction, Petroleum and Gas, Industry and others. In order to understand the cathodic protection, the mechanism of corrosion must first be understood. In this sense, in order for corrosion to occur, three conditions must be met:
1.Two different metals.
2. An electrolyte (salt water or water with any dissolved salts in it).
3. An electrically conductive connection between different metals.

Cathodic protection guards against corrosion by converting all anode locations (active) from the metal surface to cathodic (passive) locations by feeding an electrical current (or free electrons) from an external power source (cathodic station) or sacrificial anodes.

What would happen if corrosion prevention wasn’t used applied?
Over time, corrosion has led to structural problems and damage, causing cracks and holes in the steel, environmental pollution, huge losses due to the repair and replacement of corroded metal structures and facilities. In the chemical industry, the degree of corrosion can be very rapid, at intervals of months or several years, as it is working in a very aggressive environment. Each industry sector must identify corrosion risk locations effectively to assess the level of safety, production and environmental losses, and to control the conditions of the risk areas.
Bulgaria can save millions of leva every year if it uses modern methods of corrosion protection. Considering all this, the government and government institutions should pay more attention to this very important topic.

Please share briefly the main problems in cathodic protection development in Bulgaria
Currently in Bulgaria the main problems for the development of cathodic protection are:
  • The current standards for cathodic protection have not been updated for more than 35 years
  • Lack of specialists, designers and cathodic protection technicians
  • Lack of modern literature on this matter
  • Specialists and technicians are not NACE and FROSIO certified
  • The lack of up-to-date information leads to the fact that many designers produce poor quality projects or copy projects without analyzing whether the same technical solutions can be applied
  • Type C Laboratories certified to verify these systems have no place to undergo re-qualification courses.
  • Cathodic protection components such as cathodic stations, control measuring test stations, reference electrodes, corrosion coupons and other products not meeting international requirements and European standards are available on the market
  • Companies that are not certified install these systems without the necessary experience and qualifications
  • There is no national organization to bring together all the corrosion specialists.

What measures do you think need to be taken?
  • The Government should be aware of the seriousness of this matter and considerable steps should be taken to develop this in Bulgaria, which include:
  • Only certified labor (specialists, designers and companies) according to NACE, FROSIO, API should have the right to design, diagnose and build these systems
  • Organizing modern courses and technical training for specialists, technicians and designers
  • Improvement of the learning facilities in universities and research institutes.
  • To offer masters programs related to this subject
  • Certified specialists and technicians to be rewarded according to the level of certification and experience they have
  • Provide up-to-date technical information on this topic
  • Prohibit the marketing of cathodic protection products that do not meet international requirements and standards
  • Have more serious control and inspection by state institutions
  • Modernization of cathodic protection systems in the country.






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