Vasimir Radulov, Co-founder of Balkan Hydrogen Cluster: Hydrogen is Not a Fad, It Is the Future

In an interview with BTA, Vasimir Radulov, co-founder and member of the Balkan Hydrogen Cluster said that hydrogen is not a passing fad, it is the future. Radulov, an economist by education who has been dealing with the topic of hydrogen for more than five years, founded the Balkan Hydrogen Cluster (BHC) two years ago together with like-minded people.

Currently, the BHC has over 45 completed projects in Bulgaria, including schools, hospitals, kindergartens, nurseries, administrative buildings, greenhouses, factories, workshops and others. Until now, between the border of Austria and the borders of China and Russia, there is no other structure that has such activity and real products that cover the entire engineering cycle, including design, production of hydrogen equipment, installations, monitoring, maintenance, Radulov said. The members of the cluster are Bulgarian manufacturing companies, municipalities, state enterprises, and international organizations.

Radulov is also a member of the Management Board of the National Chamber for Mineral Water Management in Bulgaria and a member of the Management Board of the Bulgarian-Saudi Chamber of Commerce, which was officially established on June 29, 2023 in the capital.

“Our strategy as a cluster in hydrogen technologies is fully harmonized and in sync with the European hydrogen development strategy,” said Radulov.

The members of the BHC include municipalities, state enterprises, entrepreneurs, financial partners. “We have signed numerous partnerships, among which with the National Chamber for Mineral Water Management, various higher education institutions, universities and other key partners. We also signed numerous memorandums in the field of hydrogen with partners in Moldova, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Italy, Belgium, Spain, Austria, Ireland, Poland. With its approach, BHC is a natural monopolist in this area for the region,” said Radulov.

The biggest project for the BHC so far, has been a factory in Turkey, and the Turkish Minister of Energy came to the official opening ceremony, which for was a worthy attestation of the importance of the BHC know-how, said Radulov.

He also mentioned a hydrogen valley project, called the “Valley of the Future”, implemented jointly with the Municipality of Chelopech, which will supply all public buildings and utilities with green hydrogen and Chelopech will become the first green municipality in South-Eastern Europe. “We are at the technical design stage, and the goal of the valley is to produce 100% green hydrogen, and the surrounding municipalities will also be able to be powered by the valley,” explained the BHC co-founder.

Cyber security is an integral part of energy, because its structure must be protected as much as possible, Radulov added, explaining that all hydropower plants, thermal power plants, as well as the future hydrogen valleys will be part of Bulgaria’s national security. Most of the processes in energy production are being digitized and cyber security has a huge role to play in these projects. The security of hydrogen energy transfer is very important, he noted.