On Thursday 18 December 2008, in the presence of high ranking guests, representatives of the Kosovo Government and the German Embassy, KEK and Tenova TAKRAF signed another contract for the refurbishment of a bucket wheel excavator (BWE) SRs 1300. The contract, financed by the German Government-owned KfW-Bank, whose representatives were present too, is part of a modernization concept for all TAKRAF supplied machinery, which includes in many cases, even after decades of operation, an increase in capacity compared to the design capacity facilitated by the incorporation of new Tenova TAKRAF drive technologies and modern control regimes.

The contract marks another step in the long-lasting friendship between Tenova TAKRAF and the people of Kosovo, which dates back to the year 1964 when the then TAKRAF Kombinat supplied the first BWE 470 to the Bardt mine. After more than 44 years of hard work in the mine, this machine was as most of the other 15 BWEs, 14 belt wagons and nine giant spreaders, supplied by TAKRAF, and is still in operation. This result certainly shows the superior design of the TAKRAF engineers, as well as the excellent maintenance by the Kosovo miners.

After the political changes in the Kosovo in the late 90s, the Tenova TAKRAF colleagues were among the first of all foreign companies to come back to their friends in Kosovo and support them in their struggle to revitalize their coal mines. A long way from the Skopje airport via terribly bad and, to some extent, unsafe roads did not prevent them from coming and bringing KfW-bankers to the mines to help with the reconstruction of the business.

During the very first visit in 1999, a plan for a complete rehabilitation of the equipment was generated and has been implemented in various stages since then. The most recent step, and surely not the last one, is the contract signed today.

With the long and very personal relationships between the employees of both companies, it is certainly more than a simple business interest that drives the relationship between Tenova TAKRAF and the Kosovo in the future.