BUSINESS - November 20th 2004Saint-Gobain will invest approximately 40 million euros in building a glass wool factory which is to isolate the area around Ploiesti city, stated Michel Hue, representative of the Eurasia division of the French group.
by CATALIN BUDESCUThe company started to build a factory to produce high quality window glass, which is an investment project of about 100 million euros. "It is a project in development, which consists in buying one unit and doubling it with a new, modern one. The project will start after the first half of 2006", said Michel Hue. He stated that the total value of the project, estimated at 40 million euros, could modify. The only unit operating in this area of activity, near Ploiesti, is GES Scaieni, for which the Authority of Revaluation Stateâs Assets (ARSA) owns most part of the shares. It is a factory which passed through a severe restructuring process and modernized with the only oven for flat window glass in Romania, which was bought using a loan guaranteed by the state of about 40 million euros.
GREENFIELDYesterday, Hue took part in the initiation ceremony for the factory in Calarasi. The investment is to be finalized in August 2006 and will have a production capacity of about 200,000 tons every year. For a first stage, almost half of the production will go mainly to the Balkans, and afterwards the export part should get bigger. The products of the Calarasi factory will be destined to the construction industry. The unit will be conceived in such a manner to be able to produce car window glass. Saint-Gobain representatives showed that the group will invest in the transport and hotel infrastructure in Calarasi as well.
LEADERThe Saint-Gobain group is one of the greatest window glass producers in the entire world, having industrial activities in more than 46 countries and 175,500 employees. In 2002 the group registered a sales of more than 30 billion euros and a flat profit of 1 billion euros. In 2003, Saint-Gobain Vitrage window glass division had a turnover of 4.29 billion euros, being present in 35 countries, with more than 35,000 employees. Saint-Gobain Vitrage is European leader and world runner-up in flat surfaced window glass production.
UNUSED ATTRACTION POTENTIALAccording to the Romanian Foreign Investments Agency (RFIA), two billion euros have been invested in our country this year, even if the statistics show Romania as one of the countries in which corruption is a general thing. Reiner Geiger, deputy manager of the Economic and Development Cooperation Organization (EDCO), thinks that, in comparison with the direct investments in the states in South-Eastern Europe and taking into account the GDP, the level is "pretty low" in Romania. "The sum of the investments is 13 billion dollars, a lot more under Romaniaâs potential of attracting foreign investors", said the EDCO official.