BA Glass celebrated its €60 million investment in its Sofia, Bulgaria container glass production site last week.
The new furnace was installed to meet increased customer demand in the region, has three lines and represents a 100% capacity increase at the site.
The group’s South East Europe Managing Director, Javier Teniente, discusses the project.
Why did you decide to make this investment?
This new investment was decided to respond our customer´s needs but I would like to highlight also that a key factor for the decision is we are very satisfied with the evolution of our operations in our South-East Europe factories
What is the strategic role of the facility?
The new Sofia furnace was designed in a flexible way to adapt our production to the current customer´s needs.
Currently we are producing flint glass for food and soft drinks, but the furnace is prepared to run all processes and kind of products.
From this new furnace we are currently serving, mainly Bulgaria and surrounding countries (Romania, Greece etc), but also other countries like Italy.
This investment incorporates modern technology in all areas, including energy efficiency, environmental and digitalization aspects, which will substantially improve working conditions for our people and will prepare us better for the future.
How will your customers benefit from this investment?
As I said, the investment decision was taken to serve an increasing glass demand in the area but, in addition to the capacity increase, we also had in mind how to be more sustainable and how to deliver the highest quality and service standards for our customers.
How did the company celebrate the occasion?
The official inauguration earlier in November and we were very glad to have with us Bulgarian authorities, our customers, and suppliers.
I can tell you that after COVID time, when possibilities to meet people were very limited, we spent an amazing day all together!
Were any sustainability considerations given to the new investment?
Sustainability is always one of our main drivers and concerns. BA Glass has been awarded, for two years in a row, as “The most sustainable company in the glass industry” by Word Finance and, of course, a new investment is a critical moment to make sustainable decisions.
We have invested about €9 million in modern environmental equipment, we have installed our most proven technology to reduce energy consumption in our furnace and, in addition to this, we are currently investing about €7 million in renewable energy in Bulgaria.
It has been just over five years since the Bulgarian, Greek and Romanian sites were incorporated into the BA Glass group. How important are these sites to the company?
We are very satisfied about how South-East Europe team were integrated in BA Glass culture.
In fact, we even don´t talk about integration and geography because they are simply part of BA Glass family, and by the way, a very important part because the main growth of BA during the last years has been in this region… and it continues!
After this new furnace in Sofia, we are currently starting the works of a new €60 million investment in our plant in Bucharest to modernise our facilities in this site, and also to increase capacity for Romanian market.
I hope in a few months we will be celebrating again a successful start-up and inauguration of our new Bucharest furnace.