Slovenian glass packager Steklarna Hrastnik, through its Swiss owner GlobalGlass, is set to take over the SFS Paraćin glass factory in Serbia.

The SFS Paraćin glass factory was in bankruptcy before the takeover and was the subject of a national programme for the revitalization of the glass industry in Serbia.

The GlobalGlass group will increase its production capacity (by around 300 tons/day) and its assortment of products.

Peter Čas, General Manager of Steklarna Hrastnik, said: "The main part of the production in Serbia will be related to the standard quality of glass for the food industry and the needs of the Serbian market and supply to the markets of South-Eastern Europe, where we see a lack of supply.

“In the meantime, the bulk of Hrastnik Glassworks' exports will continue to be directed to the strategic markets of Western Europe and premium and super-premium quality glass.”

The Hrastnik glass factory will continue with the realisation of already approved investments at the Hrastnik location, related to the increase and modernisation of the current production capacities. A new factory and expansion within the craft industrial zone is also under construction.

The acquisition of the Serbian glass factory in Serbia means Hrastnik will have invested more than €34 million euros in the next year.

The strategic plans of Steklarna Hrastnik and the GlobalGlass group in recent years have been related to a transformation from the production of lighting, table and packaging glass with a lower added value, to the more demanding segment of special packaging glass (mainly the beverage industry), where there are higher quality requirements and higher market growth rates.

Hrastnik has invested €93 million euros in the last six years.

Its new furnace/factory are in the final phase, which will increase its production capacity in Hrastnik by more than 200 tons/day.

In addition, a craft industrial zone is under construction, where it intends to build a decoration factory.

In the next year, the plan is also to invest in the renovation and construction of a new hybrid B furnace, as well as investments in energy solutions and digitalisation projects

The GlobalGlass group has plans to grow in the European glass market, for which it will invest more than €100 million in the coming years in further modernisation and expansion of operations in Slovenia and in Serbia.

The takeover of the Serbian glass factory should be completed by the end of Q1 next year, subject to the usual competitive procedures.