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Poland’s paper producer eyes expansion through investments
Polish tissue paper maker Velvet Care is planning to further expand its production capacities in 2019, following earlier investments carried out over the past years, according to Artur Pielak, the company’s chief executive and general manager. In three years, the company says it invested close to PLN 300 million (€70 million).
Pulpapernews: What types of products does your company offer?
ArturPielak, CEO of Velvet Care: Our portfolio includes six product categories: dry toilet tissue paper, paper towels, packed and boxed tissues, moist toilet tissue, wet wipes for infants, cotton pads and cosmetic buds. With no doubt, the first three categories represent the basis of our activity. We have products from the mainline and premium segments, as well as innovative products, such as tissues with balm, tissue in the 200-sheet standard, and moist toilet tissue which currently is the fastest developing segment of the personal hygiene market.
Pulpapernews: What were the main investments Velvet Care implemented in 2018 and 2017?
Pielak: Velvet Care is a company created more than five years ago, when it took over the Polish business of Kimberly-Clark which was then pulling out of the European market. This change in ownership initiated the most intense period in the history of our plant, located in Klucze, in Poland’s Małopolska region. Over a period of five years, we double our processing capacities, and we tripled the production capacities of the facility. Currently, Velvet Care produces close to 110,000 tonnes of various products per year.
The investments began with the modernisation of the existing production lines, but since 2015, we have been adding new machinery to the Klucze plant. In 2015, we installed and launched two machines: one for moist products, and one for tissues. The year 2016 marked a breakthrough, as that year, we launched three new production lines: one for boxed tissues, one for large-size paper towels, and one for tissue paper. In 2017, we focused on developing the infrastructure that would allow us to effectively sell our products, and we constructed an opened a new storage facility for ready products. These investments led us to investing in a new paper machine. Construction work on the production hall and the machine began in 2016, and in March 2018, we launched a new DC 200 HS paper machine supplied by Valmet. This machine is one of the most advanced devices of this type in the region of Central-Eastern Europe. In mid-2018, we continued our investments by launching a new processing line for rolled products.
Pulpapernews: Is Velvet Care planning further investments in 2019?
Pielak: For the next five-year investment period, our expansion plans are equally ambitious as in the first five-year period. In 2019, we will mainly focus on improving the effectiveness of our plant’s performance. In the long-term, we will also invest in new machines. Our investment plans will be carried out in line with the company’s expansion plans in Poland and the Central-Eastern Europe, and they will be adequately adjusted.
Pulpapernews: In addition to your presence in the Polish market, do you export your products? If yes, to which countries?
We began by exporting our products to the Scandinavian markets, to the Czech Republic, and Slovakia through our distributors in Denmark, Norway and the Czech Republic. Subsequently, we began to intensively develop our sales to the Eastern markets, and for three years, the markets of Germany, Austria and Switzerland, where we are present with many private label products, have been an additional priority to us. We are active in these markets through our strategic partner. In total, Velvet Care products are sold to about 18 countries worldwide.