Planned Bekaert Facility to Meet Russian Tyremakers’ Needs
Demand in Russia for the steel cord used to reinforce tyres is rising, and to meet this growing market Bekaert has taken the decision to invest in a new production facility in the country’s Lipetsk Special Economic Zone. More than 97 million euros will be invested in this project in a series of stages over the period 2008 to 2013, with the first stage scheduled to enter production in 2010.
The Lipetsk region, about 400 kilometres south of Moscow, is strategically located close to the target markets, reports Bekaert, and features good logistics, ready access to energy supplies and a skilled labour force. Bekaert already has an established portfolio of customers in Russia, including tyre manufacturers. These Russian customers are currently being supplied by factories in Central Europe.
Baron Paul Buysse, chairman of Bekaert’s Board of Directors, commented: “Expanding our position in Russia is entirely consistent with Bekaert’s strategy of sustainable profitable growth. The decision to set up our own production platform in Russia is proof of Bekaert’s faith in the long-term potential of this country. Local production will enable Bekaert effectively to meet the rapidly growing demand for top-quality products.” Bekaert’s commitment to Russia will be underlined by the presence in late January of a delegation headed by Mr. Buysse and CEO Bert De Graeve at an official inaugural event for new investors in the Lipetsk region, which will also be attended by high-level Russian officials.