Plastic bag production opens in Latvia

  • 2001-06-07
  • Ilze Arklina
OLAINE - A new plastic bag production company was opened in the Latvian town of Olaine on May 31.

The new company, established by Icelandic businessman Gisli Reynisson in cooperation with two plastics producers from Belgium and France, will replace two production plants the companies used in Belgium and the U.K.

"It's cheaper to produce the bags in Latvia," Ineta Rudzite, spokesman for Nordic Industries told The Baltic Times.

Nordic Plast is located at the Nordic Industrial Park – the former site of a plastic plant in Olaine, some 20 kilometers south from Riga.

"Since the workers here had the necessary knowledge, it was possible for two European plastic producers to come into Latvia," Reynisson said at the opening.

"We will create 70 new jobs in Olaine," he noted.

"Workers in Latvia do a good job and everything is clean. That made me come here," said Ewald Stoll, owner of the German plastic manyfacturer Stoll and Frolien GmbH Waldbrol, which produces plastic bags for German supermarkets such as the ALDI chain.

Nordic Plast, which makes shopping and garbage bags from polyethylene, is going to export 90 percent of its production to Germany, the United Kingdom and France, company President Wolfgang Ermert told journalists. He said that Nordic Plast planned to take over 20 percent to 30 percent of the Latvian and European garbage bag markets soon.

Nordic Plast will also produce one- to three-layer film for use in the Latvian timber industry. The product, intended for wrapping up exported timber, has so far been imported, Reynisson said.

The new company is owned by Reynisson's investment company Nordic Industries (60 percent), New Unisac from Belgium (20 percent) and New Unisac France from France (20 percent).

The company has 25 employees but plans to increase its staff to 70.

The investment to start up Nordic Plast in Latvia totals 9 million Deutschemarks ($3.9 million), Reynisson said. Production equipment accounts for 60 percent of Nordic Plast's share capital of 1.55 million Deutschemarks.

Nordic Plast is able to produce 500 tons of garbage bags and 150 tons of carrier bags per month, Ermert said. The raw material will be taken from plastic waste and primary polyethylene raw material from Latvian, Belarussian, Russian and Ukrainian suppliers.

"We acquired Swiss machinery for recycling plastics, so we take some 60 to 80 tons per month of plastic waste from Latvian markets," Ermert noted. He said that Nordic Plast would be able to process five times more waste, "but there is no more available, so we have to import."

The company plans its annual sales to reach 2.82 million Deutschemarks in 2001, but in 2002 the sales should reach 6 million Deutschemarks.