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Construction of the REHAU factory in Klaipėda FEZ completed
On 1 December, the construction of the German polymer giant REHAU’s plant in the Klaipėda Free Economic Zone (FEZ) was officially completed. The company, which has so far employed more than 30 colleagues, is already testing production processes and lines and will be fully operational in early 2022.
The Finnish-owned real estate development company YIT Lietuva has completed the construction of a micro cable pipe factory with an area of almost 20,000 sqm. at the Klaipėda FEZ. The project was launched in December 2020 after YIT Lietuva won an international tender for the financing and construction of the plant, initiated by REHAU, together with Klaipėda FEZ.
“Despite all the constraints of Covid-19, and in many cases working remotely with our German colleagues, just over ten months after the start of the construction work, we have produced our first test products. And just 12 months after the start of construction, we already have a fully prepared facility for the start of production. This is probably one of the fastest and most efficient plant construction and commissioning projects, achieved through the joint efforts of the Klaipėda FEZ management company, YIT Lietuva and REHAU teams in Germany and Lithuania,” said REHAU plant manager Giedrius Kaukas.
It is planned that about 100 jobs will be created at the plant in the current phase, with the REHAU team expanding by dozens of more colleagues later on. The company has already recruited and will continue to recruit security, production, logistics, quality and maintenance specialists, as well as managers, electricians, machinists, toolmakers, support workers, crushing operators, shift craftsmen and technicians. The REHAU plant has been completed with a quality laboratory already set up, and some of the company’s first employees have already been. They will continue to be trained at the company’s plants in Austria or Germany.
The REHAU Klaipėda plant will produce floor heating pipes.
Eimantas Kiudulas, head of the Klaipėda FEZ, says that the REHAU project is a great success story for Klaipėda and Lithuania, implemented under extraordinary circumstances exceeding expectations in terms of deadlines.
“REHAU chose from among several locations, and we were entrusted not only because of our talent or infrastructure but also because of our promise to deliver the project almost six months faster than anywhere else. In this situation, many city and national organisations acted as a true team – from the FEZ management company, to the Klaipėda and Lithuanian investment promotion agencies, real estate players and other institutions that showed their willingness to attract top-notch companies with the latest market technologies. It is clear that Lithuania’s advantage is not only quick solutions but also unity to achieve meaningful goals,” says E. Kiudulas.
“We appreciate the trust and the opportunity to execute a modern project that meets the client’s requirements REHAU, for which we have applied the Built-to-suit project delivery model, where the client is given the opportunity to rent premises designed, built and adapted to his individual needs. Although the project was complex and presented additional challenges due to the pandemic and disruptions in supply chains, we delivered it successfully and on time. The project was also crowned by the successful search for an investor. We do not doubt that the project will be beneficial for all parties, and most importantly for the economy of the Klaipėda region and Lithuania as a whole, which will be supported by one of Germany’s leading industrial companies operating in a new plant that meets the highest standards,” says Kęstutis Vanagas, CEO of YIT Lietuva.
In November, YIT Lietuva announced that it had concluded a deal with the Maltese investment company Hili Properties to hand over the REHAU factory building. Hili Properties will become the owner of the building by the end of the year, and REHAU will lease the facility. The transaction will add to Hili Properties’ portfolio of 6 shopping centres and six restaurants in the Baltics.
Although REHAU is primarily associated with plastic windows in Lithuania, the German company’s activities are much broader than that – its polymer solutions are used in the automotive, construction, furniture, aerospace and other industries. REHAU started as a family business and is still a family business, but today the company has more than 170 locations worldwide and an annual turnover of around €3 billion.
Two years ago, the company was scouting all over Europe for a location for a new plant, and the Klaipėda FEZ offered the Germans not only a well-developed infrastructure and an active business community but also a variety of solutions that allowed them to advance the desired start-up date by almost half a year.
Klaipėda FEZ is the longest operating and leading free zone in Lithuania. Forty-five companies use in the 412 ha territory, with a total turnover of EUR 927 million in 2020 and exports of almost EUR 478 million.
Since the start of the Klaipėda FEZ’s operations, EUR 747 million has been invested in the zone, most of it in foreign direct investment. In total, over 100 companies and almost 6,000 employees work in the area. Investors in the Klaipėda FEZ mainly specialises in PET, electric transport and components, the food industry, industrial equipment and other regions. In addition, some of the Klaipėda LEZ companies are engaged in production and intensive scientific, research, and innovation activities.