Greif partnered with industrial packager Tholu B.V. to open a new multimillion euro intermediate bulk container factory in Ede, the Netherlands, to serve the Benelux region, the company announced early last week. The facility focuses on the needs of the food industry, including food-grade lubricant packaging.
Ede-based Tholu and Greif have a long-standing partnership and worked together to develop all technical features of the new plant.
At over 90,000 square meters, the plant includes a warehouse and production plant with two IBC lines, and complies with the Global Food Safety Initiative and the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point food safety management system, which seeks to eliminate the potential for contamination at every point along the supply chain. Greif did not comment on total capacity.
The facility connects to Tholus existing site in the Netherlands via a bridge. This enables hundreds of new bottles to be automatically delivered every day to the rebottling line, avoiding any handling risks or issues related to storage or transportation, said Luca Bettoni, EMEA IBC and plastic products manager at Greif.
With a plant in the Netherlands on which a second complete IBC line is already under installation – and a third planned in two years time – plus two sites in Germany, we can offer our complete GCube portfolio to the Benelux region, Bettoni told Lube Report. The Benelux region includes Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. Previously, the Delaware, Ohio-based company supplied the region through its facilities in Germany.
Greif has seen a growing demand for food-grade IBCs, using its GCube Food technologies, making the food industry and food-grade lubricants a key market for the company.
GFood Cube complies with relevant food contact packaging regulations, including the TPE-S gasket used in the lid, Greif says on its website.
We have a clear strategy to offer the highest standards in the food industry, and developing a new plant with the newest technologies is central to this, asserted Bettoni.
Future investments by Greif across Europe, the Middle East and Africa can be expected over the next few years. This includes a plan to expand the companys presence in Russia in 2019. Russia represents a strategic area for Greif, said Bettoni.
The company has a plant in Kazan in southwest Russia – which opened two years ago – and another under construction in Kaluga in the Moscow area. Both facilities are for the production of the complete GCube portfolio.
These two sites, combined with Greifs existing seven large steel drum facilities across the country, mean we have a very strong presence in the industrial packaging market in Russia, he stated.
The company did not comment on the specifics of any other future projects but did say it plans to build more facilities in new regions.
Grief has operations in Israel, Sweden, the Netherlands, China, Spain, Russia and the United States.