Greif Inc. opened a new multi-million dollar steel drum production plant in Kaluga, Russia, the company announced last week. The facilitys construction is part of plans to expand the companys food-grade lubricant packaging production and increase its presence in Russia.
The almost 20,000-square foot facility will house an automatic steel drum line with an annual capacity of 2 million units, with potential for future expansion, Melanie Kendall, a spokesperson for Greif, told Lube report. The Delaware, Ohio-based company declined to disclose the cost of the new plant.
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The company previously stated the Kaluga facility and its plant in Kazan in southwest Russia – which opened two years ago – would produce its GCube containers portfolio, a series of intermediate bulk containers designed for the storage of food-grade lubricants. Greif has invested in facilities across Europe – most recently with a warehouse and production facility in the Netherlands this past June – to accommodate its growing food-grade lubricant packaging segment. The company has seen growing demand for food-grade IBCs and considers it a key market.
Steel drum production has already commenced at the Kaluga plant, with an IBC line expected to launch in 2019.
The Kaluga facility will be the companys ninth in Russia. Luca Bettoni, EMEA IBC and plastic products manager at Greif, indicated to Lube Report in June that there are plans for more Russian expansion next year.
The facility – located in the Vorsino industrial park just 50 miles outside of Moscow – is within the capital citys transportation hub and in close proximity to Greif customers Gazprom Neft and Obninskorgsintez, creating a strategic location in the central region of Russia. The purpose of constructing this facility was to expand our capacity to meet customer demand. We will also be optimizing our network fulfillment and reducing transport costs, explained Kendall.
Delivering greater flexibility, reduced lead times and lower transportation costs is central to our ongoing continuous improvement plans, said Konstantine Savinov, general manager of Greif Russia, in the companys press release. The Kaluga plant will enable us to achieve all of this with existing partners and further build on our market leading position by introducing new customers.
Though the company has yet to release specific plans, it has stated it will build more facilities in regions where it doesnt have plants and expects to make investments over the next few years throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Greif operates more than 200 locations throughout 40 countries.