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Interview: We always find a common approach with local authorities

     
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Janusz Brylinski, Plant Manager WEPA Piechowice
Janusz Brylinski, Plant Manager WEPA Piechowice

Marta Śniegocka talks to Janusz Brylinski, Plant Manager WEPA Piechowice.

In 2006 WEPA acquired a paper factory in Piechowice. Why did you decided to acquire this particular plant?

At the Polish WEPA location in Piechwice near Jelenia Gora, more than 340 employees produce everyday consumer goods like toilet paper, kitchen and hand towels. In former times, the plant was owned by the government and should be privatized. At that time, WEPA operated two plants in North Rhine-Westphalia / Germany as well as another one in Mainz, but all unsuitable for deliveries to Poland due to high logistic costs. The fourth WEPA plant in Kriebstein near Dresden in Germany focuses on folded product like hankies and facials.

Therefore, the takeover of the Polish plant was meaningful.  Since 2006 we´ve continuously invested into the modernization and expansion of the plant. Today, WEPA Piechowice is a modern plant and supplies the retail business as well as the away-from-home business with rolled and folded products of different qualities.

Recently WEPA received another permit for an investment in Kamiennogórska Special Economic Zone. What does this investment involve?

Since 2006, we’ve invested in the existing machinery and built up new facilities have continuously.  So we have expanded the plant and have invested in technological equipment to strengthen our competitiveness. Recently, in December 2013, we were able to inaugurate a new warehouse. Like the other WEPA locations too, we will continue developing the plant to supply our customers in Poland with competitive products.

The planned, but yet not concretized expansion projects, which were approved by the certificate of last December, will create new jobs in the area of Jelenia Gora and strengthen the economic position.

What impact on your decision of new investment in Piechowice made an extension of activities of Special Economic Zone till 2026?

The good cooperation with the Polish authorities is very important for us. All necessary decisions for the plant extension were made quickly and permissions were swiftly issued. Long-term plans and reliable conditions are essential in our capital-intensive industry. The technical equipment for the production of hygiene paper can cause millions in investments. Therefore it´s important for us  to make our decisions and implement them  on a trusting and calculable base.

How local authorities supports WEPA in post-investment care?

The employees of the local authorities are a competent and reliable contact for all regulatory and legal issues. We feel very comfortable because we were always able to find a common approach.

WEPA operates in several countries in Europe. What kind of advantages and disadvantages do you see in doing business in Poland?

Like other Eastern European countries, also Poland is a growth market for hygiene paper. Due to increased consumer demands and increasing hygiene awareness, growth rates of more than 5 % p.a. are expected and we want to participate. In addition, the big European retailers expand to Eastern Europe and we may and have to follow them to give our support for the market development.

Does WEPA plan further expansion in Poland?

Currently there are no plans in this respect.

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