World’s largest wooden flooring factory being built in Croatia

The world’s largest wooden flooring factory, which will create 600 new jobs, is being built in Croatia.

Woodura, a flooring technology developed by Välinge Innovation, has become a sales success and demand for Bjelin’s cured wooden floors is growing. The flooring factory in Viken in Skåne County, which came on stream just two years ago, will reach its maximum capacity as early as 2023.

The company’s owner, Pervanovo Invest AB, is therefore investing EUR 200 million in another state-of-the-art plant in Croatia, which will be the world’s largest flooring factory.

In October 2020, Pervanovo Invest AB, the parent company of the group of companies that includes Välinge Innovation and Bjelin, made the decision to invest in a high-tech, fully-integrated and automated production facility in Croatia for the manufacture of cured wooden floors on a large scale for a global market.

The new Ogulin 2 factory is being built next to the parquet flooring factory Ogulin 1 in the city of Ogulin, Croatia. The factory’s production volume will gradually increase from 2023 and by the time Ogulin 2 comes fully on stream in 2027, it will be the world’s largest wooden flooring factory with a production capacity of more than 20 million square metres of flooring per year. The total annual volume of flooring production at Viken and Ogulin 2 will then be 30 million square metres.

The new factory is being built on a 330,000 square metre site that is located along the motorway between Zagreb and Split. The factory’s total floor area is 100,000 sq.m., and investments in land, buildings, installations and machinery are valued at EUR 200 million. (CAPEX). The investment is largely financed through equity.

In the high-tech and automated factory Ogulin 2, flooring will be manufactured from wood powder, surface treatments and core material. The raw material required for production is to a large extent derived from wood waste from Bjelin’s other factories in Ogulin, Bjelovar and Otok, all in Croatia. Pressing, profiling, preparation of surfaces and the final packaging of the floors takes place in automated production processes that were also developed by Välinge Innovation.

Bjelin Sweden AB and Välinge Innovation AB

To match the investments in production capacity, the Group will make strategic investments in the sales organisation and marketing in Europe, the USA and Asia to strengthen its brands globally.

“I am very pleased that after ten years of strong focus and high development costs, we are ready to scale up wood powder-based production and introduce the next generation of wooden floors – a cured wood, which is both cost-efficient and environmentally friendly to produce. The result has been an enormously positive response from the markets, historically on a par with the three-layer parquet floor launched in 1945 through the Swedish companies Kährs and Tarkett.

The success has given us the confidence to make this groundbreaking investment in Croatia, where we have access to high-quality oak forests combined with skilled employees,” said Darko Pervan, CEO, Pervanovo Invest AB.

“We are delighted that our owners are prepared to make such a powerful investment in Woodura technology. We hope that the success of our sister company and our main partner Bjelin, which markets and sells the flooring, will encourage others to sign a licence for this innovative technology,” saids Niclas Håkansson, CEO, Välinge Innovation.

“We are proud that our owner Pervanovo Invest AB is making this massive investment in Croatia and we are delighted to launch Välinge Innovation’s Woodura technology together with our Swedish colleagues. Over the past two years, all our factories have been upgraded to a high level of technology, but this new investment in technology in Ogulin is quite outstanding. The investment will give Bjelin a world-leading position and will result in a direct increase in the workforce in Croatia of 600 new employees, boosting the workforce from 800 to 1,400 employees.The initiative will also create new jobs in the production units in Bjelovar and Otok, where we will increase production of top veneer and process waste wood for production in Ogulin 2,” said Stjepan Vojnic, CEO, Bjelin Croatia.

“The fact that the owners are making such an extensive investment in increasing production capacity is proof of Bjelin’s sales success and shows that our floors are on the right track. The floors are beautiful, hard-wearing, durable and not only meet current environmental requirements but exceed them by a large margin. We look forward to continued good cooperation with our sister company, Välinge Innovation,” said Zoran Mihajlovic, CEO, Bjelin Sweden AB.

Source:Croatia Week

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