Walki Group has opened a packaging plant in Svetogorsk, western Russia, adjacent to a pulp and paper mill owned by its trading partner International Paper.
As part of the Finland-based technical laminates and protective packaging material company’s strategy for growth in emerging markets, Walki also plans to open its own sales office in Moscow.
For some years, Walki has supplied ream wrapping for International Paper Russia’s well-known office paper brands Svetocopy and Ballet, and its new dedicated production facilities in Russia are a “first step towards entering new business areas in the Russian market as a domestic supplier”.
In Svetogorsk, MD Andrzej Kluczek is happy to see the extrusion and printing capacity installed and running. “Establishing a local base is a decisive step for us in building an even closer partnership with our key customers in the paper industry,” he says.
“An ability to act fast and with great flexibility is crucial in many cases. Ream wrappers are a good example of this; here designs are frequently switched and orders have to be met immediately.”
Walki says it has a competitive edge in the Russian market thanks to its high quality products, solutions-focused attitude and service.
“We have a range of products that in due time could be very interesting for the Russian market,” says says Timo Finnström, Walki vice-president paper packaging and sourcing.
“A good example is flexible packaging applications and another is our range of high-class insulation facing materials and membranes,” says Finnström.
Franz Marx, president of International Paper Russia, adds: “Our long-standing partnership with Walki has now reached a new level: the Walki packaging production plant at Svetogorsk will advance International Paper’s commitment to operational excellence and therefore to our customers by improving the flexibility and security of supplies of our key product – multifunctional office papers.
“We also believe that this opening will have a positive impact for the region, creating new jobs, attracting investments and economic prosperity to the city of Svetogorsk”.
With annual net sales of €320 million, Walki Group has operations in Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, the UK and China with a workforce of about 1,000 people.