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Ghraoui Chocolate to start building HUF 7.6 bln plant in October

Construction work to build a HUF 7.6 billion chocolate factory in Hatvan (northeast of Budapest) will start in October, Rania Ghraoui, communications director of Syrian-owned premium chocolate maker Ghraoui Csokoládé Manufaktúra, told Mondayʼs issue of business daily Világgazdaság.

As reported by the BBJ last December, the 12,000 square-meter greenfield investment will provide jobs to 540 people, a number Ghraoui said the firm hopes to double in 5-6 years.

The plant is scheduled to start production one year later. Once fully operational, annual output will reach 1,000 tonnes, with 95% of the product to be exported abroad.

Until then, the companyʼs future shops will be supplied from Csepel Island, in the south of Budapest, where production has already started at a temporary facility with a headcount that should reach 100 by the end of September, Ghraoui added.

The government is providing HUF 1.5 bln funding to assist the investment project.

According to the chocolate makerʼs website, the Ghraoui chocolate factory in Syria has been closed since the end of 2011 due to the ongoing war. A small atelier was set up in the center of Damascus to supply chocolate to just two outlets in the Syrian capital. However, a website message declares that "Ghraoui will soon be relaunching in Europe and from there to all over the world."