Fin. Min. Mihály Varga Inaugurates Vajda-Papír’s Dunaföldvár Mill

Manufacturing

Attila Vajda of Vajda-Papír (center) explains the new paper machine to Mihály Varga (right).

Household and hygiene paper maker Vajda-Papír Kft. has expanded its production facilities in Dunaföldvár (about 95 km south of Budapest by road) with the addition of a second mill, a 15-month investment worth HUF 16 billion. Inaugurated by Minister of Finance Mihály Varga on July 19, almost HUF 10 bln of the total budget was spent on machinery and technology investments, including acquiring a “world-class” base paper machine.

The extension of what the company claims is one of the world’s most modern hygiene paper mills includes a new base paper production hall and warehouse, plus pulp storage and preparation areas.

The project is an addition to the facility completed in Dunaföldvár in November 2018. That first phase had already created what the company called the largest modern paper mill in the region at a cost of HUF 15 bln.

Speaking at the ceremony, Varga praised the fact that Hungary has become self-sufficient in the supply of base paper for the production of sanitary paper products. Vajda-Papír’s investment will create 50 new jobs while maintaining the existing 600.

Priority Investment

The Hungarian government classified the development as a priority investment in the national economy and granted it HUF 5.5 bln in non-refundable aid under the Large Enterprise Investment Support Program. The 2018 phase had been similarly classified and was granted HUF 4.5 bln in non-refundable funding.

Varga noted that the Vajda-Papír Group produces about 55% of all the household and hygiene paper products in Hungary; its products account for almost three-quarters of such exports.

Attila Vajda, managing director of Vajda-Papír, commented that the group is not only able to ensure Hungary’s self-sufficiency in hygiene paper products but can now also meet its own needs for base paper. He added that there were already plans for further expansion.

“The investment […] will reduce the environmental impact of our production and, by eliminating the transport of base paper, we will also significantly reduce our ecological footprint,” Vajda said.

The expansion will double the production capacity of tissue paper products and triple its base paper production capacity, from 35,000 tonnes to 115,000 tonnes, significantly improving the company’s ability to expand its foreign markets. The company was “building an entrepreneurial dream, a true success story,” Vajda added.

Vajda-Papír Figures

The paper machine hall, the associated paper bale storage, and the pulp and base paper warehouses together occupy an area of about two soccer pitches, with the roads built to support them taking up two more, Attila Vajda, managing director of Vajda-Papír says of the project.

The 66-meter-long paper machine weighs more than 1,044 tonnes, “the equivalent of 40 elephants.” It can produce 10 tonnes of base paper rolls per hour and 80,000 tonnes per year.

Water from the paper production process will be biologically purified to a level “that can be accepted by nature” and directly returned to the Danube River. Some 50% of that is filtered once again to achieve the purity of well water and is reused in the paper-making process. 

Vajda-Papír was founded 22 years ago as a family business. The group entered the Norwegian market in 2013 and has been operating a factory there for 10 years, employing more than 130 people. In addition to sales in Hungary, the company’s Ooops! brand and private label toilet tissue, paper handkerchiefs, paper towels, and paper napkins are supplied to Scandinavia, the Baltic States, Central and Eastern Europe, and more than 30 countries around the world. The group recorded a 10% increase in turnover in 2021, with sales rising from HUF 52 bln to HUF 57 bln.

This article was first published in the Budapest Business Journal print issue of July 29, 2022.

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