Austrian Paper Group to Build EUR 52 mln Packaging Plant

Recycling

The Austrian Prinzhorn Group, a major investor in the paper and recycling sector in Hungary and Central and Eastern Europe, is set to announce an EUR 52 million, state-of-the-art packaging plant to be located in Dunavarsány, 15 kilometers south of Budapest. The plant has a target opening date of summer 2021, according to a press release leaked in advance to the Budapest Business Journal.

Cord Prinzhorn

Miklós Rasovszky, general manager of Dunapack Magyarország, Prinzhorn’s Hungarian packaging subsidiary, is quoted in the press material saying: “With the latest environmentally friendly technology in place, we can serve our customers faster and more efficiently deliver superb product quality, while using less energy and other resources.”

Quizzed for additional information, Cord Prinzhorn, chief executive of the family-owned group, declined to put numbers on the energy savings.

“We do not have comparable figures as the exact machine set up has not been decided yet, [but] we will definitely have a faster and more efficient plant and machinery set up that will result in less energy consumption while providing higher output,” Prinzhorn told the BBJ from the group’s headquarters in Vienna.

Less Downtime

“In addition, [there will be] less downtime due to modern technology [resulting in] increased productivity,” he added.

The plant, which will employ a workforce of some 200, will have a total annual production capacity of 240 million sqm of packaging material.

Put another way, the new plant’s annual production would be able to cover “approximately 33,600 soccer FIFA standard soccer fields measuring 105 x 68 meters,” he said.

This represents a 75% increase on Dunapack’s current Hungarian production capacity of 321 million sqm from its three sites at Csepel, Nyíregyháza and Dunaújváros.

The company expects domestic demand will take around 70% of the new production, with the remainder for exports.

Recycling Reliant

The new plant will largely rely on recycled cardboard production by Hamburger Containerboard, which is itself supplied by Hamburger Recycling; both are Hungarian subsidiaries of the Prinzhorn Group.

When operational, the Dunavarsány plant will raise the group’s workforce in Hungary to some 1,450 people, and cap a total investment of EUR 650 mln to date.

In spite of the current labor shortages in Hungary, Prinzhorn, who holds an MBA from Babson College in Boston, USA, said that he was confident of finding staff for the new operation, given that many young people are attracted to “green jobs” in the paper and recycling sector.  

In addition, Prinzhorn and Dunapack represent well established brands in their sector, a major factor in successful recruitment.

Nonetheless, he admitted that future staffing needs present a challenge. “The long-term perspective on this topic is rather difficult, with birthrates constantly going down and a ‘war for talent’ having already started,” he said.

The group is particularly concerned about finding jobs for older people, and has begun a corporate social responsibility program focusing on three pillars, namely education, environment and community.

“We chose these pillars, rather than, say, art, because people are and will be the decisive factor for success,” Prinzhorn told the BBJ.

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