Weyerhaeuser Company (NYSE: WY) today announced that it intends to build a new cellulose fibers processing plant in Gdansk, Poland. City officials in Gdansk, the largest port city in Poland, announced that Weyerhaeuser had won a competitive tender process to purchase 100,000 square meters of land for this project. The land-sale agreement is expected to be completed by year end, and the company plans to break ground for the 17,000-square-meter facility in the spring of 2010.
The facility will process cellulose fibers for use in hygiene products. It will employ at least 45 people upon its expected completion in 2012. The facility will be Weyerhaeuser’s first cellulose fibers manufacturing plant outside of North America.
“Weyerhaeuser is committed to investing in and carefully growing business segments that add value to its timberlands portfolio and that have demonstrated top-quartile performance in their competitive categories,” said Dan Fulton, Weyerhaeuser president and CEO. “We expect worldwide demand for cellulose-based products to increase over the long term. This new plant will enable our Cellulose Fibers business to grow with a key customer.”
Procter & Gamble will be the facility’s primary customer, and the state-of-art plant will supply P&G operations in Poland and western and eastern Europe. “The plant Weyerhaeuser is building in Gdansk supports a variety of P&G strategies,” said Stassi Anastassov, vice president of Baby Care Central Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa for Procter & Gamble. “These include encouraging local sourcing of raw materials, fostering local employment, reducing overall costs and minimizing the company’s environmental footprint by reducing logistics requirements.”
Polish government officials acknowledge the significance of the investment in a depressed global economy. “This is one of the most important foreign investment commitments in the country in 2009 and was supported from the very early stages of project development by the PAIiIZ staff,” said Slawomir Majman, president of the Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency (PAIiIZ).
“Weyerhaeuser’s choice of Gdansk demonstrates the city’s many strengths in serving central and eastern Europe,” said Pawel Adamowicz, mayor of Gdansk. “Our excellent location, modern logistics infrastructure, and industry investment programs are some of the many advantages.”
The Invest Gdansk Economic Development Agency (INVESTGDA) played a critical role in helping to broker the land purchase. In addition to INVESTGDA, Weyerhaeuser acknowledges and appreciates the cooperation that it has received from numerous polish officials and entities, including the city of Gdansk and mayor Pawel Adamowicz, the Pomeranian Special Economic Zone, the Pomerania Development Agency and the Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency. P&G representatives in Poland also provided critical local support and expertise.