By Liz White, UT contributing editorMiddleton, UK-British Vita plc is to add another facility in central Europe, by setting up a foam conversion unit in Romania. Pictured are Vita’s newly appointed divisional director Keith Bradshaw (left) signing the lease agreements for the Romanian site with Bruno Dossi, managing director of Incontro, the company that own part of the business park.The UK-based foamer, which recently announced plans to spend £5.4 million to start up a foam production/conversion plant in Paks in south-west Hungary during 2004, now says it plans to open a foam conversion factory in Timisoara in Romania, in the third quarter of 2004. As with Vita’s move into Hungary, this strategic investment will, Vita said, follow existing customers into a new country and allow Vita to continue to supply them with the full range of foam products.Since Timisoara is just 150 from the new foam production site at Paks in Hungary, the Paks factory will supply block foam to the Romanian unit when production comes on-stream later this year, Vita said.New equipment is being installed at Timisoara during May and commissioning is planned for June. Timisoara, close to the Hungarian border, is, according to Vita, “one of the largest centres in Romania for the production of upholstered furniture.”Romania has benefited from a rapid expansion in furniture and bedding manufacture, brought about through recent investment by Western European furniture manufacturers,” added Vita’s statement on the deal.Currently such furniture and bedding are mostly destined for export, but Romania’s population of 22 million is increasing in prosperity, so the industry will increasingly begin to serve the local market as well, Vita added. Vita already has a foaming unit in Poland, as well as one in the Baltic States, in Lithuania.”
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