OREANDA-NEWS. Grodno Tobacco Factory Neman is finishing a EUR 11 million joint investment project with British American Tobacco Trading Company. The information was released by Yuri Chernyshev, Director General of the Grodno-based company.

In 2012 the two long-term partners launched a new investment project on parity terms. About EUR 11 million in investments was used to buy two German cigarette-making equipment. With this equipment Neman will be able to make Compact King Size and Super Slims formats with the capacity of 6,000 cigarettes per minute or more than 6 million cigarettes per day.

The first equipment line was commissioned in October 2012. The Super Slims line was installed in March 2013. Its testing is nearly over.

Once the lines are operational, the company will completely satisfy the domestic demand for tobacco products in progressive formats and will be able to export the merchandise. Super slim tobacco products have been growing more popular in Belarus and abroad, said Yuri Chernyshev. With the Super Slims line commissioned, the share of super slim cigarettes in the company’s total output will rise by 5% to 25%.

Pavel Bocharov, Director of British American Tobacco Trading Company, stressed that the completion of the investment project is a good example of how government policy facilitates modernization and import substitution projects.

The foreign-owned company British American Tobacco Trading Company has been working in Belarus since 1995. The company started contract-based production of cigarettes at Grodno-based tobacco factory Neman in 2005. The foreign company’s investment in Belarus has exceeded EUR 14.5 million. In 2012 over 5 billion cigarettes were made for British American Tobacco Trading Company as part of the contract with the Neman factory.

Grodno-based tobacco factory Neman is Belarus’ largest manufacturer of tobacco products (80% of the market). The enterprise was founded in 1861 and was transformed into a public joint-stock company in January 2008. The company now employs over 1,000 people.