Huhtamaki, the Finnish-based consumer packaging specialist with worldwide operations, will build a moulded fibre egg packaging unit adjacent to its existing packaging facility in the greater Moscow area.
The €5 million investment is scheduled to start commercial production by the end of 2003.
Employing the company's proprietary Leotech moulded fibre technology, the new facility will bring modern, high quality egg packaging to the rapidly growing Russian supermarket sector.
The company says that several industrial-scale egg packers have expressed keen interest in the project.
"The Russian food retail business grew by a double-digit figure last year, and much of this is concentrated around Moscow and other major cities in western Russia," said Hannu Kottonen, Huhtamaki's division president for the Fresh Foods business.
"Because we are building this new operation at the same site as our rigid packaging plant, we will be able to enjoy a variety of economies of scale. The established Ivanteevka operation will provide shared infrastructure and logistical benefits, thus delivering value sooner than a typical green-field project," Kottonen added.
The new unit will concentrate on a narrow range of high-volume premium egg packaging, with complementary products sourced from other Huhtamaki units and technology licensees. This supply network enables the company to start sales and deliveries while the new unit is still under construction. The company already has a specialised fresh foods sales force in Russia.