A European PVC flooring manufacturer has transformed a former Coca-Cola drinks factory in western Russia to produce sheet vinyl floor coverings.
IVC Group of Avelgem, Belgium is reported to have invested around €55.65m in the project to establish the IVC Rus plant which went on stream in mid June on the site in suburban Oryol city, south of Moscow.
Coca-Cola HBC Russia ceased beverage production there in 2016 and finally closed down the factory in the autumn of that year. City and regional authorities tried to find another investor to take over the site and in 2016 IVC expressed an interest in its acquisition.
Initial flooring manufacture trials took place at the new IVC Rus site early this year before full production began in June.
The new facility, currently employing a workforce of some 200, had already manufactured about 4.5 million square metres of sheet PVC flooring by this month, according to regional media.
IVC Group, with flooring plants in Europe and the US, is owned by the leading US floor manufacturing group Mohawk Industries Inc. of Calhoun, Georgia, which makes coverings from stone, carpet, wood, laminate and vinyl to ceramic tiles.
“Our new sheet vinyl expansion is focused on Russia where the market is huge because of its value and affordability to consumers with limited purchasing power,” commented Bernard Thiers, Mohawk’s president of Flooring, Rest of the World.
“By manufacturing product in the market, we can avoid logistics expense, import fees, and currency exchange risks - all of which position us for profitable growth.”
IVC in Russia is based in St Petersburg and has several distribution centres across the country in Vsevolozhsk, near St Petersburg, Moscow, Novosibirsk and Yekaterinburg.
IVC Group, which produces 180,000m2 of flooring products overall, runs flooring plants in Belgium at Avelgem, Wielbeke and Moeskroen; at Wiltz in Luxembourg and in Dalton, Georgia in the US. It has a 1,600 strong workforce.
Its market in Western Europe is largely in the residential segment though, with a fuller portfolio now including carpet tiles and LVT (luxury vinyl tiles), the firm aims to grow its position in the commercial market.