This fall, Vetropack Nemšová s.r.o., the Slovakian subsidiary of the Vetropack Group, is celebrating a double anniversary. The production site in Nemšová was founded 120 years ago and has been part of Vetropack for the past 20 years.
This glass factory with a rich tradition is on course for growth and supplies important Vetropack customers in Slovakia and neighbouring European countries. The anniversary year also marks a milestone in the ongoing modernization of the plant. The converted recycling line has not only drastically increased the capacity for processing used glass; it also helps to achieve significant savings in energy and CO2 emissions.
Although Nemšová is one of Slovakia’s smaller towns with a population of around 6,500, it is also among the most traditional and modern glass packaging production sites in Europe. And it has been for 120 years, ever since Baron Anton Dreher laid the foundation for the glass factory in 1902. “There are few places that can look back on such a long and successful history in glass production,” said Johann Reiter, CEO of the Vetropack Group.
Most important employer in the region
To date, Vetropack Nemšová is the largest employer and one of the most important economic drivers in the region. Around 425 colleagues work at the site today, most of them directly in glass production. “People are proud of the glass plant and this state-of-the-art production,” explained Boris Sluka, Managing Director Business Unit Czech Republic and Slovakia. “The high level of expertise and commitment of the workforce are at the heart of this site’s success.”
In 2002, Skloobal Nemšová, which had been run as a corporation since 1989, became part of the international Vetropack Group. This was an important milestone for the site. “Vetropack opened up completely new development opportunities for us,” said Sluka. “Regular investments in our equipment have enabled us to modernize our production processes and to grow significantly over the past two decades.”
This was also the case last year, when the site produced and processed around 196,000 tons of glass with two blast furnaces and a total of seven lines. In total, Nemšová generated net sales of CHF 63.6 million in 2021.
Investment in state-of-the-art recycling line
The site aims at maintaining this growth course in the coming years. Vetropack Nemšová is the undisputed leader in the domestic market, with a majority of products being manufactured for export. Customers include important names such as the Carlsberg brewery, for whom Vetropack exclusively produces the unmistakable blue bottles of the Kronenbourg wheat beer 1664 Blanc in Nemšová.
To further strengthen its market position, Vetropack has invested significantly in the expansion of its recycling line for used glass in Nemšová this year. The existing recycling line for broken glass from 2008 was converted to increase the yield of white glass considerably. Vetropack Nemšová is currently the only processor that meets the current and future needs of the Slovak Republic in used glass recycling.
The conversion has increased the capacity of the recycling line by 50 percent: the line can now process around 140,000 tonnes of used glass per year. At the same time, this has a positive effect on the environmental record of the entire Nemšová production site. The increased use of recycled glass can save 4,100 tonnes of raw material and reduce CO2 emissions by 550 tonnes.
“Projects that combine technological innovation and ecology show us the way to the future,” Sluka underlined. “They are the next chapter in the history of our site.”