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Heinz Glas, 350 years! And younger than ever...

On the 25, 26 and 27 of August last, there was quite a celebration going on in Kleintettau, the historic factory and headquarters of Heinz Glas, a two-hour drive from Nuremberg. Because not only was the German glassmaker celebrating its 350th anniversary before all its employees, local personalities, and guests from all over the world but it was also inaugurating the new 60 ton electric furnace equipped with its first two production lines of eight and ten sections. Carl-August Heinz, owner and CEO, gives Premium Beauty News an update and also takes the opportunity to announce another great project: the building a huge 3,500 m² pilot-greenhouse heated with the excess heat from the glass factory to produce exotic fruits. Quite an amazing idea for the least!

Carl-August Heinz

Carl-August Heinz

Premium Beauty News - A fine example of sustainability this anniversary is indeed?

Carl-August Heinz - You can say that again! This anniversary really epitomises what our group does and will continue to do as part of its historic mission of responsibility towards its hundreds of dedicated staff members, but also with respect to the hundreds of customers who trust the Group.

Premium Beauty News - You have already expressed yourself on this subject through this website, but it is always important to recall that the Heinz Group currently has little in common with the one of former days.

Carl-August Heinz - Concerning plastic operations, our presence is constant and, as you know, has accelerated with the acquisition of our colleagues from Böhm, a 30 million euro business, which we have acquired a few days before our festivities took place.

Regarding glassware, the shift was operated in 1999, when we decided to specialize mainly on the high-end segment of perfumery and cosmetics to serve, on all continents, increasingly demanding customers. In twelve years, the choice made paid off! May I recall that we currently have no less than five glass factories with two in Germany (Kleintettau and Pilsau), one in Poland (Dzialdowo), one in Peru (Heinz Glas Ferrand) and one in China (“3” Star Hangzhou Sanxing Craftwork Glass Co. Ltd), with a production capacity of some 1.5 billion bottles and jars with nine furnaces and 32 production lines, not to mention dedicated decoration workshops in Germany, Czech Republic and China and Lima town. The group will post this year, a total turnover of over 300 million euros.

Premium Beauty News - The celebration in Kleintettau was also the opportunity to announce a hefty investment! Again, a real challenge in times of crisis?

Carl-August Heinz - Yes, quite true! It’s a risk we are taking! This second crisis was predictable and we had taken it into account when we took the decision in December 2010 to invest in a new 60 ton furnace and two new production lines in Kleintettau. But you know, we have been in operation for 350 years and we have had to undergo severe crisis, at least every twenty years. We always managed to recover after each of them.

Premium Beauty News - What was the amount of the investment? And what are the other major projects?

Carl-August Heinz - It is important to recall that once the decision was taken, things went very quickly. It took only six months to build the new building and install the new furnace with its two production lines for a total of 20 million euros. And the location for a third line is already prepared which will lead to a final bill of 27 million euros.

As for other initiatives, they concern our glass factory in Poland where we have rebuilt a furnace which helped increase production by 20%. We also plan building a second furnace in Peru and a third one in China.

Premium Beauty News - The “plastic activity” is not far behind?

Carl-August Heinz - The takeover of Böhm, which was echoed in your website, is part, of course, of this strategy of growing and also consolidating our plastic activities. Its production potential come in addition to the five production sites we already own on this sector and which generate a turnover of over 60 million euros.

Premium Beauty News - You have also announced another particularly original industrial project.

Carl-August Heinz - Original, certainly, but nonetheless quite serious and exciting! The idea is simple. A glass factory generates a lot of excess heat - also quite a lot at relatively low temperatures. Why not use it to heat greenhouses and produce in our reputedly cold regions some exotic fruits and vegetables in large quantities to supply our markets and grocery stores?

Well, I can tell you that this project will see the light. We are supported by the region and the EU to build a pilot-greenhouse of 3,500 m² that will produce about 10 tons of exotic fruits and 10 tons of tropical fish. The cost of this pilot-operation: five million euros. And if we are successful, other greenhouses will emerge around our other glass factories in Europe.

Interview by Jean-Yves Bourgeois

© 2011 - Premium Beauty News -
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