Ukraine bottler to expand

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Gostomel Glass Factory, Ukraine's largest glass-bottle producer, is
borrowing €13.3 million from the EBRD to build a new facility that
will enable it to produce 600,000 beer bottles a day.

In what many industry observers view as an important sign of both Ukraine's and Gostomel's increasing attraction as a place to invest, €9 million of the loan is being syndicated to two private financial investors: Austria's Raiffeisen Zentralbank österreich and Canada's International Finance Participation Trust.

Having successfully completed its initial development phase, also financed by the EBRD​, Gostomel Glass Factory is now building the new facility around a new glass melting furnace. The first stage of the financing has already helped the company to establish itself as a major supplier of glass to the domestic market and for it to ascertain the all-important ISO 9001-certification.

Once the newly expanded facility is up and running it will produce 220 tonnes of glass, which the company hopes will help it to maintain its leading position in the fast-growing Ukrainian glass market.

Hans Christian Jacobsen, the EBRD's director for agribusiness, commended Gostomel Glass Factory's high quality and aggressive marketing strategy, which have earned it clients as Coca-Cola, Sun Interbrew, BBH and the St Petersburg-based breweries Baltika and Vena.

Although aluminium packaging is of growing importance to the country's soft drink and beer manufacturers, glass still remains the preferred means of packaging. In the past, many suppliers have reported that finding a good quality provider of glass packaging has proved challenging. By emphasising and improving on the quality of its glass packaging Gostomel has been able to fulfil such requirements.

Jacobsen pointed out that as quality improves across the board in the sector, it is only companies like Gostomel - which offer quality but locally made, and therefore competitively priced, products - which are able to satisfy ever-demanding clients.

The EBRD is the largest investor in the agribusiness sector across its 27 countries of operations, with more than 202 investments worth more than €3 billion. In Ukraine, the Bank's cumulative investment stands at €1.3 billion through 58 projects. With this investment, EBRD commitments in Ukraine's glass sector to date are €35.2 million.

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