Philip Morris International Inc. (NYSE:PM) is planning to invest around €490 million to transform its cigarette manufacturing factory in Otopeni, near Bucharest, into a high-tech facility to produce HEETS, the tobacco segments used with the IQOS. The transformation of the factory into a HEETS manufacturing facility has already started and is anticipated to be fully operational and completed by 2020. This investment will create around 300 additional professions for highly-skilled personnel at the Romanian facility, which presently employs around 600 people.
Romania will become a part of growing list of nations where Philip Morris produces heated tobacco segments for IQOS. The company also reported plans to execute two new high-tech manufacturing lines in Neuchâtel, to manufacture HEETS.
In June, Philip Morris reported that it would expand capacity at the firm’s heated tobacco unit production facility in Bologna, and also reported plans to establish a new center for HEETS in Dresden. In addition, the company will also convert its cigarette facilities in Russia and Greece by the close of 2018. It intends to have a total yearly installed capacity of around 100 billion heated tobacco segments.
HEETS and IQOS have been accessible in 16 towns throughout Romania from the start of this year. IQOS is presently accessible in major cities in over 27 markets across the world and is anticipated to be accessible in 30-35 markets, either major cities or countrywide by the close of 2017, as capacity allows.
Commenting on this update, André Calantzopoulos, the CEO of Philip Morris, reported that their investment in Romania further exhibits their commitment to an imminent period in which smoke-free offerings ultimately replace cigarettes. They are thrilled the 2.9 million smokers across the globe who have already left smoking and moved to IQOS. The company anticipate this momentum to continue and the transformation of the Romanian facility will assist them to meet the increasing demand from adult smokers for better options to cigarettes.