Converted facility will become the only PMI-owned logistics hub for oriental tobacco in Europe and will house tobacco from Greece, Bulgaria and Fyrom prior to its transport to the company’s factories in the European Union, Russia and Ukraine
One of the world’s largest tobacco companies is to establish a tobacco logistics hub for Europe in western Greece.
Philip Morris International (PMI) says the facility, for oriental tobacco, will based at its Papastratos plant in the city of Agrinio.
The facility is currency used as a leaf warehouse by Papastratos, the US tobacco multinational’s affiliate in Greece.
The converted facility will become the only PMI-owned logistics hub for oriental tobacco in Europe and will house tobacco from Greece, Bulgaria and Fyrom prior to its transport to the company’s factories in the European Union, Russia and Ukraine.
“Greece is a strategic oriental tobacco location for Philip Morris International and the cooperation agreement we signed last February with the government opened a new chapter in the history of our company in Greece, said Papastratos’ chairman and managing director Nikitas Theophilopoulos after a meeting on Thursday with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and Rural Development Minister Athanasios Tsaftaris.
He described the conversion of the Agrinio warehouse into a logistics hub as an “important next step that will benefit the domestic and international transport sectors, as well as the sector’s exports.
“We hope that this, combined with our overall commitment to investing in Greece, which has exceeded €600m euros in the last ten years, will contribute to the country’s efforts to exit the economic crisis.”
Samaras said the deal would help establish the sense that everything is changing in Greece.
“Greece does not stop here. We will exploit all of our comparative advantages to make our homeland a healthy investment destination, with solid new job positions, particularly for our youth,” he noted.
The Agrinio warehouse covers 58,000m2 and is located in an area of 250,000m2. The conversion of the warehouse started this week with the delivery of the first 500 tonnes of tobacco from Bulgaria. It is expected to be completed in 2014, when about 15,000 tons of tobacco will be transported through Agrinio.
The cooperation agreement with the government foresees an increase of PMI’s purchases of Greek oriental tobacco by a fifth from 2013 to 2015.
The country’s tobacco cultivation employs about 25,000 farmers and workers.