Newsletter english

Главная Пресс-центр СМИ о нас

The St.Petersburg Times: Optogan LED Plant Opened At Old Elcoteq Premises

Dmitry Lovetsky / The Associated Press

Kovsh shows an LED produced at the plant as Chubais and Prokhorov look on.

The first light-emitting diode (LED) production plant in Russia and the largest in Eastern Europe and the CIS was launched Monday in St. Petersburg by the Optogan Group with overall investment of 3.35 billion rubles ($106 million).

The factory will employ up to 800 people at its 15,000-square-meter site on the Tallinskoye Shosse in the south of the city. The plant is housed in the former premises of the Finnish electronics manufacturer Elcoteq. According to Interfax, Optogan, a Finnish-based LED maker founded by Russians, bought the building for 16 million euros ($21 million).

The shareholders in the project are Onexim investment fund, the state-owned fund for technology projects Rosnano, and the Republican Investment Company of the Sakha Republic.

LEDs are semiconductor light sources used as indicator lamps in many devices and are increasingly used for lighting, being more ecological than incandescent or fluorescent lighting. They emit more light per watt than incandescent bulbs, have a longer useful life and are less fragile. Unlike fluorescent lamps, they do not contain mercury. On the downside, LED devices are currently more expensive than conventional lighting technologies, but Alexei Kovsh, Optogan’s executive vice president, predicts that the price of a 60-watt LED bulb will be decrease four-fold to six or seven dollars during the next five years.

At the factory’s opening ceremony, which was attended by prominent figures including Rosnano CEO Anatoly Chubais, Onexim president Mikhail Prokhorov, Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov and St. Petersburg Governor Valentina Matviyenko, Chubais described the plant as “a step toward a new energy efficient economy and the development of the lighting industry in Russia.”

“We believe that thanks to this kind of innovative project, our country has all the opportunities to claim its right to a new niche in the world’s economy,” said Prokhorov.

“The decision to open a factory in St. Petersburg is the result of a combination of factors,” Markus Zeiler, general manager of global sales and marketing for the company, said during the ceremony. Optogan already has three factories in Finland and Germany. “The city boasts a highly educated workforce and good facilities, which will enable us to react rapidly to the market. All three of the company’s founders studied in St. Petersburg and have strong ties to the place. Highly automatized equipment and a skilled workforce will make it possible to produce at a low cost and compete with Asian manufacturers,” added Zeiler.

The first production line has an annual capacity of 360 million LEDs, but the company’s management is optimistic that it will be able to open new production lines by the end of 2011.

“The factory’s turnover should amount to 3 million rubles ($95,000) this year and reach 30 to 40 million rubles ($950,000 to $1.2 million) in 2011,” said Kovsh, adding that “major contracts” had already been signed.

LEDs produced in St. Petersburg will be sold in Russia and abroad. “We will first export our production to Asia and Europe and will also soon enter the U.S. market. But our key market is Russia,” said Zeiler.

Kovsh clarified, however, that Optogan only plans to start selling its products in Russia in about three years, with potential clients including new infrastructure projects and the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. City Hall has already expressed an interest in the new technology.

“Energy waste is a disaster, and LEDs offer us a way to become more energy efficient,” said Matviyenko. “The city will set an example and be a buyer of those products.”

Источник The St.Petersburg Times