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Finnish Fortaco Group eyes €7M investment to expand in Narva

Besides many unicorns, Estonia is also building up the industrial might with Fortaco Group expanding its production facilities in Narva, Ida-Viru county.

Estonian business landscape has many faces, and it’s not only about the unicorns — in East Estonia, a different kind of success story is unfolding.

Narva, a city on the border in the Ida-Viru region, has long become a business oasis for industries, and it now welcomes an expansion of one of its most strategic investors, Fortaco Group. This Finnish-owned company specialises in the manufacturing and assembly of steel and metal structures with a network that spans six factories situated across Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Poland, and Serbia.

Now Fortaco Estonia, in collaboration with local partners, has struck a deal to expand its operations into the new building, nestled within Narva Kadastiku Industry Park. This expansion will add 8,000 square meters of floor space, supplementing the existing 35,000 square meters in Narva.

The enhancement will solidify Fortaco’s standing as one of Europe’s foremost partners for versatile and dependable steel fabricated components. It’s a big win for the Ida-Viru region, too, argues Pilvi Hämäläinen, the Estonian Investment Agency’s Director of Business Development in Finland. “I am very happy that Fortaco is continuing to expand in Narva. It will support the growth of the whole group and will set the example for other investors”, she explains.

Finland is already one of the most important trade and investment partners for Estonia, and deals like this will only strengthen the relationship. Fortaco’s Managing Director in Estonia, Larissa Shabunova, also serves as Honorary Consul of Finland in Narva and Ida-Virumaa.

 Fortaco’s current factory in Narva

Just Transition Fund in action

This newly acquired production space will help to fulfil current demand and lure new customers, building up the value chain in the manufacturing sector. In addition to the real estate and infrastructure cost, Fortaco plans to invest approximately €7M in an advanced production specialisation line with prefabrication equipment, welding robots, and CNC-machinery centres.

The investment is in the final stage of qualification for the EAS grant, originating from the Just Transition Fund (JFT). JFT is the allocation of €340M from the European Union, which creates new possibilities for economic development in the Ida-Viru region and aims to decarbonise its economy.

“Fortaco has been in Ida-Viru for many years, and it’s an indispensable part of the local business ecosystem. At Invest Estonia, we are glad they share our faith in the region. Narva, with its centuries-long industrial traditions, is the place to be and with initiatives like JFT its attractiveness only grows”, says Ilmar Branno, Invest Estonia’s Director of Regional Business Development in Eastern Estonia.

Fortaco’s expansion was also welcomed by the Estonian government. Tiit Riisalo, the Minister of Economic Affairs and Information Technology, has met the company’s representatives in Helsinki to discuss further cooperation and support.

Tiit Riisalo, the Minister of Economic Affairs and Information Technology with Kimmo Raunio, Senior Executive Vice President & CFO of Fortaco Group

New jobs are on the way, too. The expansion blueprint opens doors for approximately 40 to 50 new employees in its initial stages, and the recruitment process is already underway. In total, the employee count will soar past the 700 mark. Fortaco is Narva’s largest privately-owned enterprise, and it also boasts the title of Best Company in the Narva and Ida-Virumaa region.

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