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Northern Europe’s top producer of steel structures announces expansion plans in East Estonia

Birger, a leading producer and exporter of metal containers, has received €2.3 million from the Just Transition Fund (JTF) for a new production facility in Ida-Virumaa.

A subsidiary of Finland’s Fincumet Group, Birger is Northern Europe’s largest manufacturer of hooklift containers and steel structures. Currently operating in Jõgeva County, East Estonia, the company employs more than 200 people and exports upwards of 90% of its production.

Making use of the Just Transition Fund to amp up production

To expand its portfolio, Birger has announced plans for a new production and storage area of more than 6,500 square meters in Kohtla-Järve. To this end, the company has received €2.3 million from the Just Transition Fund.

The Just Transition Fund is an EU funding mechanism that aims to support the economy, people, and environment in regions facing significant socio-economic challenges in meeting climate objectives. In Estonia, the volume of the Just Transition Fund is €340 million, targetting Ida-Viru County due its historical dependence on the oil shale industry.

“The planned production facility in Ida-Viru County is an important step in the realisation of our company’s expansion plans,” says Tarmo Toomela, Member of the Management Board at Birger. “It will help increase exports, turnover, profits and profitability, and allows to continue product development.” According to Toomela, this expansion would have taken much longer without support from the Just Transition Fund.

With the location of the new production unit, Birger is also moving closer to potential employees. “The plan is to introduce a new occupational health and safety management system this year,” Toomela says. The implementation of the project will create at least 15 new jobs in 2026.

“Our goal is to optimise all production processes as much as possible and ensure the cooperation of different production lines,” Toomela said. For this, Birger is bringing in external specialists, working on digitalisation and automation, and exploring the possibilities of artificial intelligence.

98% of the production of the new unit is planned to be sold outside Estonia, mainly to Scandinavian markets.

According to Sigrid Harjo, Member of the Management Board at Enterprise Estonia, Birger is a good example of how a manufacturing company is expanding to Ida-Viru County with support from the JTF. “All the measures of the JTF are still open and companies already operating in Ida-Viru County as well as those who are planning to expand there are welcome to contact us. Currently, there is a unique opportunity to expand and make developments on a larger scale and at a lower cost than elsewhere,” Harjo explained.

Learn about the available grants from the Just Transition Fund in Estonia here and use our e-Consulting service for personalised investment advice.

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