British American Tobacco (BAT) announced on June 11 that it will invest 800 million euros over the next five years in its factory in Ploiești, Romania. The investment, which will generate 200 new jobs, will support the expansion of BAT’s controversial tobacco heating products in countries across Europe during the second half of 2018.
A completely new manufacturing hall will be built dedicated to producing specially designed tobacco sticks – called Neostiks – which work with the glo tobacco heating device. In total, an additional 7,000 sq m of production space will be created and, once completed, the Romanian production plant will be the sole supplier of glo Neostiks across Europe.
“We have a long-held ambition to offer smokers a range of potentially reduced-risk products – like tobacco heating devices, e-cigarettes and oral tobacco,” said Tadeu Marroco, BAT’s regional director for Europe and North Africa. “This ambition has seen us launch vaping products and tobacco heating devices in 16 countries in the last five years and we’ve bold plans to increase our geographical footprint in the second half of 2018. The significant investment in our factory in Romania is testament to our commitment to offer smokers a wider range of tobacco and nicotine products – with a particular focus on potentially reduced-risk alternatives to smoking – in an increasing amount of countries.”
The factory will also supply Neostiks for the Romanian market following the launch of glo in December last year. In the six months since its launch, first in Bucharest and then in 17 other major cities all over Romania, almost 25,000 consumers have bought glo and tens of millions of Neostiks have been sold.
BAT currently has a range of potentially reduced-risk products available, which includes oral tobacco, e-cigarettes and tobacco heating devices. In 2017 BAT’s revenues outside of the US from e-cigarettes and tobacco heating products quadrupled to 397 million GBP.