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ÖkoFEN investing EUR 44 million in capacity expansions

Austrian pellet boiler manufacturer ÖkoFEN Forschungs- und Entwicklungs Ges.m.b.H (ÖkoFEN) has announced that it is investing a total of EUR 44 million at three locations in three countries to expand production and logistics space. The investment is in order to keep pace with the increasing global demand for climate-friendly residential and light commercial space heating systems.

ÖkoFEN Forschungs- und Entwicklungs Ges.m.b.H (ÖkoFEN) is investing a total of EUR 44 million at three locations in three countries to expand production and logistics space. The investment is in order to keep pace with the increasing global demand for climate-friendly residential and light commercial space heating systems. The largest share of the investment will be at its Niederkappel site in Upper Austria to enable an annual production capacity of 50 000 units (image courtesy ÖkoFEN).

According to ÖkoFEN, the “great demand for climate-friendly pellet heating systems from Austria” requires an additional expansion of the European headquarters. The original planning of the doubling had to be updated on the back of the previous EUR 7 million expansion that was completed in 2020.

Expansion in Austria, France, and Germany

The production and logistics site in Niederkappel, Upper Austria will now be more than doubled in size to a total of 40 000 sq.m. The groundbreaking ceremony for this EUR 32 million project took place in April 2021.

The completion of the building shell of the two-storey hall is planned for Christmas 2021, the final completion of the construction project, as well as the start of production operations, is dated for summer 2022.

With the new expansion, the company will increase its production capacity up to 50 000 pellet heating systems per year compared to 15 000 units delivered in 2020 – another record year with an annual turnover exceeding EUR 100 million for the first time.

Heating with pellets is also booming outside Austria and is the reason the company is investing a total of EUR 12 million in expanding its facilities in France, as well as in Germany.

Sustainability in focus

Sustainability and environmental awareness have top priority in all building projects to demonstrate that economic efficiency and sustainability can be perfectly combined.

All three properties are being built in timber construction in cooperation with regional companies. In addition to measures to promote biodiversity, attention is also being paid to minimising the sealing of surfaces.

For example, the parking spaces at the European headquarters in Upper Austria will be integrated into the basement. For a holistic concept, the topics of regional heat supply through pellets, as well as power supply and mobility are also of central importance.

The existing photovoltaic (PV) systems will be expanded and additional power storage units, as well as 100 charging stations for electric vehicles (EVs), will be installed.

Creation of new green jobs

A result of the production capacity expansion in Niederkappel is the creation of new employment opportunities – some 50 new staff will be recruited for the various production areas – primarily in assembly – as well as in order picking and warehouse logistics.

The award-winning top employer is characterized by a pleasant working atmosphere. In addition to dispensing with shift work, ÖkoFEN attaches great importance to bright and clean workplaces as well as quiet work without noise at individual workstations without assembly lines and piecework.

“It is important for us to offer people high-quality jobs close to home. In our opinion, a decentralized strategy and short working distances are the best solutions for people and the environment,” said Stefan Ortner, Managing Director, ÖkoFEN (photo courtesy ÖkoFEN).

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