LAUSANNE, Switzerland--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Philip Morris International Inc. (PMI) (NYSE/Euronext Paris: PM) is planning to invest approximately €490 million to transform its cigarette production factory in Otopeni, near Bucharest, Romania into a high-tech facility to manufacture HEETS, the tobacco units used with the electronic tobacco heating device IQOS.
The conversion of the factory into a HEETS production facility has already commenced and is expected to be completed and fully operational by 2020.
The investment will create about 300 additional jobs for highly-skilled employees at the Romanian facility, which currently employs approximately 600 people.
Romania will join a growing list of countries where PMI manufactures heated tobacco units for IQOS. Earlier this month, PMI announced plans to install two new high-tech production lines in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, to produce HEETS.
In June, PMI announced it would expand capacity at the company’s heated tobacco unit manufacturing facility in Bologna, Italy and also announced plans to build a new facility for HEETS in Dresden, Germany. In addition, PMI will also convert its cigarette factories in Greece and Russia and by the end of 2018, PMI plans to have a total annual installed capacity of approximately 100 billion heated tobacco units.
IQOS and HEETS have been available for adult smokers in Bucharest since November 2015 and in 16 cities throughout Romania from the beginning of this year. IQOS is currently available in key cities in more than 27 markets around the world and is expected to be available in 30-35 markets, either key cities or nationwide by the end of 2017, as capacity permits.
Commenting on this announcement, André Calantzopoulos, PMI’s Chief Executive Officer, said:
“Our investment in Romania further demonstrates our commitment to a future in which smoke-free products ultimately replace cigarettes. We are encouraged by the 2.9 million smokers around the world who have already given up smoking and switched to IQOS. We expect this momentum to continue and the conversion of the Romanian facility will help us to meet the growing demand from adult smokers for better alternatives to cigarettes.”
IQOS is one of four scientifically substantiated smoke-free product platforms that PMI is developing to address adult smoker demand for better alternatives to cigarettes.
Since 2008, PMI has hired more than 400 scientists and experts and invested over USD 3 billion in research, product development and scientific substantiation for smoke-free products. The company openly shares its scientific methodologies and findings for independent third-party review and verification, and has published its research in over 200 articles and book chapters since 2011. Results of scientific research conducted by PMI to date indicate that IQOS is likely to reduce the risk of harm compared to cigarette smoking, and is a better choice for those who would otherwise continue to smoke.
Philip Morris International Inc.
Philip Morris International Inc. (PMI) is the world’s leading international tobacco company, with six of the world's top 15 international brands and products sold in more than 180 markets. In addition to the manufacture and sale of cigarettes, including Marlboro, the number one global cigarette brand, and other tobacco products, PMI is engaged in the development and commercialization of reduced-risk products (RRPs). RRPs is the term PMI uses to refer to products that present, are likely to present, or have the potential to present less risk of harm to smokers who switch to these products versus continued smoking. Through multidisciplinary capabilities in product development, state-of-the-art facilities, and industry-leading scientific substantiation, PMI aims to provide an RRP portfolio that meets a broad spectrum of adult smoker preferences and rigorous regulatory requirements. For more information, see www.pmi.com and www.pmiscience.com.