Vetropack begins shutdown of production at St-Prex site early for safety reasons

26.06.2024: The Vetropack Group, one of Europe's leading glass packaging manufacturers, announced today that it is initiating the systematic shutdown of production at its site in St-Prex, Switzerland. The Management Board has been forced to take this irreversible step two months earlier than originally planned as the plant can no longer be operated safely due to the poor condition of the furnace and low staffing levels. The relocation of production to the Group’s other sites is already underway.

"We have started today to initiate all measures for the systematic shutdown of production in St-Prex," explains Johann Reiter, CEO of the Vetropack Group. "We cannot and will not compromise on the safety of our employees or the quality of our products. Neither would be ensured if the production facilities were to continue operating as they do today."

The Management Board informed employee representatives and employees at the site today about the decision and its background: the furnace was due to be replaced soon because to its age. The strike at the plant in May even resulted in a temporary overload of the cooling system. Vetropack then commissioned an assessment of the systems and the furnace to ensure continued safe operation.

"The external assessors came to the conclusion that continued operation is possible in principle. However, it would have to be absolutely uninterrupted and continuous and be accompanied by increased control measures regarding the condition of the furnace," says Johann Reiter. "Unfortunately, we are currently experiencing an unusually high number of sick days in St-Prex and thus no longer have enough specialist staff at hand to ensure glass production. We therefore have to stop production earlier than planned."

The shutdown was originally planned for the end of August this year. As Vetropack had already been unable to supply its customers with stock from St-Prex due to the strike, the company had started preparing the relocation of production capacity to other plants in May. Vetropack is optimistic that it will be able to largely avoid supply bottlenecks during the transition phase and is keeping in close contact with its customers.

Vetrorecycling not affected by production stop

The shutdown of glass production in St-Prex will have no impact on Vetropack's other activities in Switzerland: "We will continue to fulfill our responsibility in the area of glass recycling and maintain our cooperation with our municipal partners," says Johann Reiter. "We are also not planning to withdraw from our home market of Switzerland. Our company headquarters will remain in Bülach."