May 16, 2023

War in Ukraine destroys plastic bucket firm's plant in Chernihiv

An apartment building damaged by Russian shelling in Chernihiv earlier this month.

A plastic bucket and crate maker in northern Ukraine has been destroyed by a Russian missile attack, according to the site's owner, which is already considering reconstruction.

Plast-Box Ukraine is located in Chernihiv, a city that's located along a main invasion route, and owned by Poland-based Plast-Box SA.

"Before our eyes, a risk has materialized that until a few weeks ago was difficult to estimate. At the beginning of the Russian aggression against Ukraine, our factory was in areas directly exposed to hostilities," Grzegorz Pawlak, the founder and president of the management board of Plast-Box, said in a statement.

Plast-Box has been providing details of the destruction on its website and LinkedIn.

"It became the target of a missile attack. The destruction of the factory, of our pride, is a huge blow to us. Behind it was a huge investment effort, commitment, passion of many people and their workplaces," he continued. "However, just like Ukraine, we will continue to fight. We have a lot of faith and strength, which is why we will rebuild this place and this business."

The company said production, warehouse and office space all were destroyed. "Currently, due to the persistent, high risk threatening security, the entire loss is difficult to determine," the company said.

"At the same time, each crisis is a new opening that unleashes determination, strength to act and gives new opportunities for producers and exporters. Already today, Plast-Box is wondering how to rationally engage in the post-war reconstruction of business in Ukraine," the company said.

Plast-Box in Ukraine has more than 18,000 square meters, or about 194,000 square feet, of production and warehouse space, the company said. Its biggest customer base is food manufacturers.

"The production is outfitted with innovative high-tech equipment, the basis of which are injection molding machines of the world-famous manufacturers like KraussMaffei [and] Husky Injection Molding with a clamping force from 80 to 1,000 tons," Plast-Box said on its website.

Plast-Box's location in Chernihiv put the company location in danger as that city sits along a route used by Russian forces heading toward Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital located about 80 miles to the south.

Plast-Box decided to suspend operations at the Ukraine plant Feb. 24 after Russia invaded the country that same day, warning at the time the shutdown would impact the publicly traded company's first-quarter results.

The company, with a total of 340 employees, is listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange. About 130 employees were at the Ukraine location, according to one report.

The plant opened in 2005.

The company, officially known as Przetwórstwo Tworzyw Sztucznych Plast-Box SA, calls itself "a supplier of containers and technologically advanced closed buckets. It sells packaging in the B2B formula to international corporations and smaller companies." Przetwórstwo Tworzyw Sztucznych translates to "plastic processing" in English.

Plast-Box is headquartered in Słupsk, Poland, where it operates the company's other plant.

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