STARCO invests in digital and green technologies in Croatia steel wheel factory

EnergyBusinessSouth-East European INDUSTRIAL Мarket - issue 1/2024 • 18.03.2024

STARCO invests in digital and green technologies in Croatia steel wheel factory

STARCO is making unprecedented investments in digital and green technologies and materials at its steel wheel factory in Croatia. The investments will make the company’s activities more environmentally sustainable, embrace digitalisation and strengthen the local community further.

In mid 2023, STARCO launched a project at the Beli Manastir factory called “Reinventing the Wheel – Agile Integrated Technological and Green Transition of the STARCO Beli Manastir into a Leading Regional Lean and Green Steel Forming Factory”. The aim of the project is to build on the foundation that STARCO has created over the last 20 years by propelling the factory into the future. The factory has 8 wheel production lines where around 250 employees produce 1 million steel wheels per year.

During the summer of 2023, the first part of the new solutions was installed in the form of a new automated reciprocator paint system that can paint higher volumes of wheels at a time and make more efficient use of the painting line and ovens. The remainder of the equipment and building works are in process and shall be completed and operative within the first half of 2024.

The total spend of the wider project is approximately EUR 4,5 million, with EUR 1,3 million provided by Norway Grants and the remainder invested by STARCO and their mother company KENDA using own funds and special development loans from HBOR. The Business Development and Innovation Programme in Croatia is financed by Norway Grants and operated by Innovation Norway.

The investments will allow STARCO to improve the carbon footprint of many products produced in the factory through greater energy efficiency, use of renewable energy and reduced steel content in the products. The new investments also allow the employees to develop and acquire new skills.

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