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International growth enables sustainable development: Wietersdorfer remains committed to the green transformation

Published by , Assistant Editor
World Cement,

As a globally active industrial company, the Wietersdorfer Group continued on its constant growth projections in 2021. With a turnover of €799.4 million, which corresponds to an increase of 10.9% compared to the previous year, the group is paving the way for the further development of its five business areas in terms of a green transformation.

“We are proud to have achieved a solid result in Austria and throughout Europe, but also in our overseas markets. We are using this positive momentum to strengthen our resilience to crises and to further advance our sustainability strategy," explains Michael Junghans and Hannes Gailer, the two managing directors of the Wietersdorfer Group. At the same time, they emphasize that concrete steps on the part of politicians are also required for the success of the green transformation: "It is clear that we can only achieve the goal of climate neutrality if politicians create clear and forward-looking framework conditions that ensure equal competition and give companies planning security.” This includes, among other things, the much more efficient design of approval procedures or the immediate expansion of the infrastructure for the supply of renewable energy.

Internationalisation is progressing

The Wietersdorfer Group, based in Carinthia, already generates a fifth of its total turnover outside of Europe. With a 13% share of sales and 9.4%growth in 2021, the USA is the country with the highest sales outside of Europe. The reason for this is not least the investment strategy of the Wietersdorf-based subsidiary Hobas; last year, a new production facility for non-circular tubes went into operation at the Houston, Texas location. These pipes are urgently needed, especially for the rehabilitation of sewage systems in large cities. At the same time, work is already underway at the site on the construction of a so-called filament wind system, which is scheduled to go into operation in the third quarter of 2022. This plant allows the production of pipes with a pressure resistance of up to 32 bar and a length of up to 12 m.

With the takeover of the first production site in Morocco, the Wietersdorfer Group is also securing Africa as an important future market. In 2021, sales of €17.3 million were already generated there and new projects have been acquired for the coming years. In the Ivory Coast, the company has already demonstrated its value for the development of the region; by 2021, a drinking water pipeline made of Amiblu pipes that was more than 63 km long was installed, which supplies the population with fresh water. In addition to the construction of water pipes, the Wietersdorfer Group is also involved in the construction of large-scale desalination plants in Africa.

Expansion of renewable energy supply

The Wietersdorfer Group was also able to implement a number of green transformation projects in 2021. The focus here was on the targeted expansion of the supply capacity with self-produced green electricity. More than €26 million has been invested, for example in the Carinthian Görtschitztal to revitalise the company's own hydroelectric power plants, and to put the first hydrogen filling station in Slovenia into operation while, at the same time, equipping several production and office buildings with PV systems. In total, the Wietersdorfer Group invests €75 million per year in future strategic projects for the further development of their business areas (cement & concrete, lime, industrial minerals, GRP pipe systems and thermoplastic pipe systems)

Search for new talent

Today, more than 2900 people are employed by the Wietersdorfer Group worldwide - the trend has been increasing in this area for years. At production and sales locations in 22 countries, the workforce forms the backbone of the group. In 2021, Wietersdorfer products were used in 66 countries around the world. 678 employees are employed in Austria alone, where Wietersdorfer went in search of new talents last year with an innovative offer. Under the title ‘Go International’, the company awarded exciting internships abroad in Germany, France, Norway, Croatia, and Slovenia. More than 60 students from different technical and business disciplines applied for an internship abroad. Six of them will be able to embark on their personal adventure in modern industry next summer.

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