July 18, 1963 is the birth date of „Valmieras stikla šķiedra” factory: it was in the morning hours of July 18 that the first glass fibre was obtained. Already in operation was the glass pellet plant, spooling/twisting works, weaving mill, acid treatment works, and plastic reinforcement works.
- The 1960s. = 60s
- The 1970s. = 70s
- The 1980s. = 80s
- The 1990s. = 90s
- The 2000s. = 00s
- The 2010s. = 10s
The decorative glass fibre fabric works came into being in 1972. Valmiera vocational school No. 36 developed into an employee-creator for the factory. Production volumes and the variety of machines grew. Production is certified with a State Quality Mark. The culture of the production was at a high level. The number of employees approached 3500, including 21 nationalities. Leading employees gained experience abroad.
Plans for quality improvement in all departments were regularly augmented. The foundations of an automated management system were laid. A broad range of manufacturing consumer goods were being produced – including glass fibre laminates for skis and tennis racquets.
In the 1990s, the downfall of the socialistic economy system began. In 1991, the factory changed hands from Moscow to the Ministry for Industry and Energetics of the Republic of Latvia as a state-owned enterprise. The circumstances around the collapse of the USSR caused supply difficulties to the factory. The financial situation became tight. Production volumes and the number of employees dropped, enormous losses were incurred due to high inflation rates.
1993 – the year of the crisis. Search for Western markets began. The government of the Republic of Latvia decided to privatise the „Valmieras stikla šķiedra” factory by attracting foreign capital. In 1996 the company became a part of the German glass fibre company Glasseiden GmbH Oschatz. Jürgen Preiss-Daimler, the owner of Glasseiden Gmbh Oschatz, became the main shareholder and strategic investor. As a result of the investment, production development accelerated, while the expertise of the German partner helped to adjust production to the market and find a stable niche within it.
In September 2001, a modern, one-stage glass fibre production facility was put into operation in Valmiera. In 2002 Vitrulan Textilglas GmbH became a second shareholder and partner of the company. Also on 2006 the company opened a new glass fibre facility. The building area of the new glass fibre plant was approximately 19 000 m2.
Through the construction of a new glass furnace, 2012 became a very important year for JSC „Valmieras stikla šķiedra”. This ensured the growth of production capacity and the growth of quality. Parallel to this, we became recognized as the one of the top employers in Latvia and considered one of Latvia’s sustainable companies.
2013 was no less exceptional. JSC „Valmieras stikla šķiedra” celebrated the 50th anniversary of when the first glass fibre was produced in 1963 and then in July, JSC „Valmieras stikla šķiedra” bought the UK company P-D Interglas Technologies. Following this purchase the UK company was rebranded as Valmiera Glass UK Ltd. JSC „Valmieras stikla šķiedra” is a parent company of Valmiera Glass UK Ltd. which manufactures glass fibre fabrics for the aviation industry, thermal insulation and architecture. The acquired company has more as 80 years’ experience in textile processing.
Through the uniting of JSC “Valmieras stikla šķiedra” and Valmiera Glass UK Ltd, Valmiera Glass Group has been created, positioning itself as a vertically integrated supplier of different composite materials for the aviation industry, architecture and other branches – from glass fibre production to impregnated / reinforced fabrics.