VALMIERAS STIKLA ŠĶIEDRA, AS 60 year long history

11. August, 2023

VALMIERAS STIKLA ŠĶIEDRA, AS story begins in September 1959, when the factory construction work began. As historical evidence presents, the main reason for building in Valmiera was the free workforce, as well as the necessary raw materials for the operation of the company – quartz sand, limestone and dolomite – mining sites in the near cities. Although, later it became clear that minerals in the area were not a good fit for the production of glass fibre, Valmiera and its population gained a lot from this project as it included the development of social areas in the city. 

VALMIERAS STIKLA ŠĶIEDRA, AS: most important turning points in history from the past until present:

  • On 18th of July 1963, considered the company's birthday, in the city by the river Gauja, for the first time, first strands of glass fibre were made. Company`s initial base products were the technical glass fibre fabric and decorative glass fabric used in construction, mechanical engineering and by different production companies. At the end of 1960s, Valmiera, due to the development of glass fibre production, was called the center of the great chemistry of Latvia. 
  • By automating the control system, as well as increasing both production volume and the diversity of technological equipment, from 1975 until 1978, weaving and consumer goods departments were expanded, which resulted in production of motorcycle helmets, curtains, glass fiber laminate for skis and tennis rackets.   
  • In 1991, Valmieras stikla šķiedra factory came under the governance of the Production and Energy ministry of the Latvian Republic, and the company name was changed to State Valmieras stikla šķiedra factory. For the following years company worked with great losses and in August, the time of inflation and crisis forced to look for production outlets in the Western markets. 
  • By attracting foreign capital, in 1996 the company became a part of the German glass fiber production company Glasseiden GmbH Oschatz. Thanks to the investment, came a rapid increase in production volumes and the experience of the German partner helped with adjusting the production to the needs of the market as well as with finding a stable niche in it. 
  • In Valmiera, in September 2001, the modern single-stage glass melting furnace started its operation, with the total amount of investment reaching 8.5 million lats. Shortly after, in 2006, the second single-stage glass melting furnace was finished, as well as the construction of the spooling department and warehouses with the total area of approximately 19 000 m2.
  • In 2013 the company purchased P-D Interglas Technologies Ltd in Great Britain, which became VALMIERAS STIKLA ŠĶIEDRA, AS subsidiary company and received a new name – VALMIERA GLASS UK Ltd. The subsidiary produces glass fibre fabrics for aviation production, thermal insulation and architecture. 
  • In 2015 VALMIERAS STIKLA ŠĶIEDRA, AS opened a new production plant in the USA, establishing a new subsidiary company P-D VALMIERA GLASS USA Corp. The purpose of this operation – gain new business development opportunities for the company in the second-biggest export market for its products. In 2018, the expansion of the USA factory was finished as well as the glass fiber and its processing factory. However, in 2019, the company was forced to make a decision of selling the US company and its assets, as the original business plan was not implemented. In June of the same year, the company initiated a legal protection process to restructure its financial and entrepreneurship processes. 
  • In February 2021, purchasing 83.14% of shares, Duke I S.à r.l. became the majority shareholder of VALMIERAS STIKLA ŠĶIEDRA, AS. A new and modern E-glass melting furnace was built investing 9 million euros. This same year, the Mežaparks Grand Bandstand in Latvia was opened and its roof dome is made out of Atex® textile membrane – a material produced by VALMIERAS STIKLA ŠĶIEDRA, AS.
  • In 2022 VALMIERAS STIKLA ŠĶIEDRA, AS net sales reached 128 million euros, but investments 13.4 million euros. 
  • Keeping up with market demands today, the company is also developing its participation in the electric car sector, winning several significant tenders in the automotive industry – in electric car production for battery element separation and battery pack protection, for example, the new Volkswagen Premium Platform Electric and Toyota bz4X.
  • This year, investing more than 15 million euros, the fourth glass-melting furnace was built. The new furnace will not only allow to increase the production volumes of high added value products, but also strengthen the position of the company in the supply chain of Volkswagen Group and Toyota. The company plans to keep working on implementing innovative and energy efficient solutions, to offer its clients an even wider range of personalized technical and commercial products, at the same time optimizing resources and reducing our environmental footprint. 

Photo: 1959 – a place is selected for the construction of the VALMIERAS STIKLA ŠĶIEDRA factory.