Linen mills advance to bring new level of high quality
Paying a working visit to the Vitebsk Region, Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich sets landmark task for 2015: modernisation of six linen mills for higher level processing
By Olga Filatova
Flax is a major agricultural crop for the Vitebsk Region, which occupies a leading position countrywide for flax-fibre production. Moreover, it’s home to most of Belarus’ flax processing enterprises. Sadly, their equipment is out of date, with no money injected into their modernisation since their establishment.
The existing 40 facilities are to be cut to 25, allowing modernisation to be carried out, explains the PM. He tells us, “Four mills are already operating [with new equipment] and, by the end of 2013 and early 2014, another six will be launched — including two in the Vitebsk Region’s Postavy and Orekhovsk.” Postavy Linen Mill — which the Prime Minister visited recently — produces flax-fibre of a fine quality, even using its old equipment, so its new workshop should easily enhance the competitiveness of its produce.
Regarding financing, the PM notes, “We’ve studied financing issues and the Development Bank has prepared a financial scheme for these six mills. Initial sums have been transferred to their accounts. Modernisation is now decided upon but we need economic measures to generate interest in growing good quality retted straw.” The Prime Minister believes that the latter problem was partially solved at a recent session of the Council of Ministers’ Presidium, explaining, “We’ve taken the decision to level economic conditions of retted straw production for farms and linen mills. In addition, we’ve decided to stop importing equipment: our companies are able to produce the necessary equipment and machinery for the linen industry.” At present, around half of such machinery is produced domestically, but Mr. Myasnikovich is eager to see this rise to 70 percent. By 2015, all flax harvests should be processed by new facilities.