Short route to long flax fibre
Mogilev Region carries out modernisation and optimisation of flax branch
By Svetlana Svetlova
Until recently, seven enterprises in the region produced flax fibre. Today, Chausy Mill and Krugloe Mill are closed. Meanwhile, the linen mill in Shklov is to merge with Mogilevobllen export-sorting base. The Director General of Mogilevobllen, Viktor Geidel, explains, “The association will allow us to save money and time. We sometimes experienced ridiculous technical situations and unnecessary extra paperwork — such as Shklov linen having to be delivered elsewhere before coming to us for export!”
The managing company will be based in Shklov and will become part of the enterprise, which is at the heart of flax processing in the Mogilev Region and one of the most advanced manufacturing sites countrywide. Modernisation has doubled capacity, while reducing the amount of electricity used and raising the quality of processed flax.
The Chief Engineer of Shklov Linen Mill JSC, Anatoly Builo, tells us, “Our processing is producing three times as much long fibre; we deliver 65 percent of our production to Orsha Linen and demand for our flax fibre is growing — not only in Belarus but in Russia, the Baltic States, China and Japan. We’ll continue our modernisation, updating any ‘old’ areas remaining.”
New technologies have also improved working conditions, reducing the amount of noise and dust: harmful fibres are filtered more effectively now. Happily, automation and computerisation of processes haven’t led to dismissals, since workers have been simply relocated to other sites.
Naturally, the success of the branch depends not only on technical equipment, but on skilful organisation and careful observance of correct operations. Other enterprises processing flax fibre are found in Mstislavl, Khotimsk and Gorki while unprofitable Chausy and Krugloe mills are to be converted to other uses. Many of their staff have been transferred to Shklov Linen Mill.
Mr. Builo adds that the region’s mills process about 70 percent of the local, high-quality flax, and are working at full capacity. Mr. Geidel admits that the state is focusing on developing the flax industry, which seems to have a promising future, despite being labour intensive. Man-made fibres are less popular than they once were, with many customers now choosing natural linens, leading to ever increasing demand.