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Govt Incentive for Julon's High-Tech Investment

Ljubljana, 05 August (STA) - The government will chip in EUR 3.6m in a high-tech investment project of Julon, an Italian-owned synthetic fibers manufacturer, which will create 46 high skill jobs. The agreement was signed in Ljubljana on Thursday.

The project Econyl was conceived by Julon's owner, Italian company Aquafil, and involves recycling of different kind of waste into a compound called caprolactam, the basis for the manufacturing of polyamide 6.

The project is estimated at EUR 15.7m or EUR 17.4m including the cost of two years' worth of gross earnings and social security contributions for new staff.

The investment is important for Slovenia because it will open jobs for highly qualified staff, Economy Minister Darja Radic said after she signed the agreement with Julon general manager Edi Kraus.

The project will be backed based on a decree on financial incentives for foreign direct investment (FDI), the first investment of such kind to get an incentive from the state.

"It's the first high-tech investment that will enable the employment of highly qualified staff, which is the kind of investment we want in Slovenia also in the future," Radic said.

The 46 jobs created will have to stay in the region for five years after they are filled first. Kraus said that first jobs would start opening in September and would be filled by February or March next year when the investment is completed.

The government has calculated the project will generate EUR 35.8m in financial effects for the state between 2010 and 2015. Radic explained that the state was estimated to recover the investment within two years.

Julon currently imports 98% of caprolactam, while the new investment will enable the company to manufacture 26-27% of it itself from waste.

This will bring down Julon's CO2 emissions by 20,000 tonnes and enable it to cut down on the use of oil by 10,000 tonnes, the consumption of gas by 18,000 cubic metres and of water by 150,000 m3.

Julon has encouraged Slovenian companies in talks to separate waste made of nylon 6. The investment will enable it to keep an important part of buyers on global markets who want to ensure sufficient share of recycled fibres in their products.

Aquafil will invest EUR 7m in the project and Julon a further EUR 5m. Julon is to hire a loan from one of the Slovenian banks. The contract is to be signed within the next ten days, Kraus said.

Based on the FDI incentive decree, the government has already awarded an incentive for the production of Wind, Renault's new two-seater roadster, at the French maker's subsidiary Revoz, in Novo mesto.

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