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Yaskawa preparing for expansion of Kočevje plant

Kočevje, 09 December (STA) - Just seven months after launching production in Kočevje, Yaskawa Europe Robotics has purchased land to expand production at the site. The 4.5-hectare plot was sold by the municipality for EUR 740,000 under an agreement signed on Monday.

The existing plant produces industrial robots and houses Yaskawa's European centre for the development of robotics; the new plant will specialise in servo motors and controllers.

Half the components will be built into robots produced in Kočevje and half sold across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Yaskawa Europe director Bruno Schnekenburger said.

The new plant will be built on roughly half the newly purchased land, the rest will be set aside for possible future expansion, according to him.

The state had been instrumental in bringing Yaskawa to Kočevje and has already supported the land purchase by providing basic infrastructure for the site worth about EUR 1.5 million.

Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek indicated the company could also count on state incentives for the expansion, having received a subsidy of EUR 5.7 million for the original plant.

He also said the company's investments were "proof that we are achieving concrete goals in internationalising the Slovenian economy and attracting foreign investments".

The existing factory has 70 employees and plans an additional 15-20 hires by February. The fledgling R&D department currently has three employees.

By 2023 the number of employees is projected to rise to 150-200, of which a tenth would work in the R&D department.

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