The State Company for Tobacco and Cigarettes under the Ministry of Industry and Minerals in Iraq announced the signing of an agreement for a new printing machine with six colours at a cost of five million US dollars. The investment is part of the company’s plan to rehabilitate and modernize its existing production lines.
The Ministry of Industry and Minerals had established the State Company for Tobacco and Cigarettes in 1998, which today employs about 2,340 workers. The company seeks to develop its products by introducing modern machines and by getting its production lines integrated.
The rehabilitation plan comes in view of the obsolete condition of the machines at the facility. The machines, some of which date back to 1984 are non-functional due to the non-availability of spare parts. Apart from that a massive fire during 2004 had created a huge loss in which many of the packaging machines, and facilities like air conditioning and production rooms were burnt down.
An investment worth US$ 10 million will be done to enhance the production capacity of the company. The new machine is expected to produce products that match international standards. By replacing the machines with new printing and packaging equipments, the company plans to print products for the tobacco, pharmaceutical and cosmetic industry.
The Director-General of the State Company for Tobacco and Cigarettes, Hisham Jaafar Sadeq in an interview to ME Printer said that the contract is in line with the company’s plan for re-development and rehabilitation. He said that the newly installed printing press was worth US$ 5 million.
Sadiq added that the new machine is equipped to do package printing as well as print books and other trade publications of various kinds. He pointed out that the press has a capacity to print 12,000 books at a time, and also said that the company was willing to print various publications for state ministries and government institutions at a competitive price.
Sadiq said that the current investment was made by following the Companies Act and that it had entered into an agreement with the Ministry of Education to print school curricula including the curricula for the teachers’ institute. He pointed out that the company is in process of negotiating with the ministry for further jobs, and they are waiting for the completion of the production lines.
Sadiq pointed out that the company will complete the rehabilitation procedure by studying the success strategies of various foreign companies. He noted that the company also plans to expand its production by including commercial printing as well as packaging.