Francesco Fanciulli, CEO CEE Region Prysmian Group, tells BR in an interview that Slatina will remain the base for the company’s operations in Romania, but further expansions across the country are not out of the question, depending on market conditions. He adds that Prysmian might reach 1,000 employees in Romania by 2020, based on its development program.

Why did Prysmian Group decide to open a new plant in Slatina and are there any future expansion plans in this location?

Our Group has an historical linkage with Slatina since the time we acquired it (as “Pirelli” at that time) from Siemens in 1999 the former Elcaro plant born there in 1973. Since that time our Group, under the name of Pirelli untill 2005 and as Prysmian from 2005 (“same knowledge, different names”) is heavily investing in Slatina’s operation to transform it in one of the excellence manufacturing centers for our Group.

Is the group doing R&D in Romania and how kind of products and services are being developed here?

We are doing basic R&D activities in Slatina plants, with more than 20 engineers daily involved in cable design and materials management, as well as product development activities both on Energy and Telecommunication cables & systems. Particularly relevant are the product development activities as far as high performing fiber count cables types (cables with more than 400 optical fibers inside to ensure higher data carrying and transmission capabilities) and energy high voltage cable development.

What have been the results of the Engineering Academy developed by Prysmian Group in Slatina? 

Almost 30 high talented Romanian engineers have been inserted since mid of 2013 into our operation site within R&D, Manufacturing, Product management and Supply Chain areas mainly, with more than 10,000 training hours already spent across the period to enable their initial introduction and next growing competence’s steps.

Will Slatina remain the only Romanian city in which Prysmian Group will invest or are there plans for expansion in another location in the country?

For the time being, the mid-term plans are still based on Slatina as the production hub for our activities in Romania, but we cannot exclude to consider further development in the future, if and when sustainable opportunities will come out from the market.

Which are the main clients of Prysmian Group in Romania? How are the operations in Romania contributing to the overall turnover of the group?

Being Prysmian the leading or co-leading company in the various product categories we have active for the Romanian market, I would say that almost all the major and/or mid-size Romanian customers are partners of Prysmian. Based on 2016 actual financial results, the Romanian operation counts for around 2 percent of the entire Group turnover.

Is Prysmian Group involved in the planned roll out of 5G infrastructure in Romania? Some telecom firms are starting to test this technology in the country.

Prysmian is the absolute clear market leader in Romania as far as optical fiber market requirements are concerned and therefore we are strictly monitoring all the possible evolution of the local market demand by interacting with the proper stakeholder to prepare the best solutions to satisfy the possible future needs; moreover, as far as 5G approach is concerned, being our Group the front runner of the development steps (as far as cable are concerned) within Euro Zone, of course we are deeply working on it since time.

What has been the experience of Prysmian Group in the Romanian energy sector?

We have more than 40 years of experience regarding energy Romanian market requirements, being also one of the co-leading producers for the country. As of now, we are the technological leader both regards Energy and Infrastructure applications and Industrial applications as well, being at the moment also the unique producer capable to produce High Voltage energy cable in the country. We will welcome any kind of request to further develop the Romanian market, being ready from our side with all the needed resources to accomplish it (example: smart grid, diagnostic systems, hybrid cables telecom+energy).

How many employees does the group have in Romania and are there plans to further expand their number?

At the moment we have more than 700 workers between the two plants (Energy and Telecom) and if the envisaged future plant expansion will materialize, we can estimate to reach the 1,000 level within the next 3 years.