Last Update: 17:49
Philip Morris, maker of Marlboro cigarettes, is to invest 300 million euros in its Greek unit Papastratos to make the smokeless IQOS product, Reuters says.
IQOS is a device that heats real tobacco refills to produce tobacco-flavored vapor instead of burning it. In essence it is a hybrid of real and electronic cigarettes and was launched in 2014.
According to the report, Philip Morris is to convert the cigarette plant into a maker of tobacco sticks for the IQOS product.
“We are implementing what Greece needs right now, investments, new jobs and exports,” Papastratos Chief Executive Christos Harpantidis told reporters.
“We will be making a product that will be exported to more than 30 countries in the world,” he added.
Three new buildings will be built at Papastratos’ facility in Aspropyrgos, outside Athens, with new lines of tobacco processing and production of refills for IQOS. Executives said it will create 400 new jobs.
Currently, Papastratos manufactures 12 billion cigarettes annually and exports 60 percent. The new project will turn out 20 billion refills a year, absorbing a significant amount of Greek tobacco production.
Papastratos has annual sales of 1.3 billion euros, has a 40 percent share of the domestic market and employs 800 workers.