Sweden—Bjelin, owned by Välinge majority shareholder, Pervanovo Invest AB, began construction of what the company said is the world’s largest wood flooring factory in Ogulin, Croatia. It is slated to be used for the production of flooring featuring Woodura surface technology under license from Välinge Innovation.
“I am very pleased that after 10 years of hard and very costly development work we are finally ready to scale up our powder-based production considerably in order to introduce a new wood flooring generation that is more cost efficient and environmentally friendly—in the same way as the three-layer parquet was when it was invented and introduced in 1945 by the Swedish companies, Kährs and Tarkett,” said Darko Pervan, CEO, Pervanovo Invest. “The positive market response gives us the confidence to make a major investment in production in Croatia where we have high-quality oak material and skilled workers.”
The Woodura technology was developed by Välinge during an intensive R&D period beginning in 2009–2010. Välinge Flooring—an own-brand flooring collection featuring Woodura—was launched in the U.S. in 2020 and Asia in 2021. Bjelin’s new mega-factory in Croatia will increase production and availability of the flooring, and will also allow Välinge to help its partners and licensees develop their own Woodura-based products, the company said.
“We are glad to see Bjelin taking this step into large-scale manufacturing of floors with the Woodura technology under a license from Välinge,” said Niclas Håkansson, CEO, Välinge. “Several factors prove that the concept is ready for this massive expansion—our production in Viken; market feedback from our sales and both Bjelin and our partners’ success with the products so far. When the Bjelin factory is completed, it will free capacity at Välinge to offer our flooring partners the opportunity to introduce their own Woodura-based products to the market. They will have the possibility of entering this new and innovative flooring category without making production investments from day one. Then, when they decide to invest in their own capacity, we will be there to support them with factory specifications and start-up training—it’s a win-win situation for everyone involved.”
The new factory, named “Ogulin 2,” is being built by Bjelin close to its existing “Ogulin 1” parquet factory. Construction of the factory began in 2020 with the first phase scheduled to be operational by 2023 and all phases constructed and up and running by 2027.