Tetra Pak is broadly recognised as a leading light in the world of food processing and packaging solutions. It has a presence in 150 countries, and boasts 42 packaging material plants. The upgrade of the plant in Rubiera, which managing director Jorge Montero said marks an important milestone in the company's global focus on operational performance, involves the installation of two new elements: a VT Lam 650/6 WRM laminator and a new Flexopress printing line. A spokesperson for the company told FoodProductionDaily.com that this is the first time the pieces of equipment have been deployed in Europe. In addition to serving the Italian industry, the Rubiera plant also exports 15 per cent of production to 19 different counties, most of which are neighbouring. The company says that the new printing technology will increase capacity by 25 per cent when it begins production in November. In addition, the line is said to be very flexible and will give customers' more choice. The laminator, scheduled to be in action from March 2009, is expected to boost production capacity from three billion to around four billion packs, across Tetra Pak's complete package range. It is also expected to deliver high product quality. "Tetra Pak's investment in Italy will result in increased innovation, quality and service for the benefit of Italian customers and consumers alike," said Alber Kaya, manager of the factory in Rubiera. No indication has been given of any particular needs within Italy and the markets it serves, but Tetra Pak is known to be in the midst of a global upgrade programme. Announcements have already been made for the installation of similar state-of-the-art equipment at plants in Russia, China and Singapore. Emerging markets, in particular, have attracted some impressive investment from tetra Pak in recent times. For instance, last year Tetra Pak inaugurated a new converting plant near Moscow - claimed to be the largest in Russia and Eastern Europe for liquid food products. This development cost the firm in excess of €100m. This year Tetra Pak also expects to complete the construction of a new packaging material plant in Huhhot, China, to support growth in the dairy and beverage industries there. This plant comes with a price tag of €60m. As all companies in the industrial sector should, Tetra Pak is keeping a steady eye on its environmental record. It has a goal of reducing overall carbon dioxide emissions by 10 per cent in absolute terms by 2010. Both the new printing and the new laminating kit will help it on its way towards this, since they will use less energy and release less Co2 than the equipment they supersede.