Rolls-Royce innovation award winner expands in Panevėžys creating 100 jobs

Jan 5, 2018
Rifas expands production facility in Lithuania
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RIFAS, a designer and producer of electrotechnical systems, is expanding its production in Panevėžys. The company, which belongs to the Estonian capital group Harju Elekter, aims to expand its production premises threefold, creating 100 new jobs over the next three years.

“Industrious and creative people live in Panevėžys and the quality of life in this city is excellent, so we are sure that with the development of RIFAS and other companies, Panevėžys has great prospects to grow and develop its export-orientated production. Historically, Panevėžys has always been famous for its well-developed electronics and electrotechnics industry,” said Andres Allikmae, Chairman of the Board at Harju Elekter.

Currently, RIFAS is operating in production premises totalling 2,500 square metres, which by the end of 2018 it will expand to 7,500 square metres. The company plans to employ 100 electrotechnical equipment installers and electrical and 3D mechanical engineers, who will be trained at the company. They will design and produce electrotechnical systems to order that will be used inindustrial enterprises and on new-generation shipping vessels.

To prepare the kind of talent that RIFAS requires, the company intends to cooperate with higher and vocational education and training institutions in Panevėžys, the Klaipėda Higher Maritime School and the Visaginas Technology and Business Vocational Education and Training Centre. Training will be provided to both new and existing employees. This emphasis on on-the-job training has already delivered great results, and in some cases young specialists without an engineering education who began their careers as installers have gone on to become highly qualified engineers.

“The developments at RIFAS will have a profound and postive impact on the Panevėžys region; as they will not only lead to the creation of new jobs and skills, but also contribute significantly to the region’s economy. Approximately one hundred suppliers supply goods and services to the company’s operations, so RIFAS’s development will also promote the creation of new jobs in this business sector,” commented Minister of Economy Virginijus Sinkevičius.

“This year has seen several producers of automotive components rushing to the Kaunas region, and this has prompted us to consider deeply the rising demand for electronics specialists. Providing there is a sufficient supply of professionals, this sector can energise the economies of other regions too. Panevėžys has always historically had a strong electronics industry, but RIFAS and other potential investors need not only experienced specialists but also inquiring minds who are keen to learn. In the words of RIFAS’ management, today there is more need than ever before to integrate a growing and complex array of powerful technology within one ship.  For this, exceptional capabilities are necessary,” said Mantas Katinas, Director General of the Foreign Investment Promotion Agency Invest Lithuania.

All products designed and produced by RIFAS are exported abroad. The company’s major partners are based in Norway, Finland, Austria and the Netherlands, but the company’s products are also used in projects that have been executed in countries in North America and Asia.

2017 was a stellar year for RIFAS, with the Panevėžys company receiving a prestigious Rolls-Royce Marine award for innovations for its electricity distribution and control system SAVe CUBE, which are installed in new-generation semi-automated ships. In future, this system, which was designed and is produced in Panevėžys, will also be used in fully automated ships.

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