For UPB Group, the last year is best characterised by three words: growth, investments and innovations. At the beginning of 2018, a new digital solution company “Alto 4.0”, was established, June saw the unveiling of a new engineer bureau in Lithuania, and at the end of 2018 UPB Group acquired the engineer bureau “Būve un Forma”. Major investments were made in order to expand the factories and technologies, and several research projects were undertaken to facilitate the development of innovative products. The past years’ efforts dedicated to the expansion of the export market and the construction of industrial projects have resulted in significant turnover for UPB Group, which reached 190 million euros in 2018.
The biggest construction projects that were put into operation last year were the IKEA shopping centre and the track-and-field arena of Liepāja Olympic Centre, realised as a Design&Build project. The projects of this type that are under development at the moment are the new Liepāja tennis hall and the aircraft hangar for Baku Airport, Azerbaijan, currently in the final stage of construction. There is an increasing demand for Design&Build projects; therefore UPB Group is especially pleased to welcome the engineer bureau “Būve un Forma” to its fold, as their experience in this area is sure to make a contribution to the existing resources.
Last year, the biggest construction projects put into operation outside Latvia were the office building Regionens Hus in Gothenburg, the St. Erik Eye Hospital in Solna and the office building Sky City Office One in Arlanda, Sweden. UPB provided the combined engineering, production and assembly of the building frame structures and facades for these objects. Currently, several big projects are actively being worked on in Sweden: the student campus Albano, and the office building Stockholm New - the first skyscraper UPB has provided a frame structure for, with nearly 2000 tonnes of steel constructions. UPB’s order portfolio is large, with several orders already made for the year 2022.
The continuous work dedicated to implementing new safety solutions in construction projects is appreciated by customers. For example, Skanska, one of the leading general construction companies in Sweden, recognised the “Epic” office building, constructed by UPB, as the safest construction project of 2018 in Sweden.
In order to facilitate further development of UPB Group, last year major investments were made in nearly all business structures. The prefab concrete production unit in Liepāja has gained equipment for automated reinforcement mesh treatment; extra facilities for carpentry, as well as a new office for prefab concrete engineers, have been created. The significant research project dedicated to the creation of an ultra-thin outer layer of 3-layer precast concrete elements is now complete, and 3 new research projects have been launched with the goal to develop new products. At the moment, the creation of a new production unit is under way. The new unit is going to produce innovative pigmented concrete products of challenging shapes for facades that are impossible to create using traditional means of production.
The glass facade production units have gained new profile treatment lines that allow one to work on orders of big facades more efficiently. The aluminium-glass production unit has been expanded to nearly twice its original size, allowing an increase in the number of curtain wall production lines up to 8. In addition, a new factory has been built in Grobiņa for the wood-aluminium glazed structure production unit. Since major contracts for the production of facades for several projects in Sweden and the United Kingdom have been concluded, this and the next year will see the production of a record amount of glass façade elements.
The steel structure and engineering production units have been expanded, gaining new assembly, welding and storage facilities; in addition, a new milling machine has been acquired and product prototyping with a 3D printer has been started. The structural production unit produced constructions for several major projects last year, thus the amount of the produced constructions in tonnes has increased by 21% in comparison with 2017.
In the field of ready-mix concrete, the position in the Swedish market was strengthened further, expanding both the area that is served and the range of available services. In order to expand the car park and the machinery, investments of more than 700 thousand euros were made. In addition to this, a new mobile concrete plant was created, specialising in pigmented concrete products. In total, sales of ready-mix concrete increased by 34% in 2018.
Last year, several energy projects were realised in Germany, and currently an ambitious project is under way in Basel, Switzerland. Namely, a cogeneration station with 600 kW capacity and high acoustic and environmental requirements is being created for Basel Hospital.
The newly established UPB Group company “Alto 4.0” has already realised its first digitisation and automation projects for external customers. The company’s three main lines of activity are the development of automation equipment with a particular focus on facade engineering, implementation of project and resource management systems in industrial companies, and retrofitting of factory equipment, i.e. making the necessary digital and automation adjustments to manual production technologies.
UPB is one of the leading industrial Groups in the Baltic states. The name UPB has been well known for more than 28 years in fields such as design, production, logistics, construction and service. Our Group takes advantage of being able to offer integrated solutions in the areas of glass, steel, concrete structures, as well as in the fields of energy, mechanical engineering and digitisation. UPB Group covered production areas reach 62 000 m2. UPB currently employs more than 1700 employees. UPB has representative offices in 10 countries - Latvia, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, Belarus and Azerbaijan.