Komori has banked substantial currency printing orders, including one to supply a new factory for the Banque de France.
This joins orders from the China Banknote and Minting Corporation, Perum Percetakan Uang Republik, Indonesia and the Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India. The orders amount to sales of ¥11 billion (£75.3 million) in the three months to the close of Komori’s financial year at the end of March, although the impact of the company’s results will be spread over coming years.
This is the first order for Komori from the Banque de France. It is building a new plant to accommodate the production equipment at its site in the Auverge in central France. This includes print operation at Chamalieres and linked paper mill at Vic le Comte. This is a set up that is unique among the central banks of the European Union.
Komori secured the order through a competitive tendering process within EU regulations. It includes two eight-colour LC832 perfecting litho presses and two NV532 combined varnishing and numbering machines. The machines will be up and running in the new plant by 2023. The choice of a four over four configuration runs counter to the general direction towards six- or even eight-colour printing.
The paper mill is operated as a spin off company to enable it to exploit other opportunities for banknote paper and as a consequence is supplier to several plants in Europe.
Likewise the print operation supplies currency to 20 countries outside the eurozone, mostly from Francophone countries in Africa. The investment in equipment from Komori Currency Technology will consolidate this position. It is the largest printer of euros in circulation.
France currently supplies around 25% of demand for new euro notes with a focus on the lower value denominations.
The other orders are additional equipment for existing customers. Its first customer for banknote print outside Japan came from India in the 1990s, which led to collaboration with De La Rue and orders from Crane & Co run the US and notably for the Bank of England Printworks, configured to print the current polymer banknotes.
The orders underline the continuing importance of hard cash despite the predicted decline in its use due to increasing digital payments.
By Gareth Ward
Komori Currency Technology has received orders from four central bank print operations. France is the customer closest to the UK with an installation at the Banque de Franc's integrated paper mill and print factory. This is a new customer while the Bank of India was one of the first and now one of the latest too.