Liepāja proves lucrative for exporter of modular houses

The demand for Latvia-made modular houses has been growing in Scandinavia. Another shipment of such houses made by MODHUS was delivered to Sweden in April. Its factory is located at a formed Soviet automotive factory, using post-occupation heritage for modern manufacture, reports Latvian Radio April 12.

Half an hour passes as Latvian Radio talks to MODHUS co-owner Raimonds Eglītis; and during that time they've managed to almost complete a single wall of their modular house. Employees are now busy working the wooden corpus together with the windows. 

"It began in 2007 when I started working at a Norwegian company, which set up a factory in Ventspils. The company later shut down. I thought I could use the idea of making modular houses myself. The idea was brought from Ventspils to Liepāja," he says.

The company makes modular houses and panel houses used as offices, kindergartens, schools, private houses and other objects. Each house, from the architect's design to an upright house, takes about six to twelve months to complete. 

"We combine wood with metal in our manufacture process. This way we can better comply to fire safety requirements. We can built seven-story apartment buildings and hotels using modules," Eglītis says. 

The houses are then transported through the Liepāja port, and this is a priority for the Liepāja Special Economic Zone. Uldis Hmieļevskis, a high-ranking official at the zone tells Latvian Radio that there are numerous companies, like Easy Building, UPB and NPK Termināls from different niches who use the port to send their products to places across the world. 

Eglītis of MODHUS says the modular houses get to Sweden from Liepāja within 24 hours. 

"The current shipment had 16 houses in it. There were two home modules and one sauna module inside. We sent a total of 48 units that were placed on a Swedish island. These are summer houses for recreation. There's an almost abandoned island an hour's drive away from Stockholm. A great place to rest and fish from the terrace. It will be ready by June 1," he says. 

Architecture like this is quite in demand in Sweden.

"Their architecture is such as can be adjusted to modular buildings. We don't feel this as much in Latvia," he says. 

MODHUS export about 80% of their products to Sweden and Norway, while about 20% remain in Latvia. Currently the demand in Scandinavia is greater than what the company can produce.

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