The Plaintel mask manufacturing plant, pictured here in 2003, closed in 2018. - Maisonneuve / SIPA

A factory of sanitary masks will soon be reborn in Brittany. A promise to sell has just been signed between Lebanese-Swiss businessman Abdallah Chatila and the real estate group Bleu Mercure for the purchase of 25,000 m² of built-up area in the Ploufragan business area (Côtes-d'Armor ), where the former Chaffoteaux-et-Maury factory is located, closed in 2013. Abdallah Chatila plans to create a factory for FFP masks (1, 2 and 3) and health protection equipment by the end of 2020. " Supported by an investment of 20 million euros, the project is counting on the production of 250 million masks per year and the creation of 150 jobs, "said in a Bleu Mercure press release.

Coronavirus in Brittany: "Sacrificed" in 2018, can the mask manufacturing factory be resuscitated? via @ 20minutesRennes

- 20 Minutes Rennes (@ 20minutesrennes) April 2, 2020

The shortage of masks during the Covid-19 crisis had brought to light the singular story of the Plaintel factory, less than 10 kilometers from Ploufragan, which its American owner Honeywell had closed in general indifference in 2018. with a production capacity of more than 200 million masks in 2010, it was the only production plant in France in 2005.

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Abdallah Chatila, 46, a businessman born in Beirut into a family of Christian jewelers, made his fortune in diamonds and real estate in Geneva. For this project he joined forces with the former director of the factory (1991-2003) Jean-Jacques Fuan, who had previously participated in another revival project in the form of a cooperative.

Abdallah Chatila's intentions drew criticism from the CGT, FSU, Solidaires des Côtes-d'Armor inter-union union, which fears that "history will repeat itself" and supports the cooperative society project of collective interest (SCIC ), accompanied by the former Secretary of State (EELV) Guy Hascoët. According to a collective that launched a petition to support this more modest project (20 million masks per year), it should see the light of day in the industrial area of ​​Grâces near Guingamp.


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