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The Banque de France Invests in a Banknote Production Facility

Categories : Cash does not require a technology infrastructure, Cash is a symbol of national sovereignty
July 25, 2022
Tags : Banknote production, Central Bank, National sovereignty, Sustainability
The French central bank will invest €220 million to modernize and expand its banknote printing facility, demonstrating strong confidence in the future of cash.
Guillaume Lepecq

Chair, CashEssentials

This post is also available in: Spanish

In 2015, the Banque de France spun off its paper mill into a separate legal entity, Europafi. Europafi is the leading publicly-owned paper mill in Europe, and the Eurosystem’s largest manufacturer of banknotes, having produced a total of almost 24 billion banknotes since the euro’s launch in 2002 (22.5% of the total volume to date). Currently, banknote production takes place in two sites: the paper mill is in Vic-le-Comte, and the printworks are in nearby Chamalières, both in the Auvergne region.

The Banque de France is also a key player in the international banknote market. Each year, Europafi allocates more than half of its capacity to manufacture banknotes and security documents for printing plants other than the Banque de France. The same is true for the Chamalières printworks, where more than half of the capacity goes to printing currencies other than the euro for some twenty countries around the world.

Investment in a New Banknote Facility

Last week, the Banque de France announced the construction of new banknote printworks on the site of its paper mill in Vic-le-Comte (Puy-de Dôme).

The €220 million industrial investment aims to meet three challenges:

The new facilities will enable the optimization of printing processes, thanks to the acquisition of new state-of-the-art equipment. The investment and plans to enhance competitiveness will improve printing’s economic efficiency. The renovation will reduce the environmental footprint by cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 50%. The new facilities will also enhance the working environment for employees.

Plans contemplate the transfer of banknote printing activities to the new site for 2026.

This investment represents a significant effort to mobilize public money (€220 million); it makes sense if it enables the printing of banknotes at the best price in the long term.  France will then have the most modern, efficient, and environmentally sustainable public banknote production centre in Europe.


This post is also available in: Spanish