Sisecam to open doors to start-ups in 2018

Dünya Executive - - CEO PERSPECTIV­ES - ECE CEYHUN

If it is related to glass then Sisecam may be interested. This is the message coming from Prof. Ahmet Kirman, Deputy Chairman and General Manager of Sisecam Group. One of the most important priorities for Sisecam this year is to develop business relationsh­ips with small but promising start-up companies. “If we meet a start-up that impresses us, we can either acquire it or help develop it, according to our strategy,” Kirman said. “The key point that will inspire our interest is the kind of activity such entreprene­urial companies are involved in.”

Sisecam is taking a twopronged approach to its business developmen­t: while it continues to search for new muscle to strengthen its fields of activity, it also sees opportunit­ies for inorganic growth in the chang- ing glass market around the world. An important part of its agenda is its investment plans, Kirman said. It has purchased a glass household goods plant in Egypt, invested approximat­ely TRY 400 million in a glass fiber production facility to be built in Balikesir, invested another TRY 120 million into a glass containers factory in Mersin to purchase a third glass furnace and made the decision to invest in a fourth furnace at its Eskisehir facility. Sisecam’s TRY 240 million investment in Eskisehir will increase its glass packaging production capacity to 1.2 million tonnes and should be operationa­l in the second half of 2018. The furnace will be equipped with new technolo- gy according to Industry 4.0 standards and will have a capacity of 150,000 tonnes per year.

In 2014, Sisecam, expanded its operations with a new 300,000 tonnes per year capacity sheet glass plant in Ankara Polatlı. This year, a decision was taken to make fresh investment­s into that facility, which already boasts the largest furnace in Turkey and the region. The second furnace will increase the current 1,000 tonnes of production capacity per day by approximat­ely another 600 tonnes, at a cost of TRY 480 million, and raise Turkey’s annual sheet glass production capacity to 1.9 million tonnes.

Sisecam’s new product developmen­t efforts are also mov- ing forward rapidly. According to Kirman, 51 new products were studied in 2017 of which 24 reached the market. Three new patent applicatio­ns were made as well. The group also collaborat­ed with 11 universiti­es and 7 research centers at the national and internatio­nal levels. “Our R&D center is in continuous contact with scientists,” Kirman said. “To be an internatio­nal glass research center, we employ employees from abroad as well. We are carrying out activities in this area with about 200 R&D employees including at our Design Center. As part of our European activities, we receive funding for education and research from the EU.”

In 2016, the group’s R&D spending amounted to TRY 74 million but exceeded TRY 80 million in 2017.

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