Şişecam Group continues its investments in Bulgaria where it operates in flat glass, automotive glass, glassware and chemicals business lines. The Group, which has accomplished a total of 600 million EUR investment in Bulgaria so far, fired the furnace, renewed with an investment of about 42 million EUR at Şişecam Flat Glass Plant in Targovishte, at a ceremony held on July 2, 2019.
Şişecam Group Vice Chairman and CEO Prof. Ahmet Kırman hosted the ceremony attended by the Minister of Economy of Bulgaria Emil Karanikolov, the Member of Parliament Venka Stoyanova, Targovishte Governor Mitko Staikov and Targovishte Mayor Dr. Darin Dimitrov.
Giving a speech at the ceremony held with the participation of over 300 invitees including the customers of Şişecam Flat Glass in Europe, architects and sector professionals as well as the Şişecam Group executives and employees, Prof. Ahmet Kırman drew attention to the fact that Şişecam was a global actor in all main areas of glass industry such as flat glass, glassware, glass packaging and glass fiber as well as soda and chrome compounds, and added, “We are the third largest glassware manufacturer and the fifth largest flat glass manufacturer in the world. We rank seventh in synthetic soda production, and are the leader in chrome chemicals in the world. We are a Group on an international scale with our 22,000 employees, production activities spreading across 13 countries in three continents and sales to over 150 countries. With our new soda investment in the US, we will increase the number of countries of operation to 14.”
Şişecam Group made its first investment in Bulgaria in 1997
Stating that the Group had made its first investment in Bulgaria under Şişecam Chemicals in 1997, Kırman continued, “During the privatization, the Group became the shareholder of the Bulgarian soda producer with the Belgian Solvay, and continued its investments in Bulgaria by increasing its shareholding interest to 25 percent in the company in the following years. We took our first step for the greenfield, i.e. new investments in Bulgaria in 2004. Our Group laid the foundation for the flat glass, automotive glass and glassware production facilities in 2004. With this investment, we were bestowed with the title of the ‘Largest Greenfield Investor in Bulgaria.’ After the glassware plant commenced production in 2005, our Group commissioned the first float line in flat glass followed by the mirror, laminated glass and tempered glass lines in 2006, and put the automotive glass plant into operation in 2010. In 2013, the energy-saving coated glass production started. As Şişecam Group, we continue our operations with Trakya Glass Bulgaria EAD, Şişecam Automotive Bulgaria EAD and Paşabahçe Bulgaria EAD as well as Solvay Sodi in which we have ownership interest.”
The operations in Bulgaria have an important role in Şişecam’s leading position in Europe
Pointing out the fact that the operations and capacities of Şişecam Group in Bulgaria have an important role in the Group being the largest flat glass manufacturer in Europe as well as one of the two largest glassware manufacturer, Kırman added as follows: “Today, our Group has an annual production capacity of 470,000 tons of flat glass, 7.5 million square metre coated glass, 3.5 million square metre mirror, 1 million square metre laminated glass at the flat glass plant with two furnaces, of 2,8 million square metre at the home appliance glass plant, 2.2 million square metre automotive glass at the automotive glass plant, and of 100,000 tons at the glassware plant with two furnaces in Bulgaria. A major part of our flat glass, glassware and automotive glass production is exported to Europe. Our Group’s investments in Bulgaria have reached 600 million EUR in total so far. Like the flat glass furnace we have renewed and fired with an investment of 42 million EUR, we will continue our investments in modernization and capacity increases in our Bulgarian manufacturing facilities. In addition to all these investments, we contribute to the Bulgarian economy with the employment of about 3,250 people as a result of our operations and aim to increase the labour force participation in the country with new employment projects.”