Sisecam may abandon Russe for another Bulgarian site

Turkish glassware giant Sisecam may abandon plans for a flat glass plant in Russe in favor of Targovishte in south east Bulgaria. By so doing, Sisecam would be able to use tax concessions set by the B…

Turkish glassware giant Sisecam may abandon plans for a flat glass plant in Russe in favor of Targovishte in south east Bulgaria. By so doing, Sisecam would be able to use tax concessions set by the Bulgaria Finance Ministry for municipalities with a high rate of unemployment. Sisecam will be entitled to a zero profit tax rate if the company constructs a glass plant in the municipality of Targovishte as the municipal unemployment rate exceeds the average rate for the country by 50%. Sisecam has been expected to invest USD 100 million (EUR 89 million) in the construction of a flat glass plant near Russe. The plant would operate with raw materials from Bulgarian feldspar, kaolin and silica sand producer Kaolin and would buy about 50% to 60% of Kaolin“s output. The plant would produce 200,000 tonnes of flat glass a year with 70% of the output for export. Construction work was due to begin in June 2003 with completion scheduled for 2005. The Bulgarian Government previously pledged to invest up to BGL 10 million (USD 5.8 million/EUR 5.2 million) in improving the infrastructure, gas and electricity supply of the area around the plant. The government has already granted ownership rights to the Bulgarian subsidiary of Turkish glassware group Sisecam, Trakiya Glass Bulgaria, over a 63.69 ha plot of land near Russe. The regional governor of Russe Rumem Yanuarov and Sisecam have not signed the contract for the transfer of ownership rights yet. Sisecam has also shown interest in setting up more glass plants in Bulgaria. The Turkish firm was also planning in the long term to re-locate part of its auto glass production from Turkey to Bulgaria.