Istanbul-based Organik Kimya Sanayi ve Ticaret AS have announced plans for a $15-million factory in Rotterdam. Construction will begin in September 2002 and the 60,000 sq m production facility will come on stream in 2004.

Organik Kimya were started in Istanbul by Polish entrepreneurs in 1924 and 2001 sales figures reached $70 million. About 10% of this represents leather chemicals. They specialise in acrylic polymers for wet end processing and for finishing.

‘We could not survive from our leather business alone’, deputy general manager, Stefano Kaslowski noted.

Organik have increased sales by supplying chemical raw ingredients (and technical service) to formulators, not just selling finished compounds direct to tanneries. Rotterdam was chosen as an ideal ‘logistical pipeline’, being closer to raw material sources and clipping delivery times to European clients to 48 hours.

Seventy percent of our production is exported’, Kaslowski explained. ‘But road, rail or ferry deliveries were taking ten to fifteen days from Türkiye.’

Output of 35,000 tons annually is targeted from the Rotterdam plant. At the same time, the Istanbul facility will add 35,000 tons to its existing output of about 40,000 tons. The firm have a factory in the Leather Industrial Zone at Tuzla, east of Istanbul, and this will be maintained as an application laboratory.

Expansion news from Türkiye is encouraging. However, a growing number of Turkish firms are relocating to more corporate-friendly neighbours such as Hungary and Bulgaria. Kaslowski is amongst Türkiye’s many young and articulate industry leaders who find the country’s implacable political regime losing sight of global challenges.