OFFICIALS AT THE Rudnensk Leather Factory in Kazakhstan say that the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is considering granting US$1 million to the factory for the reconstruction of their tannery by 2003, according to the Interfax news agency.

The tannery produces wet-blue cow hides and wet-salted hides. Investment in wet-blue cow hide production since the tannery opened in November 1999 has amounted to around US$400,000.

The Rudnensk factory and Germany’s Manfred Lutz and Haute-Leder-Pelze are working on new technologies for the production of semi-finished goods at the tannery.

This new technology will enable the production of 200-250 tonnes of products each month in 2003, compared with the current figure of 150 tonnes a month.

Rudnensk Leather Factory’s director, Marat Khakimov, was reported as saying that the factory export all their wet-blue products, as well as 150 tonnes of raw hide each month.

This is due to there being no leather processors in Kazakhstan. Main foreign customers include Jurgen Blum in Germany, Kontsarski Zavodi in Slovakia, Conceria Paladio in Italy, Tedela in Lithuania and Szczakova in the Czech Republic.

The company also export to Spain, Portugal, Russia, Belarus and China.

The other main leather producers in Kazakhstan are Siriopet in Petropavlovsk, which is owned by the Sirio Leather Group Ltd in the United Kingdom.