Gürsel Usta: We Will Become the World Leader in Glass Packaging in 10 Years

Ciner Group CEO, Gürsel Usta, who was a guest on BloombergHT TV, made important statements about investments and targets. Gürsel Usta said, “We will be one of the largest glass packaging manufacturers in Europe in 5 years. At the end of the 10th year, our goal is to become the world’s largest glass packaging manufacturer.” 

Gürsel Usta, who participated in the Bloomberg HT broadcast, made statements about Ciner Group’s soda ash and glass packaging investments. Stating that a 600 thousand ton soda ash capacity increase investment has been started, Usta stated that this investment is approximately 100 million dollars. Usta said that the said investment will be completed towards the end of next year. Usta also said, “When this investment is completed, we will have gained an additional 600,000-ton capacity. Our capacity there is currently 2.7 million tons.”

Gürsel Usta’s statements are as follows:

The pandemic period was very positive for the glass industry. There was a 30 percent growth in the mineral water sector. There was a 1.7 percent shrinkage in Europe, a decline of 6 per thousand on a bottle basis. As cafes and restaurants closed, sales in the alcoholic beverage market decreased in Europe. Despite the decreasing trend there, the glass industry has developed. In 2021, there was a boom in demand. This increase in demand will be seen more clearly in the second half of this year. There is a huge bottleneck in Turkey. Therefore, we need to close this gap.

Ciner Group has invested 4 billion dollars in the last 5 years. We are a multi-investor group. Therefore, first of all, we started a 600,000 ton capacity increase investment in soda ash, due to the increasing demand. This investment of ours has started. It is an investment of around 100 million dollars. Due to the economy of scale, the investment is getting smaller. This investment will be completed towards the end of next year. Our current production capacity there is 2.7 million tons. We will bring this up to 3.3 million tons. This will provide us with an additional export opportunity for 200-250 million dollars. I proudly say that our exports are at 100 percent value added. We already export 85 percent of our total product abroad.

They Think the Park Cam Factory is a Simulation

Pointing out that they are also very successful on the glass side, Gürsel Usta said: “We did an important job by reducing the weight of glass bottles. We’ve lightened 5 billion bottles to date. This corresponds to 675,000 tons. We saved 50,000 by lightening the bottles. We produced 50,000 tons more with the same energy. In other words, we have emitted 15 million kg less carbon dioxide. Therefore, our work is a highly preferable system.

When we go to international fairs, they think our video screening is a simulation. When they watch the footage of our glass factory in Bozüyük, they think it’s a simulation. When they find out it’s real, they say do the same to us. This is very gratifying for us.

We are not the oldest. We are not the largest. But we are the best.

In the past years, we organized a slogan competition with our employees. A blue-collar friend of mine said, ‘We are not the oldest. We are not the largest. But, we are the best,” he said. We see the advantages of being the best very clearly. We are happy that both the domestic market and the large companies in the foreign market are working with us. Hopefully, we will see the economic results of this situation in the coming period. Thus, we will become the world’s largest glass packaging manufacturer, which is our goal.

New Glass Factory in Kazan

On the glass packaging side, we have 2 furnaces in Bozüyük with the capacity for 500 tons per day. Now we are opening the third. The investment in this has already started, and it will be achieved before the middle of next year. All permits have been approved for 2 650-ton kilns in Kazan, Ankara. The incentive applications are about to begin. Here, too, there is an approximate 260-million-euro investment. We will employ 600 people. We will provide indirect employment opportunities for 400 people, mainly in the transportation sector. We are making this investment mostly for export.

Park Cam: Best Facility in the World

Before the investment in our facility in Bozüyük, we transferred 2 of our technical friends. We shared what the problems in the sector were and how we could eliminate these problems with these friends, then we made our investment in line with their suggested solutions. After this investment was made, it became the best facility in the world, by far. All global companies came and visited us. They told us that they could work directly with us without running any control mechanism. We had the opportunity to work with these companies. We produced bottles for them. We exported. Then they asked us to make the bottles lighter. Since our technological knowledge and ability is high, we have made the bottles significantly lighter, by 10 percent or more. These bottles did not lose any of their strength due to their lightening and they turned out to be even stronger than the ones they have used before. After a while, they turned to us and said, ‘Would you do this with us? 

Let us give you a purchase guarantee. “Make these investments with us (in our country),” they said. I’m not giving their names as we have a confidentiality agreement with them. These are huge players. After these demands, we planned to invest abroad. We are planning investments in England, Belgium, and Italy.

We are the world leader in natural soda ash. We also want to be the world leader in the glass packaging industry. With the investments we will make in Europe and the investments we will make in Turkey, we will reach a production capacity of 2 million tons in 5 years. In 5 years, we will be one of the largest glass packaging manufacturers in Europe. At the end of the 10th year, our goal is to become the world’s largest glass packaging manufacturer.

Turkey has been in a good position in glass packaging in recent years. A 400,000-ton annual export figure has been reached. Here, another pride of Turkey, Şişecam, should be thanked. Turkey’s glass packaging exports to Europe increased by 18 percent. China had a loss. We filled the market emptied by China. We aim to export a minimum of 150 million euros with the 3 facilities we will build in Turkey. We will make it happen because we have agreements.

We Are The Most Environmentally Friendly Company In The World

We are the world’s most environmentally friendly company in soda ash. We are the only manufacturer that produces based on solution mining. If we make a simple comparison, our water consumption is between 1/5 and 1/10 of the leading companies. The waste we produce is between 1/5 and 1/10 less than the leading companies and our energy consumption is at least 3 times less. We are the only company in the world with a green product certificate. We have a certificate that is only given to companies that use resources at the minimum level and achieve optimum production. Our carbon emissions are half that of the leading company in Europe. We are half the size of the standards set by the EU. We can even make money from this business if it had a trade.