Şişecam Group invested $47.1 million (EUR 42 million) into a furnace at the Şişecam Flat Glass Plant in Targovishte, Bulgaria, that was fired up during a ceremony held on July 2, 2019. The company has invested a total of $673 million (EUR 600 million) in its facility in Bulgaria.

Şişecam Group vice chairman and CEO Ahmet Kırman hosted the ceremony attended by the Bulgaria minister of economy Emil Karanikolov, Member of Parliament Venka Stoyanova, Targovishte Governor Mitko Staikov and Targovishte Mayor Dr. Darin Dimitrov.

During a speech given in front of more than 300 attendees, including Şişecam Flat Glass Europe customers, architects, sector professionals and Şişecam Group employees, Kırman said, “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 U.S., we will increase the number of countries of operation to 14.”

Initial Investment in Bulgaria

The company made its first investment in Bulgaria under the name Şişecam Chemicals in 1997. “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% in the company in the following years. We took our first step for the Greenfield, (i.e. new investments) in Bulgaria in 2004,” said Kırman. “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 company will continue its investments in modernization and capacity increases among its Bulgarian manufacturing facilities, Kırman said.