Kipaş Holding has invested 350 million euros ($450 million) in the establishment of what will be one of Europe's largest paper production factories in the southeastern province of Kahramanmaraş.
The investment was announced at a ceremony on Saturday laying the foundations at the site that will host the factory and supplementary facilities in the region. Speaking at the ceremony, Kipaş Holding board chairman Hanefi Öksüz said the reason they had entered paper production was because “Kahramanmaraş needed such an industry.” The holding already has sizable investments in textiles, ready-wear clothing, agriculture, energy and cement production. It is also known for its Kipaş Educational Institutions in Kahramanmaraş.
As a result of this recent investment, the group will start paper production in under a year and a half at its Kahramanmaraş facilities, which will cover a total area of 330,000 square meters. “Here we also aim to contribute to saving energy and the prevention of environmental pollution. Paper is a commodity Turkey imports. Thanks to what will be an annual production of 470,000 tons [starting from late 2013], we will also help save 3 million trees a year,” Öksüz said. He added that investment had been made possible through loans secured from Turkey's Eximbank as well as the World Bank. “This is the first time the World Bank has actually extended a loan for a Kahramanmaraş investment,” he said.
Also present at the ceremony was ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) Kahramanmaraş deputy Mehmet Sağlam, a former minister of education. “This is a project that deserves to be applauded. I believe that Kipaş, which proved itself with its education activities, will have the same success in the paper market,” he added.
Kipaş Holding had total sales of $1 billion and exported goods worth $100 million last year.