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Leather zone invests to protect stream

HDN | 7/23/2009 12:00:00 AM | TEKİRDAĞ - Anatolia News Agency

The Çorlu Leather Organized Industrial Zone has built an advanced waste treatment facility to prevent the contamination of the Çorlu Stream, according to Erdinç Ferliel, managing director of the zone. ‘We are producing in accordance with European Union standards,’ he says

The organized industrial zone focusing on leather in Çorlu in Tekirdağ province is showing “zero tolerance” for waste by producing raw material that can be used to make cosmetics and soap.

The zone had previously set an example to other OIZs with its unique waste treatment facility.

Speaking to Anatolia news agency, Erdinç Ferliel, managing director of the Çorlu Leather OIZ, said the zone is continuing investments at full speed.

The zone has exported $1 billion worth of leather, accounting for 37 percent of the nation’s overall leather production. “The OIZ has made 50 million Turkish Liras-worth of investments in the past 12 years,” Ferliel said. “This year, we invested 8 million liras.”

The Çorlu Leather OIZ was founded on an area of 120 hectares in 1997. “We currently have 118 leather factories and one paper factory,” Ferliel said. “Seventy of the factories are currently operating, while others have halted production because of the economic crisis. The zone employs 4,000 people, while the management serves producers with 41 managerial staff and 21 security personnel,” he said. “We provide infrastructure, roads, treatment facilities, natural gas, security and waste collection to the companies.”

The OIZ has set up a natural gas distribution grid that serves the factories, with an investment of 100 million liras. With donations from businesspeople, it also constructed a technical high school.

“Turkey’s leather sector is playing to be a global leader,” Ferliel said. “Thus, it is inevitable that we produce according to European Union standards.”

[HH] Best in the leather sector

The Çorlu Leather OIZ Drainage Water Treatment Facility was founded at a cost of $15 million, but with its technology and equipment, its current value is $30 million, according to Ferliel.

“The facility, which started operating last year, is the biggest and the best in the global leather sector,” he said. “It can treat 36,000 cubic meters of drainage water in one day. We have zero tolerance for waste, so we are producing raw materials that can be used to make cosmetics and soap. A total of 50 tons of such raw material is produced each month.”

Ferliel rejected criticism that the zone is contaminating Çorlu Stream. “Everybody should know that this is the wrong presumption,” he said. “The Çorlu Stream is being contaminated by the waste from many industrial companies in the Çerkezköy area. The OIZ never discharges waste or contaminated water to the stream. We have built the world’s biggest treatment facility to prevent this.”

Drainage water coming from factories is collected at the treatment facility, it is processed and cleaned up and then released to the stream as “totally clean water,” Ferliel said. “Our duty is to clean the water of factories inside the OIZ, not to clean the Çorlu Stream,” he said.

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