German firm to invest in Turkish steel center
ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
A German sea container firm will invest in the Ereğli district of the northwestern province of Zonguldak, Ereğli Mayor Halil Posbıyık told the Hürriyet Daily News in a phone interview Feb. 7.
“We came to an agreement in principle with Turkish representatives of the German company Elba. The executives will come from Germany in 15 days to see the areas where the facilities could be established,” he said. Posbıyık stressed that the talks were still going on and the value of the investment would not be declared until the final decision was made by the firm.
Posbıyık said the unemployment rate was at its highest level in Ereğli, the country’s steel manufacturing center and home to some of the most important harbors and shipyards of Turkey. “The iron and steel sector has been stopped completely. Even if it was not my duty, I feel responsible for the situation as their mayor and I started to look for a way to draw investments to Ereğli,” he said.
Municipality officials prepared a detailed report that provided information about the economy, demography and geography of Ereğli. The municipality presented the report to Efkan Ala, Undersecretary of the Prime Ministry, as part of a move asking him to draw new investments to the district. “Efkan Ala instructed the General Director of the Prime Ministry Investment Agency to forward the investors to Ereğli,” he said, adding that the investment agency had a database where all domestic and foreign investment applications were pooled.
He stated that they had received interest from international firms to invest in Ereğli. According to Posbıyık, the German Elba has spoken to Erdemir, the largest flat steel producer in Turkey and based in Zonguldak, about purchasing its sheet iron to use in its harbors. The planned investment in Ereğli would create some 700 jobs, the mayor said.
They had also spoken on the phone with an Azerbaijan-based firm that would manufacture pipelines and columns for pipelines, Posbıyık said. “If this giant investment will come true, it will rescue Ereğli, which would not need another investment.”
Posbıyık also stressed that Erdemir encouraged its local partners to make investments in the district.