Turkey targets refractories development

By IM Staff
Published: Friday, 30 August 2019

Domestic R&D in Turkey will be a priority in the country’s latest economic plan for the years to 2023, with emphasis on refractories.

The Turkish government has pledged to support the country’s refractories industry as part of its 11th five-year development plan, which was submitted to the Turkish parliament on Tuesday July 9 following approval by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Under the plan, which covers the period from 2019-23, the government has singled out research and development (R&D) and investment in Turkish refractory materials production as a "supported special area."

The intention of the initiative is to reduce the country’s dependence on imports for certain products, including refractory ceramics.

The plan did not give details of what, if any, state financial support will be allocated to the refractories industry, but indicated that investment incentives for private investors will form part of the scheme.

It is hoped that enhancing local production of high-technology products will boost Turkey’s large metal, cement and glass sectors, which are the main consumers of refractories.

Turkey is the world’s eighth-largest steel producer, with output of 37.3 million tonnes in 2018, according to the World Steel Association.

Steel was not named as a supported special area under the new development plan, but it did say that investment in the production of high-alloy, high-value-added aluminium products required for such sectors as aerospace, defense and the automotive industry will be encouraged.

Exploration and exploitation of domestic mineral resources will also be supported.

Turkey holds significant reserves of refractory minerals, including bauxite, magnesite, olivine and kyanite, many of which are already produced in industrial quantities, but have the potential to be expanded.

Turkey’s latest five-year plan is intended to raise the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) to $1.08 trillion by 2023 from around $784 billion in 2018, with exports of $226.6 billion versus $168.1 billion last year.