Turkey's Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Donmez introduced four new domestically-produced boron detergent products on Friday under the brand name BORON.
"As liquids and powders for colors and whites, four different BORON [detergent products] have begun taking their place on the shelves starting from today," Donmez said during the BORON brand launch event held in Dolmabahce Palace in Istanbul.
The detergent market is very competitive with a current value of 10 billion Turkish liras ($1.74 billion) in Turkey.
While most of the raw materials for the washing and dishwashing products were imported from abroad, Donmez stressed that BORON is "manufactured 100% domestically" from the boron element, of which Turkey has rich resources.
Turkey has a total of 3.3 billion tons of boron, equating to 73% of the world's total reserves, making Turkey the world's number one in terms of boron reserves, according to Donmez.
Domestic demand for the first BORON washing detergent, manufactured by Eti Maden, has been high in the Turkish market since its launch in Jan. 25.
Since then BORON has acquired an 8% share in the market by reaching 30,000 tons in sales, Donmez said, adding the target is to expand this figure up to 32,000-35,000 tons by the end of 2019.
BORON is different than traditional cleaning products in the market since it does not contain petroleum products, phosphate, whiteners or synthetic additives that are harmful to the environment or human health, the minister stressed.
He noted that the aim is to sell BORON at approximately 20,000 stores across Turkey. "In order to meet the high demand, our Eskisehir factory has increased its capacity by 20%-25% for an annual output of 30,000-35,000 tons," he said
- 8% production share in world
Turkey is also trying to expand its exports of BORON to more countries abroad, Donmez confirmed, adding the product has already been exported to the U.S., Switzerland, Tunisia and Kosova.
Research and development to expand the boron element's reach are ongoing with the aim of introducing two new products next year - washing up liquid and dishwasher detergent.
Turkey will also use boron carbide in advanced technology applications such as in military equipment and armory, the minister said.
On Oct. 25, Turkey held a groundbreaking ceremony for a boron carbide plant in Balikesir, located in the Marmara region. Construction is scheduled for completion in one and a half years' time.
The Balikesir facility will produce 1,000 tons a year of boron carbide, representing an 8% production share out of the world's total output of 12,000-15,000 tons per year.
"Boron will increase the rate of domestic [resources] use in our defense industry," Donmez said.
He underlined that some of the sectors that boron consumption will have a direct impact on that are estimated to grow over the next 10 years include construction, biofuel, pharmaceuticals, medical, ceramics, renewable energy, electronic equipment production, aviation and space industry.
By Ovunc Kutlu