Ecologic Tannery

The ecologic tannery is a prototype, environment friendly, completely non-intensive energy demanding tannery unit, located at the Industrial Park of Kastoria, in northern Greece. The tannery, a total investment of 11.5 million Euro, features  processes that respect the natural resources, promote recycling of waste and treatement of wastewater, without compromising on either quality of product and services (including timely delivery) or cost .

The DTS SA tannery specialises in finishing and dyeing of furs and leather. The innovation introduced by the ecological Tannery is systemic, addressing all stages of the production process, from the use of natural resources, to the recycling of waste and the treatment of wastewater. Several of the procedures used in the DTS tannery are implemented for the first time in the sector.

 In the process of leather dyeing and finishing, the company mainly uses rainwater and the water provided by the melting snow. Power is provided by solar panels, while where combustion is necessary, LPG is used instead of petrol to reduce air emissions. All chemicals used in the dyeing and finishing processes are environmentally friendly. The wastewater of the process is physicochemically treated and the output from its treatment installation is being transfered for further purification in the biological treatment of the city of Kastoria.

Barriers and Drivers

Drivers:

Availability of know-how: The investors have vast experience in the furs and leather dyeing and finishing sector.

Ethics (including Green ethics): The vision of the investors to construct an innovative ecological tannery setting the example for the other entrepreneurs in the sector, which is listed among the most highly polluting ones. In addition, the belief of the investors that every citizen should by any means support the economic recovery of his nation, despite the fact that the investing regime in Greece is avertive.

Investment incentives (incl. co-financing tools and subsidies): The factory was approved for a subsidy under the Development Law; the total investment was co-financed by 45% from National Funds. Moreover, the company used a bank loan to finance 27% of the total investment. The investment, being the first in the newly established industrial estate of Kastoria, benefited from favourable lease prices.

Barriers:

Financial risk: The economic downturn resulted in a reduction of the level of state grant equal to more than 5% of the total investment budget.

Cost: Unforeseen costs during the construction phase, increased the total budget of the investment.

Lack of infrastructure: The undue delay of provision of telephone connections in the Kastoria Industrial Park.

Economic Performance

he ecological tannery is resource and energy efficient, a fact that significantly reduces operational costs compared to conventional units (though the initial investment is higher).

Social Performance

The whole setup of the investment is designed to bring more jobs and investments in Greece, not only from the domestic market but from the world market as well. The key executives of the company are highly trained university graduates, while at the same time the best  foreign technical advisors, are recruited for the continuous education and training of the staff. The factory initially employed 22 people, at the moment it employees 44 and on a fully operational status it will employ 150 employees.

The investment has received an enthoustiastic response from the media, including interviews and publications in the newsparpers, radio and television.

Environmental Impact

The elements that make the Ecological tannery an environment friendly investment are the following:

1) It exploits all the rainwater on the roof of the building and uses it in the production process (40% reduction in water consumption).

2) The water heating is provided by solar water heaters (30 m3 of hot water/day).

3) The Photovoltaic arches constructed on the roof of the building produce 100 KW.

4) Drying of the leather is done through dehydration rather than heat consumption (60% heat economy compared with the conventional way).

5) The unit has minimised greenhouse gases emissions.

6) The physico-chemical treatment separates wastewater (reused in agriculture) from toxic residues, which end up in special collectors of toxic waste.

7) Refrigeration of the water inside the unit is done through the technology of cooling towers, which consume 90% less energy than the conventional cooling procedures.

8) Chemicals used for the tanning of the leather are half the volume of those used in a conventional unit.

Further Information

http://www.econews.gr/2011/07/14/oikologiko-byrsodepseio-kastoria/

http://news.kathimerini.gr/4Dcgi/4Dcgi/_w_articles_civ_12_12/07/2011_448923

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