When Turkey-based polyester yarn producer Korteks decided to invest in a new polymer recycling plant, it opted for equipment from its long term supplier, Austrian recycling machinery manufacturer Starlinger.
“We have been in extensive cooperation with Starlinger for a long time” said Barış Mert, General Manager of Korteks. “Thanks to their unique and innovative recycling technology we can offer new products in line with the circular economy model.”
The yarn producer purchased a Starlinger recoSTAR universal 165 H-VAC iV+ line as part of a $10 million investment in a new polymer recycling facility. With a production capacity of 7,200 tons per year, it was taken into operation in May 2021 and currently processes clean in-house polyester fibers from production scrap together with washed post-consumer PET flakes at a ratio of 50/50. This regranulate is used to produce a new polyester filament yarn product-based on 100% recycled PET - that will be marketed under the brand name “TAÇ Reborn”.
The Starlinger recycling line is the first of its kind in Turkey and is equipped with special components for filament yarn recycling. A Rapid Sleeve Changer candle filter developed by Starlinger ensures finest melt filtration down to 15 μm. Specifically designed for polyester recycling, it achieves an output of 1000 kg/h. For continuous operation, the filter elements are changed “on the fly” without interrupting production, which significantly limits melt loss.
The viscoSTAR SSP unit at the end of the recycling process guarantees consistent IV increase according to the first-in-first-out principle. This makes sure that the produced regranulate has the properties required for filament yarn production. The technical configuration of the line enables the use of both polyester fibre/PET flake mix and 100 % polyester filament scrap or 100 % PET bottle flakes as input material.
Kortek’s new recycling facility spans a total area of 17,000 m² and has a monthly production capacity of 600 tons. The plant has enabled Korteks to reduce the amount of production waste at its virgin PES yarn site to zero. It also positions the company for growth in the future, as demand for recycled fibres continues to grow.
“At Korteks, we always aim at sustainable growth that reduces environmental impact and creates value,” said Barış Mert. “For this reason, we are gradually expanding our product range in sustainable and smart textiles every day.”
A member of Turkish Zorlu Holding Group, Korteks started operations in Bursa, Turkey, in 1989. Today the company is the largest integrated polyester yarn manufacturer and exporter in Europe and employs nearly 2.300 people. Korteks has an annual production capacity of 170,000 tons, meeting 17 % of Turkey’s yarn demand and exporting to almost 60 countries on 5 continents.