“I like working here; it feels as if you are in a carpet gallery. At lunchtime, I sometimes walk around amid these gorgeous colours and think about which carpet I would bring home,” carpet maker Aizhan Kuzabayeva said. Although she is 25 years old and has completed her higher education, she could not find work corresponding to her education elsewhere, so she came to Ball Textiles after hearing that extra hands were needed and that on-the-job training is provided.
She learned the craft quickly and is now helping beginners get their bearings. The factory is expanding and continually bringing on more help. It started with six assembly lines making Turan and Alatau brand carpets.
The carpet patterns were created by fabric designers who won their positions through a competition for graduates of the Kasteyev South Kazakhstan Art College. They are now working under the guidance of guest designers from Turkey. Soon, they will all be working on their own, venting their imaginations, which carpet designing provides ample opportunity to do.
The factory, which is located in the Ontustyk FEZ (free economic zone), cost 8.450 billion tenge (US$45.8 million) to build. Over the next three years, 610 jobs are expected to be created. The plant’s design allows for the production of 10 million square metres of carpets per year. It is a four-phased project that entails the commissioning of 26 lines.
The first phase cost 1.7 billion tenge (US$9.3 million), it is designed to create 2.3 square million metres of carpet. The factory currently employs a little more than a hundred staff. Currently, carpets are made of materials imported from Turkey; in the second half of the year with the launch of the spinning factory, it will begin using domestic material. Belgian equipment will be used in the factory.
Ball Textiles is a Kazakh-Turkish Joint Venture and is a part of the Industrialisation Map programme; it is not financed by the national budget, but entirely with private funds. The factory is profitable thanks to its quality and price.
This year, another carpet factory, Esenzhol Nazar, is to be launched in the Ontustyk FEZ. The cost of the project is 900 million tenge (US$4.9 million). It will employ up to 60 people. The two carpet businesses will be able to export 3-4 million square metres of carpets per year, according to Saparbek Tuyakbaev, the region’s deputy governor.