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As compared with 2012, in 2013 the Armenian-German JV ELBAT CJSC, a manufacturer of lead acid batteries, is going to increase its output by 35% to 82 thsd units, Gagik Mkrtchyan, Chief Commercial Officer of ELBAT CJSC, said at today's press conference.
He said that in 2012 the plant produced 62 thsd batteries, and all of them were sold. In 2012, Elbat CJSC's share in the domestic market was 32% and in 2013 it may grow to 35-37%, he said. Mkrtchyan added that more than half of the batteries manufactured in 2012 were sold in the domestic market, and the rest of the batteries were exported to Russia, Georgia, the U.A.E. and Turkmenistan.
The Chief Commercial Officer said that the company connects the further growth with export, as the capacity of the domestic market is limited. "The productive capacity of the plant is up to 250 thsd batteries. There is only one flow line. The domestic market cannot accept such a big volume of products, therefore, export expansion is our priority task", said Mkrtchyan. To note, there are nearly 460 thsd transport vehicles in Armenia.
Mkrtchyan pointed out that the company is actively working to expand the export. Some small pilot batches were delivered to Iran. This year Elbat CJSC has won tenders on delivery of the batteries to Georgia and Russia, particularly, to the Cheboksary Tractor Plant and the Ulyanovsk Automobile Plant. "We have established good ties in Russia and we hope that they will lead to long-term cooperation", he said.
Director General of ELBAT CJSC Yerem Chakhoyan pointed out that the company is planning to increase its output due to manufacture of a new series of batteries. In 1 or 2 months the issue of production of hybrid batteries will be tackled and the tests will be completed by the end of 2013. It is also planned to set up production of unserviceable calcium batteries. He pointed out that it is planned to strengthen the plant's positions in the domestic market by opening 3
or 4 technical maintenance centers in the regions. At present there is such a center in Yerevan. The center provides free technical maintenance of batteries and free diagnostics of electric systems of automobiles, which is another competitive advantage of the plant. ELBAT CJSC mostly competes with Russian and Ukrainian manufacturers, as well as with importers of Chinese, Korean and Turkish batteries.
It is noteworthy that the residents of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic mostly purchase Armenian batteries and nobody buys the Turkish ones, he said. The prices of the Armenian batteries are quite competitive though the batteries are produced by European technologies, and the main raw materials, including the lead, are imported from Europe, Chakhoyan said. The plant supplies the Armenian Army with batteries. The large companies of the republic are the plant's corporate clients. The plant has 143 employees, with the average salary being 170 thsd AMD.
To note, ELBAT CJSC has obtained the following certificates: ISO 9001:2008 - Quality Management System, ISO 14001:2004 - Environmental Management System. 51% of the shares belong to Cronimet Mining, and the rest - to the residents of Armenia.