Genis Antel relocate beamhouse operation

16 October 2006

As a result of a two-year project, Spanish doubleface specialists Genis Antel have relocated their beamhouse processing to Brazil. The new facility, which will be known as GAB (Genis Antel Brazil) covers an area of 7,000 sq m and will process Spanish skins selected by Genis Antel Vic. Production of crust got underway at GAB in May 2006. Genis Antel are a family-owned company which began tanning in Vic, Catalunya, in 1880. For the past 35 years, they have specialised in processing doubleface from Spanish Merino skins. In a 50:50 partnership with Brespel (owned by the Heeger family of Brazil), Genis Antel have had a manufacturing presence in Brazil for 28 years. The new tannery is located on land adjacent to the existing Brespel plant in Alagoinhas, 100km north of Salvador de Bahia. GAB shares an effluent treatment plant with neighbouring Brespel. This was constructed two years ago to the high standards required by the Brazilian environment agency. The tannery houses the latest beamhouse machinery which has been moved across from Genis Antel in Vic, including Rotopel tanning drums and Capdevila ironing machines for crust. The facility has the capacity to process 6 million sq ft, or around 5,000 doubleface skins/day. The Spanish skins, which will be processed at GAB, are transported in a salted state by container ship to Brazil where they are processed to crust and are then shipped back to be finished and dyed at Genis Antel Vic. Maria Genis, manager and fifth generation of the family involved in the business, told Leather International that 'for reasons of globalisation and to reduce costs, Genis Antel decided to relocate the beamhouse operation and produce crust.' This resulted in almost half of the staff in Vic being made redundant in the summer of last year when the beamhouse operation was relocated. Genis Antel's finishing and dyeing operations will remain in Vic 'to keep the added value in Spain where we have many years of expertise in finishing. Our clients in markets including the USA, Europe and South East Asia demand the highest quality.' GAB currently employ 30 people, but once the tannery attains full capacity (planned for January 2007) the number of employees is projected to rise to 70. Genis stated: 'There is a technician from Genis Antel Vic based permanently in Alagoinhas, and staff will obviously have the support of the company's expert staff in Spain.' The venture has involved an investment of €3.5million. She added that 'relocating operations to Brazil is more costly than to Asian countries but it is more secure as the company have been in operation there for many years and are familiar with the business culture, law etc.' In 2007, Genis Antel Vic will need 4 million skins per year and from January 2007, GAB will be able to provide this. Genis Antel Vic are moving to other premises in an industrial park where they will have a more modern factory. The additional capacity available at GAB will enable the company to contract tan skins as far as crust from countries such as Chile, Peru, Argentina and Uruguay for clients in the region using the latest machinery and Genis Antel expertise. The additional capacity will enable GAB to sell crust made from high quality Spanish skins to clients all over the world.

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