Evyap Group to shift bar soap manufacturing to Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Evyap Holding AS, one of the world’s largest privately owned soap manufacturers, plans to shift its production of bar soaps from Turkey to Malaysia by the end of this year.

The group, which has a wholly-owned subsidiary in Malaysia called Evyap Sabun Malaysia Sdn Bhd, established a production facility in Tanjung Langat, Johor, at the end of 2014.

Evyap Sabun Malaysia vice-chairman Martin Rudolph said the group’s plan to shift production from Turkey was due to cost-effectiveness.

“We have different suppliers in Malaysia and Indonesia,” he told a press conference yesterday.

“The cost savings are definitely decent,” he added, but declined to reveal numbers.

Evyap Group, a family business founded by Mehmet Rifat Evyap in 1927, had decided to shift the feedstock of its soaps from tallow to palm oil in 2010 in an effort to move in line with other companies in the personal care industry which had also shifted to palm oil as feedstock.

Rudolph said Evyap personal care products are expected to hit Malaysian shelves “very soon”.

He said the group produced 136,660 tonnes of bar soaps in 2014, which were channelled to its captive consumption. The Malaysian plant has a production capacity of 150,000 tonnes of bar soaps per year, he added.

Overall, the local plant has the capacity to produce bar soaps and other oleochemical products totalling 350,000 tonnes per year.

So far, Evyap Group has invested US$200 million (RM876 million) in the plant, 60% of which is used.

“We have another 40% of idle land that we can use [to expand] further,” he added.

Rudolph also said the group’s facility in Johor currently caters to more than 120 customers due to its enlarged footprint in over 100 countries.

The group is also planning to expand its current customer base in Europe and Africa, to include Nigeria and Kenya.