Azerbaijan is famous for its pleasant climate and rich natural resources. Since ancient times its people have not used a lot of medication, and rather heal with the help of recuperative water, fresh air, light and other home remedies.
Fortunately, there are more than 1000 mineral springs in Azerbaijan, mostly spread in the mountainous regions. This abundance of curative and balmy kinds of mineral water is a God-given gift.
Some of the mineral springs are located in the autonomous Republic of Nakhchivan. Named by the Azerbaijani scientists as "the museum of natural springs", Nakhcivan is the homeland of more than 250 "exhibits". According to calculations, mineral water sources in the region produce about 24 million liters of water daily.
The most valuable mineral water deposits of Nakhchivan are Sirab, Badamli, Vaykhir, Daridag, Nahajir, Gizilvang, Jahri, Gamur, Gahab, Dasta and others, with their extremely balneological hydro resources and diversity encompassing all types of carbon-carbonate, carbon- chloride and sulfur waters.
The Sirab mineral water source is located in Nakhchivan`s Babek region in the slope of a mountain, 1100 meters above sea level. Derived from the name of the same village- Sirab, it means Sir ab- mysterious water, or Persian "Ser ab" - main (head) water.
'Containing a life in every drop', the mineral spring has been known to people since ancient times. Local people always derived benefit from the vitality of this spring both for drinking and medical purposes, and firmly trusted its medication power, regarding it as a "holy place of God".
And, since ancient times humans have settled down around the mineral water sources. Dashgala cavern belonging to the Bronze Age near the Sirab village is a proof of primitive communities` habitation in this area.
The source of the Sirab mineral water is in the bare mountains terrain, which due to the different minerals have turned the soil into colorful shades, interchangeably green, pink and red in color.
There are basically three mineral water basins in Sirab: Kalbaaghil, Shorsudara and Kutandagh. Even the chemical compound of these waters is different from each other. Water in Kalbaaghil basin is mined from the 250 meters of depth, and included in the Georgian Borjomi type water group for its low-mineralized, carbon dioxide, hydrocarbonate-calcium-natrium peculiarities.
Sirab water is consumed both in aerated and non-aerated forms. Sirab`s product, which is enriched with carbon dioxide, is not recommended for people suffering from hyperoside gastritis.
Besides drinking the water, people can have a Sirab bath. While taking a bath, carbon dioxide separates from the water and is absorbed in the skin. Further, it enters the blood through skin pores and affects the blood circulating on the brain. It helps breathing, correct rhythm of heart muscles, the normalization of metabolism, and activation of blood pressure.
Sirab contains iron, bromine, lithium, strontsium and other useful chemical elements. Relating to the volcanic origin waters, it is also useful in the treatment of gastro-intestinal, liver, kidney, urinary and other diseases. According to the experimental and clinical study of Sirab`s reaction with the functioning of the pancreas, it was found out that the water increases the activity of the pancreas.
Since the Soviet period, Sirab mineral water has taken an important place in the Azerbaijani economy and gained great fame and demand in the former Soviet republics, both as drinking water and for medical means.
The Sirab mineral water deposit was initially used for the industrial purposes, when the Sirab mineral water butlery plant was constructed in 1950-1951.
In 1960-1964, precise geological explorations were carried out in the Sirab mineral water deposit. Three types of water were found and the water reserves of the deposit were estimated and approved by the Moscow State Reserves Commission in 1968. Based on this discovery, the largest mineral water filling plant was put into operation in Azerbaijan in 1968.
The water of the 'Sirab-12' well in the Kalbaaghil basin has been produced and brought into massive use.
In 1982, by the order of the Sirab mineral water plant, capping well No. 2-k/82 was drilled by the Azerminsugeokaptaj republic expedition.
The following year, Sirab mineral water deposits in the territory of Shorsudara, 1-k and 3/83 wells were drilled.
The aim of drilling the well was to provide the free spring of water to the surface and to minimize the waste of water. 2-k well was drilled 25 meters distance from well No.12 and its output at 250 meters depth was 1250 m3 per day.
After the collapse of the USSR, output of the Sirab mineral water rapidly decreased due to the cut off the economic relations and the blockade of Nakhichivan AR.
Since Sirab mineral water plant stopped functioning for a long period, problems with all its equipment occurred.
Heydar Aliyev national leader of the Azerbaijan Republic played a great role in the entrepreneurship development in the Azerbaijan Republic. As a direct result, the Sirab mineral water plant operating independently since the late 1990's became an open Joint-Stock Company on July 14, 2003 by the decision of the Ministry of the Economic Development of Nakhchivan AR.
Since operating as Babak Sirab OJSC, the projects for maintenance and construction work were prepared and almost all planned works were fulfilled. The reconstruction works were carried out in the plant after it became a Joint-Stock Company and the manufactory, administrative and the subsidiary buildings either were repaired or restored. Babak "Sirab" OJSC purchased modern equipment by establishing corporations with several European firms.
Conditions for the development of entrepreneurship in Azerbaijan based on modern production technology allowed the creation of a new type of enterprise. At present two production departments operate in the plant. Five technological lines were installed in those departments. Two flow lines were installed in the main workshop with equipment brought from Russia and Turkey. The production capacity of the equipment working with this conveyor method is high.7500 bottles are filled per hour in both flow lines. Three flow lines are installed in the workshop working with screw capped glass bottles. Used for 0.33 Lt and 0.5 Lt containers, these three lines in one department and 0.25 Lt, 0.5 Lt, 1.5 Lt of the Pet bottles in the second department produce 4000 units per hour. Their production is meeting the world's standards.
During the past half-century, the company has been nominated and awarded a lot of prizes. The Babak Sirab OJSC was awarded with a gold medal in May, 2005 "For High Quality in Business" in Geneva, Switzerland. Also the Babak Sirab OJSC gained the international certificate of ISO 9001:2000 in February 2008.
The natural mineral drinking water Sirab has been awarded "Quality Diploma" for best product at the exhibition "Worldfood Kazakhstan" held in Almaty, Kazakhstan on November, 2011.
The company has defined its three main targets as production of a high quality product meeting the world standards, to export the produced product to the world market, and to make use of the latest achievements in technology.
Sirab is considered to be the best example of healing carbon dioxide water in recent years, being Nakhchivan`s most popular brand of mineral water.
From the foundation day of the plant to the present, natural mineral medical- drinking water Sirab has won deserved recognition for its curative properties and great taste by consumers, not only in Azerbaijan but also in Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, Iran, and other countries.
Currently, the company is bottling carbonated and non-carbonated natural drinking water in PET and glass bottles of different sizes at reasonable prices available for everyone.
These waters bring currency to the country. Favorable conditions for currency flow to the country have been established with the implementation of targeted measures both in Azerbaijan and in the Nakhchivan Autonomic Republic.
Armenia`s occupation of Azerbaijani lands makes transportation difficult. The cargo now has to be loaded on trucks in Iran. In spite of difficulties with cargo transportation, Nakhchivan is becoming a world exporter of mineral water to many foreign countries.