Founded in 1928 as a small enterprise in Sweden, Nynas celebrates its 90th anniversary as a leading company in the lubricants industry. This year, there is another excitement in the company's Turkey office. We made an interview with Güney Devrim İldiri, new General Director of Nynas Turkey, and learned about the future objectives of the company.
First of all we congratulate you and wish you success in your new task. Can we get to know you closely?
After graduating from Galatasaray High School in 1995, I have completed my undergraduate study in Mechanical Engineering at Istanbul Technical University, and then my graduate study in Systems & Control Engineering at Boğaziçi University and in Mechanical Engineering at University of Texas at Austin.
I have started my professional career in the USA as an Industrial Engineer Specialist. For the last 20 years, I have been working for/in energy companies like ExxonMobil, Socar and Akenerji. Using the large spectrum of energy sector, I have taken diverse challenges involving variety of products, customers, sectors and distribution channels in Turkey, the Balkans and former Soviet Union Turkic Countries. Today, besides my General Manager role in Nynas Naphthenics Turkey, I am teaching Energy Politics & Strategy in Galatasaray University and acting as a member of Bilgi University Energy Systems Engineering Advisory Board.
Nynas is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year. Could you briefly tell the story of Nynas, which has become an important player in global lubricant industry today?
It is an exciting history of how a small Swedish oil company was transformed into a leading international operator with a focus on special products. It was back in 1928 that the refinery in Nynäshamn, just south of Stockholm, was taken into operation. The history of Nynas could start to unfold. In 90 years, Nynas changed its strategy in response to changed environmental factors and took a step out into the European and then also the global market. The driving force was the two energy crises in the 1970s, which resulted in Nynas choosing to abandon the fuel market and focus instead on a small number of specialist products. The strong traditions of research and development were one contributory reason why this bold transition was successful.
In parallel with the expansion in bitumen, significant investments were made in order to strengthen the production of naphthenic specialty oils. This involved not least of all development work in the field of catalyst and hydrogenation technology, which resulted in, among other things, the launch of a new kind of transformer oil. Gradually the product range widened to include special oils for items including graphical paint, tyres and industrial lubricants.
One key factor in managing the international expansion was the fact that a global distribution network was gradually built up. This made it possible to meet the market’s strict requirements for safety, service and cost-efficiency. Thanks to its access to a large number of local depots, with Antwerp, Houston and Singapore as central hubs, Nynas can now deliver products to almost any location in the world, around 150 countries.
Nynas is a different kind of oil company. We want to use oil, not burn it. We have made it our business to unlock the full potential of oil.
For how many years have you been operating in Turkey? How do you evaluate the Turkish market?
Nynas Turkey was established in 1999, headquartered in Istanbul. We certainly have a stable foundation locally on which to stand and we are now taking new steps to further develop the business, both in product terms and with regard to logistics and service. This is an element of our long-term growth strategy as the leading supplier of naphthenic specialty oils in Turkey.
Naphthenic products that we are offering to Turkish market are mainly manufactured at our two state-of-the-art refineries; Nynäshamn (Sweden) and Harburg (Germany) Refineries. Nynas Turkey is dedicated to supplying specialty naphthenic oils for our Turkish customers and international customers located in Turkey serving a growing global market. Together with our customers, we have the know-how to meet new challenges, and find new applications which can help to shape the market.
What are your objectives for the Turkish market?
All of four Nynas focus industries have very strong local establishment and growth potential. Our objective is to strengthen our leading position in transformer and tyre industries, and increase our market share in lubricant and chemical & manufacturing industries.
What about the global lubricants market? How do you evaluate the current situation?
We believe that the changing base oil landscape, difficulties in sourcing lithium hydroxide and several dynamics currently affecting the industrial lubricants, will increase demand for naphthenics.
Looking specifically at the base oil market, we can expect a more pressurised supply situation as the rationalisation of Group I production capacity continues. This in turn means there will be a global shortage of base stock and high viscosity base oil products. Nynas’ naphthenic specialty oil range can fill the gap that Group I rationalisation creates, as they offer both the required viscosity and unrivalled solvency.
In metalworking, regulations are substantially changing for additives, while new machining techniques and materials are reshaping fluid formulations.
In the past year, grease manufacturers have faced difficulties in sourcing lithium hydroxide, a key raw material for making greases thicker. Bearing in mind that about 75% of the world’s grease supply is based on lithium, you can appreciate the extent of the problem as well as the intensive search under way for alternatives.
Well, what is your company policy to overcome such challenges?
Whatever the challenge, Nynas’ world-leading technical team is here to help our customers improve their products by exploiting the benefits of naphthenic specialty oils.
For example, with our new high viscosity base oil NYNAS™ T 600, which is clear and bright in appearance, we further extended the range of solutions which Nynas offers globally to the grease and lubricant industry. We advise that NYNAS T 600 is suitable for all applications where high viscosity and high solvent power are critical, and it offers several advantages over paraffinic oils, including excellent low-temperature properties. The new base oil is an ideal component for lubricating greases, where it improves process economies with a reduction of Lithium soap up to 50%. NYNAS T 600 is also suitable for use in several industrial lubricant formulations, such as gear oil, metal rolling and forming. Formulators can also use NYNAS T 600 naphthenic base oil in combination with paraffinic oils to increase viscosity, improve low-temperature performance, and enhance additive solubility as a result of its excellent solvency.
As we know, you use hydrotreatment technology. What does it mean and what advantages does it offer?
Hydrotreatment is one of our specialities. Few oil companies hydrotreat their distillates as rigorously as we do. How does it work? The distillate is mixed with hydrogen gas at high pressure and temperature over a catalyst bed in the reactor. This 'treatment' removes sulphur and nitrogen, while also reducing aromatic content. The result? A very clean product, ideal for many applications.
By using severe hydrotreatment to remove carcinogenic molecules from oils, we guarantee high level of quality required to meet the regulatory standards for consumer products. We are aware of how we can help our customers become more cost-effective and productive with products that are designed to optimize their processes.