Established in 1993 Petroyag, Türkiye’s leading supplier of industrial lubricants, restructured lately its operations as group company. Leading the group, the brand “Petroyag Lubricants” serves over 700 domestic customers across nearly 20 industrial sectors. The brands “Proil” and “Coral” transform the company’s R&D and innovation efforts into new business ideas aligned with industry trends and value-added projects.
With over 30 years of experience and credibility in industrial oils, Petroyag, which has established its reputation domestically and proven its worth, now holds a more ambitious agenda for globalization. The company, exporting to more than 45 countries through 16 international distributors, will attain a comprehensive logistic capability across the entire continent with its planned new investment in Northern Europe. Following its establishment in Georgia, Petroyag is preparing to expand its geographical presence with its new facility in Europe and aiming to increase its export volume from 30% to 45%.
Petroyag Group, which serves as a reference point for foreign investors aiming to do business in Türkiye, is open to global collaborations to become a recognized company worldwide. The company’s R&D and innovation efforts also provide advantage to this globalization vision.
Petroyağ, being listed in Istanbul Chamber of Commerce’s (İTO) second top 500 industrial enterprises and among the top 500 companies of Anatolia, is also represented in TÜSİAD and Kocaeli Chamber of Industry. As the first Turkish company to be a member of Union of the European Lubricants Industry (UEIL), Petroyag plays a crucial role in this position.
We had a pleasant conversation with Esat Güven, Petroyag Group Operations Director, where we discussed the corporate transformation, the company has undergone and its future goals.
Could you tell us about Petroyag’s general profile?
As Petroyag, since our establishment in 1993, we have continued to elevate the quality of industrial oils, producing products that affect every aspect of human life across a wide spectrum, from iron and steel to cosmetics, from food to textile, from metal processing to agriculture. While providing services both domestically and internationally with our highly specialized products across 20 different sectors, we contribute added value to the country’s economy through the innovative solutions we offer to our business partners at our R&D Center. Our main goal is to extend this added value to all industrial sectors abroad. Today we export to more than 45 countries. We have distributors in 16 countries. We are ranked 5th in our sector in terms of exports. We aim to achieve rapid growth in the international market with our value-added products.
What are the production capacity and technical capabilities of your facility in Gebze?
Our company, Petroyag Lubricants, continues its operations at the facility established in the Gebze Organized Industrial Zone in 2013, with a capacity of 50,000 tons. We carry out our production very efficiently with a capacity of 7,000 tons of bulk storage and 3,000 tons for packaged storage, fully automated control systems, and modern filling stations. With a strong infrastructure and accurate connections, we deliver our products to every corner of the world rapidly and reliably.
Could you share more details about the reorganization of Petroyag as a group company?
It is an important strategic decision. First of all, we have a very strong R&D structure. When the products we put forward here exceed a certain budget threshold, rather than transforming these projects within the Petroyag Lubricants framework, we have adopted a strategy of specialization and commercialization in the frame of different companies through appropriate infrastructure investments.
Petroyag is an outstanding brand in the industry. The majority of our customers consist of leading industrial organizations. Therefore, with “Petroyag Lubricants” as our main flagship company, we have reorganized ourselves as “Petroyag Group”, alongside “Proil Oleo Chemicals”, a rapidly advancing entity in the field of vegetable oils and derivatives, and our company “Coral Innovative Solutions”, which we believe will make a significant impact on the future with a substantial product portfolio in the biotechnology sector and will export over 90% of its production.
Together with our companies “Serchem Industrial” and “Soypet” based in Georgia, the total production capacity of Petroyag Group companies reaches 70,000 tons. We aim to increase our export volume, which we have raised from 10% to 30% in the last 3 years, to 40% within the next 3 years. This new reorganization has begun to provide us with a significant competitive advantage in the field of R&D and innovative products. We aim to enhance our operational flexibility within Europe by making an investment in Northern Europe similar to the one in Georgia in a short time.
Could you describe the R&D, innovation and laboratory studies carried out in your facility?
Finding place in the global market and creating value added exports are achieved through R&D. Indeed, in today’s world where conditions are becoming more challenging day by day, the sole path to gaining a competitive edge is to create value added products. As Petroyag Group, we are reaping the rewards of our longstanding R&D and innovation efforts as well as ambitiously preparing for a sustainable future.
As I mentioned before, our R&D and innovation efforts have played a pivotal role in the establishment of our brands Coral and Proil, as well as in the consequent reorganization as a group company. Therefore, we strived to transform the knowledge we generate and the data we acquire into business ideas, commercialize them, enhance efficiency, and successfully provide tailor-made solutions to our customers.
New products and new application areas are our indispensables. In this context, out R&D department has been conducting these efforts since the early years. With the establishment of our officially approved R&D Center by Ministry of Industry and Technology in 2016, our efforts intensified and became more institutionalized. We began offering opportunities for academics, PhD and master’s degree experts to work in the private sector. We supported the training and professional development of our staff. Today, our R&D Center employs a competent team of 23 individuals, including academics and qualified experts, who are working on 9 different projects.
Similarly, our vegetable product laboratory at Proil Oleo Chemicals and our micro biotechnology and chemistry laboratories, along with our cell culture laboratory at Coral Innovative Solution, are all engaging in highly impactful value added work through strong collaborations and support. Coral Innovative Solution is pursing 1 project within the scope of the “Center of Excellence Support Program” under the Protection and National Treatment Platform. On the other hand, Proil Oleo Chemicals continues its studies with 1 project in the TUBITAK 1501 Industrial R&D Support Program.
Petroyag has successfully increased its export volume from 10% to 30% over the past 3 years. The company aims to expand its geographical presence in Northern Europe and increase its export volume to 40% by implementing the “express logistic hub” project in Europe.
Upon entering your facility, we encountered a very staff-friendly environment. How does your HR policy differ from other companies in its aspects?
Over the last 5 years, as Petroyag Group we have taken significant strides towards institutionalization. First and foremost, we have restructured our HR department as “People and Culture” department under the “Corporate Development Directorate”. Our intention in doing so was to establish a strong connection between our corporate culture and the value we place onto people. This is because we value individuals and believe that when our employees find a harmonious and trustworthy environment, they can work more productively and efficiently. For this purpose, we implemented numerous practices and innovations. “Mentorship” and “HR Listens” project, along with motivational activities, are among the foremost of these. As a company that has achieved a growth in employment of nearly 50% over the past 5 years, we consider our personnel policy as one of the priorities for our company’s success. We are committed to enhancing working conditions, providing social benefits, and supporting our employees in their professional development.
Having been active in the oleo chemicals sector for over 5 years, Proil aims to increase its market share in the field of bio-based lubricants and chemicals by staying abreast of industry trends. Established in 2021, Coral Innovative Solutions is focused on conducting long-term R&D projects in the field of biotechnology.
In addition, Petroyag Group, through Coral Company, also manages projects in various sectors, rapidly expanding product diversity and application areas through intensive collaboration with universities and industrial organizations.
Petroyag, ranking 3rd in the Turkish industrial oil market with a 24% share and having a main customer group primarily composed of companies within the top 500, is steadily progressing on the path of globalization.
As the company has become a significant player in the EMEA region, it delivers end-to-end services in manufacturing, sales and R&D through its collaborations.
The climate crisis and environmental issues are placing new responsibilities on the industrial sector. As Petroyag, what steps are you taking regarding sustainability and the circular economy?
Our group companies believe in the significance of sustainable development to contribute to people’s quality of life. We consider efficiency, innovation, branding, foreign trade, societal contribution, environment, employee development and awareness as integral parts of our circular economy policy, and we conduct all our practices with this understanding.
In our operational activities, preventing environmental pollution, reducing our emissions as part of the fight against climate change, and prioritizing efficiency in environmental responsibilities such as energy and water management are among our main agendas. We detail these agendas in our management plan, and we keep them continually up-to-date through environmental awareness training and environmental risk analyses. In 2021, with the ISO 50001 energy management system certification we obtained, our slogan became “Wholehearted Support for Energy Efficiency”. We take pride in our efficiency efforts in this regard, managing to keep all our factory energy consumptions below 100 TOE (Ton of oil equivalent).
Could you tell us about current projects and future goals of Petroyag?
Over the past 3 years, we have achieved significant increases in exports, primarily to Europe. Our main strategy and goal is to grow through exports. We are currently working on establishing a new production facility in the northern part of Europe. We will establish a production facility with an initial capacity of 10,000 tons there. We aim to deliver our services rapidly up into the Europe by combining our production capacity and storage capability with the advantage of logistics. We plan to complete this investment by the end of 2023. In order to become a globally recognized company, we are open to global collaborations and partnerships.
About Esat Güven
Born in 1980 in Karabük, Esat Güven is a graduate of the Chemistry Department at Kocaeli University. Güven, who completed his master’s degree in the Department of Educational Sciences in the Institute of Social Sciences of the same university, has been pursuing his professional career at Petroyag Company for 18 years. After undertaking roles in Quality Control, R&D, and Factory Management within the company, Güven continued his work at Petroyag Group as the Operations Director and a member of the Executive Board. He is married and a father of two children.