Entering the Turkish market with a giant acquisition of 1.4 billion euros a year and a half ago, Vitol is determined to grow and invest in Turkey. Petrol Ofisi CEO Selim Şiper told Turkish daily Sabah in an exclusive interview published yesterday that the company is the market leader by a landslide with 753 dealers and a share of 22 percent.
Emphasizing that a company investing in such a large operation is obliged to have a long-term view of the market they have entered, Şiper noted that although the market was disrupted in 2018, fuel consumption in Turkey will increase.
Şiper said they are the only supplier of giant investments such as Istanbul Airport and Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge. "As a formerly state-owned company, we are able to do this service effectively. Our facilities are in a position to support such large-scale investments. These activities constitute one-third of our business," he added. Regarding Vitol's view of Turkey, Şiper said they come to the fore as Turkey's biggest importer and market leader, controlling over one-fifth of the fuel market, stressing a company that decided to enter the Turkish market with such a giant structure will, of course, be permanent with a long-term view of the country. "Turkey's young population and vehicle ownership rates are far behind Europe, showing that the market still has a high potential," he said.
Further elaborating on their investment plans, Petrol Ofisi CEO stated that the size of the Turkish fuel market is TL 350 billion, of which they make about TL 70 billion. "As a 78-year-old company, we do not have the luxury to preserve the situation," he continued. "When we bought it, there was a company that changed five ownerships following the privatization, suffering serious blood loss. We have signed important works on our human resources and our dealership structure. We will grow with new investments. We have an annual investment budget of over TL 1 billion."
Touching on the company's role in the major projects recently realized in Turkey, Şiper highlighted that they are the only fuel supplier in the construction phase of Istanbul Airport, which means the sale of 30-40 stations of average size per year, adding they also supply for the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge, Çanakkale Bridge and the Niğde-Ankara Motorway. "State tenders have always been important to us. The reason for our existence is to support government investments. We are a company created with Turkey's resources," he said.
Şiper said the Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EMRA) is one of the most active players of the regulatory institutions in Turkey. "If a bird flies in energy, EMRA knows about it," he further argued. "We have a notion that the West is better than us at many things. I am against this. No country in the world has the automation system we have. Today there is no product smuggling in Turkey. In the past, tankers used to smuggle fuel. EMRA has taken this business seriously since its establishment."