Thanks for taking 10 minutes out with gasworld. What have we interrupted in your schedule today?

It’s my pleasure!  Thank you for sparing time to talk about Karbonsan Pressure Vessels. We are currently in the planning phase for some programmes. I was in a meeting, planning how to design our new employee training kits. I believe this project will be quite efficient to orient the newcomers to the Karbonsan family. The key topic of my schedule has been a review of our 2015 marketing strategies with my colleagues.

Perhaps you could tell us a little about Karbonsan?

Karbonsan, one of the subsidiaries of Aytemiz Group of Companies, operates from its manufacturing and warehouse facilities in Bursa, Turkey, 20km away from the port. It is strategically positioned to support both the domestic and major international markets.

Karbonsan designs and manufactures cryogenic bulk tanks, semi-trailers, ISO tank containers and rigid tankers for liquid nitrogen, liquid oxygen, liquid argon, liquid carbon dioxide, and LNG, stationary tanks, rigid tankers and semi-trailers for oil products, LPG and carbon dioxide, evaporators and vacuum insulated piping. Karbonsan is increasingly focused on LNG storage and application systems including satellite and filling stations, and ship and vehicle fuelling systems for LNG.  We are involved in many tailor-made projects, while Karbonsan also deals with the repair and refurbishment of cryogenic vessels of all sizes and pressures.

Karbonsan celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2014. What are the company’s plans for 2015?

We decided to increase our capacity in late 2014 and have already started construction activity on our site. We are planning to complete this investment early in the second quarter of 2015. Upon completion of the expansion, we will be able to manufacture engineered tanks up to 600m3 there, while this capacity increase will enable us to better utilize our time and efficiently provide the level of service that Karbonsan customers expect. We are also planning to focus on LNG storage and application systems, satellite and filling stations, and ship and vehicle fuelling systems for LNG in 2015.

What direction do you see the company heading in in the future?

The thing I like about Karbonsan is that its international sales-based. Turkey’s geographical location brings us many advantages to reach many active markets in a cost-effective way - 90% of our turnover came from export sales in 2014. This will be a very big challenge for us to maintain in the future. Turkey is our front yard and we are able to penetrate the market whenever we like... We simply put our eggs into different baskets.

What can you tell us about the industrial gases market in Turkey?

Turkey is one of the largest industrial gas markets in the region. The constant growth trend of the Turkish industrial gases market and the stability of the country’s economy appeal to international gas companies.

The strength of the steel industry brings ‘mushroom’ growth in new onsite gas plants with liquefaction units. It will not be surprising to me if the main gas players keep acquiring small-sized gas distributors which supply their needs and those of the steel mills. Also, the operation of gas plants belonging to steel mills may be taken over by the main gas players in short term.

The end of turmoil alongside the southern borders of Turkey means new opportunities for industrial gas companies in the mid-term, as well, while the young population, coupled with new refinery investments and capacity increases, will provide new opportunities for the gas companies.

What does the future hold for pressure vessel manufacturing?

Pressure vessel manufacturers are always expected to offer innovative and flexible products at competitive prices. Cryogenic tanks are becoming commodity products and most customers are evaluating the price as their sole selection criteria without regard for safety, quality, efficiency, know-how, lifecycle cost, innovation, and technology. Such adversities become a challenge for the manufacturers as they are forced to make a preference.

What’s the last stamp in your passport?

Houston International Airport - I was there for World LNG 2015. This conference was important for Karbonsan as it was the first exhibition that Karbonsan has attended in the US.

Come to think of it, my next trip will be to Poland and, not surprisingly, it will be related again with LNG, a strongly growing field in the cryogenics business.