OPET FUCHS: A Dream Becomes Reality


OPET FUCHS: A Dream Becomes Reality

The new OPET FUCHS plant, a joint venture between FUCHS and the Turkish company OPET, will begin production in October 2018. In Aliaga, 50 kilometers (30 miles) north of Izmir, Turkey’s most modern lubricant plant is currently under construction.

“Building this plant has been a dream for years. We have been working on this project for a long time and have examined lots of different designs. We will soon be opening one of the most modern plants in the FUCHS GROUP – we’re quite sure of that. And we are very grateful for the help of FUCHS’ experts.”

Murat Seyhan, Managing Director OPET FUCHS

A total of around €22 million have been invested in the new plant. Its maximum capacity, at 60,000 tons a year, will be 30 percent higher than that of the factory built 25 years ago in Cigli, which is soon to close. “We could no longer expand at that location and it was very cramped, which increased the risk of accidents. Moreover, the conditions there were not ideal for environmental, health and safety requirements,” says Umut Aksoy, CTO of OPET FUCHS and Project Manager, as he explains the motivation for building the new plant.

“In Aliaga we have a direct link to the Tupras Izmir Aliaga refinery, the only company in Turkey producing group I base oils, and from which we have leased a 55,000 square meter plot, adds Aksoy, outlining the advantages of the new plant. “We are also able to further expand our capacity and portfolio, thus steadily improving our position in the Turkish market.” The plant will produce a wide range of lubricants for the automotive sector and industry, as well as specialties such as antifreeze agents.

The new plant in Aliaga has 30 percent more capacity than the old one in Cigli.

The OPET FUCHS team supervised the construction of the new plant.

Technical highlights include a fully automatic control system to manage the manufacturing process, and a drum decanting system, which will be used to remove the precise quantities of additive components required from barrels and containers. “This will lead to improved processes and better traceability,” Aksoy is convinced, “but it will also lead to a reduction in contamination and reduced losses of raw materials.”

One of the biggest challenges during the construction phase was that the plans for the plant repeatedly had to be adjusted to reflect new strategies and changes to the product portfolio. “In order to stay within the allocated budget and meet the desired quality standards we didn’t hand the project over to a construction company as a turnkey order. Instead we organized over 50 tenders and had our own team supervise implementation,” explains the OPET FUCHS manager. “We also discussed and decided on a lot of details working closely with colleagues at FUCHS.”

This collaboration was a very positive experience for Aksoy and his team. “We visited FUCHS SCHMIERSTOFFE in Germany and the FUCHS subsidiaries in the UK and China, as well as ALHAMRANI FUCHS in Saudi Arabia,” he recalls. “And we also studied FUCHS projects in Russia and Brazil. All of the FUCHS departments and divisions supported us throughout the whole project, gave us all the information we needed and helped us whenever they could; that was a key factor in getting the plant built to this high standard.”

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