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Etra Seeks to Boost Diesel Trade in Turkey as Demand Increases
The Istanbul-based company plans to boost volume it handles to 500,000 metric tons this year, Fatih Aydin, managing partner at Etra, said in an interview March 22. Aydin, who was a derivatives trader at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) (GS), founded the company a year ago with ex-Royal Dutch Shell Plc staff to trade diesel, gasoil and bitumen, or asphalt.
Turkey’s crude and oil product imports grew 6.4 percent in 2012 to 29.5 million tons, including 19.5 million of crude and 8.4 million of diesel, according to the Ankara-based energy market regulator’s website. Diesel consumption rose 9.1 percent to 7.4 million tons in the first half of last year, according to Petroleum Industry Association.
Etra estimates Turkey’s diesel use will climb as much as 3 percent this year, while consumption of bitumen will increase as much 9 percent. Bitumen is derived from crude oil and is used in road construction.
“Turkey’s diesel demand is about 15 million tons and Etra wants to meet 2.5 percent of this this year,” Aydin said. International traders such as Trafigura Beheer BV, Glencore International Plc (GLEN) and Vitol SA (0170329D) are already active in Turkey, selling products to local retail fuel distributors, Aydin said.
Etra buys bitumen and diesel from refineries in Italy and Greece through off-take agreements, Aydin said, declining to specify which plants. The company is negotiating with refiners in neighboring countries to import the products.
The main buyers of bitumen are construction companies that build roads on government contracts, he said. Etra also has consumers in West and North Africa, he said.
Turkey’s bitumen demand is about 3 million tons a year and Tupras Turkiye Petrol Rafinerileri AS (TUPRS), the country’s sole refiner owned by Koc Holding AS (KCHOL), supplies 2.5 million tons, Aydin said. “We are aiming to meet most of the remaining 500,000 tons,” he said. The product currently costs about $600 a ton in Turkey, he said.
Etra, which plans to build fuel storage tanks in Turkey with a minimum capacity of 100,000 tons, is also seeking to enter the natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas wholesale markets, Aydin said.
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