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SOCAR Türkiye ensures end-to-end satisfaction for customers: Fuad Ibrahimov

IFM_Fuad Ibrahimov
Fuad Ibrahimov's visionary approach and commitment to excellence have propelled SOCAR Türkiye towards achieving its goals in the dynamic energy market

Having a wealth of experience and expertise in the energy sector, Fuad Ibrahimov leads the strategic initiatives driving SOCAR Türkiye’s natural gas operations. His leadership ensures the smooth execution of gas-related projects and fosters innovation within the organisation.

With over a decade of experience spanning Türkiye, Azerbaijan, and the United Arab Emirates, Ibrahimov joined SOCAR Türkiye in 2017 as Petrochemicals Commercial Group Director, subsequently assuming key managerial roles across petrochemicals, refinery, and holding headquarters.

Fuad Ibrahimov’s visionary approach and commitment to excellence have propelled SOCAR Türkiye towards achieving its goals in the dynamic energy market. As a key figure in the industry, Ibrahimov’s insights and direction shape the future trajectory of SOCAR Türkiye’s gas business, making him an indispensable asset to the company.

International Finance caught up with Fuad Ibrahimov, who shared his thoughts about SOCAR Türkiye’s natural gas operations, activities undertaken by SOCAR Türkiye, technological advancements and investments made on the gas side, and much more.

Could you provide details regarding the activities undertaken by the SOCAR Türkiye Natural Gas Business Unit?

Within our SOCAR Türkiye Natural Gas Business Unit, we not only offer gas distribution services through our group companies, Bursagaz and Kayserigaz, but also collaborate with SOCAR Enerji Ticaret, which is actively involved in providing services related to the supply, trade, and wholesale of gas and electricity. Our gas portfolio constitutes 6% of Türkiye’s overall consumption, establishing it as one of the most substantial private sector gas portfolios in the country. In the wholesale markets for both electricity and gas, we stand as one of the prominent private sector players in Türkiye. The year 2023 held special significance for us. As SOCAR Türkiye, the largest integrated industrial group in Türkiye, we marked the 15th year of our journey. We also celebrated the 20th anniversary of our group companies, Bursagaz and Kayserigaz.

We operate with the vision of being the preferred energy solution partner for our customers. For years, we have been providing electricity not only to customers within our portfolio but also to our group companies. This year, our electricity end-consumer portfolio volume reached 300 MW, and with our trading transactions, it expanded to 550 MW. Beyond gas and electricity supply, our solution partnership encompasses a diverse array of services, including gas and electricity products, sustainable solutions, green energy initiatives, and rooftop solar panel services meticulously developed with a focus on meeting the specific needs of our customers.

We are currently redesigning our Bursagaz and Kayserigaz Customer Service Centres, Call Centre, and websites to enhance efficiency and user-friendliness. In the prestigious Türkiye Customer Experience Awards, held in September, we were honoured to receive the silver award in the “Best Customer Services” category, recognising our dedicated efforts in enhancing the customer experience. Furthermore, the SOCAR Türkiye Gas Business Unit received two awards from international organisations.

At SOCAR Türkiye, we recognise that our most valuable asset is our employees. Aligned with our motto “Together, We Are Strong,” we have embraced an integrated and technology-oriented management model to optimise and sustain our business operations. With the implementation of our new business model and robust technological support, we have been able to achieve more efficient results right from the outset. Throughout these accomplishments, we have consistently prioritised occupational health and safety, placing it at the core of all our activities.

Could you provide insights into the plans that Kayserigaz and Bursagaz have for the upcoming year? Additionally, are there any new investments planned?

Kayseri and Bursa, being pivotal industrial centres in our country, are highly coveted cities, drawing significant investment and migration. Presently, we provide services to around 2 million subscribers in Bursa and Kayseri. In both cities, our network investments are ongoing at an intensive pace, and our subscriber numbers are increasing day by day.

In Bursa, we have undertaken new investments aimed at optimising our high-pressure gas network within the city, thereby enhancing the security of our supply. In Kayseri, we have devised an investment plan with the goal of extending gas supply to all 16 districts within our licensed area by the end of 2024.

Furthermore, we have planned the construction of new city entry stations to address the additional investment requirements of districts currently utilising gas, thereby reinforcing the security of our gas supply. In the upcoming period, our objective is to sustain our advancements and enhance business continuity and efficiency through the digitalisation of our processes.

Through a dedicated focus on solution orientation and efficiency in our customer interactions, we are committed to advancing our service quality and swiftly adapting to the evolving customer needs within our sector. Our strategy revolves around ensuring end-to-end satisfaction for our customers.

Can you elaborate on the technological advancements and investments made on the gas side?

Similar to all group companies of SOCAR Türkiye, digitalisation remains a focal point and holds paramount importance at both Bursagaz and Kayserigaz. The mobile applications we have launched on the gas side expedite and streamline not only our internal processes but also those of our customers. As an example, the “iTesisat” project we initiated enables the comprehensive management of all field activities related to internal installations through our integrated mobile application. Our proprietary application, utilised by Customer Services, Customer Solution Centre, and Call Centre, has successfully reduced call centre talk and resolution times by 50%, streamlining end-to-end processes. We have upgraded our industrial SCADA solution, enabling the visual monitoring and control of all our underground investments in the gas distribution process, to the latest and most secure version through a technical update. This upgrade has enhanced its resilience in critical aspects, including security, accessibility, and business continuity.

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