Sergio Saez Castro, technical sales manager at TURCO Spain, speaks to Tank Cleaning Magazine about the growing success of the company and its plans for the year ahead.
Your company is well known in the tank cleaning market, but could you tell me about its history?
Sixty years ago, TURCO started its activity as a manufacturer of chemicals for the aviation industry, and we have been in business ever since. Aeronautical products are still the company’s core business, but over the years we have diversified into different market sectors. In any case, this experience in the highly complex aerospace industry has given us a very solid technical background, which we use in all our product developments.
How did you get into the tank cleaning market?
Our factory is located very close to the port of Barcelona, one of the most important cargo ports in the Mediterranean. Some of the largest tank cleaning stations in Spain are located in this area and there, in close cooperation with our customers, we developed specific products for the very varied and very complex needs of a tank cleaning centre.
From there, your geographical presence grew?
That’s right. In our region there is also a petrochemical hub near Tarragona, which is also home to several cleaning stations, and in this case the complexity of the cleaning was even greater, which served as a stimulus for us to develop versatile and at the same time effective products for the most complex cases. Today, the vast majority of tank cleaning sites in Spain are our customers. In recent years, we have also expanded our business in the European market, where we are suppliers to some of the most important cleaning centres on the continent. Our presence in countries such as Germany, France, the Netherlands, Belgium and Poland is solid and growing steadily. Our customers, regardless of their size, always count on the support of our technical department to provide solutions for the most difficult problems.
What are the most complex cases you encounter?
Well, the variety of products that are transported in a road tanker or in a tank container is vast, so the biggest requirement of our customers is to have versatile products that can be used for various cases, without needing a specific cleaning agent for each situation.
In addition, it is essential that these products are safe and healthy for the staff, environmentally friendly and, of course, economical. Chemical cleaning is often the most complicated; there is an almost infinite variety of resins, dispersions, latexes, additives, fatty acids, heavy oils.
We have a product that covers many of these scenarios, and effectively replaces dangerous (flammable, toxic) solvents that were traditionally used. Another thing we achieve with our products, and which the operators particularly appreciate, is that they provide effective cleaning without the need to go down into the tank.
We have always been in the habit of carefully advising our customers about the application methods of our products, in order to obtain the best results from them. Thanks to our long experience in this business, we are able to advise the customer and also adapt to the way of working of each of our centres.
We also have products for use in circulation systems, a form of washing present in some large stations, to complement the regular cleaning lanes with high-pressure cleaning heads. Another common demand in some of the most important cleaning sites is the removal of Methylene diphenyl isocyanate (MDI) and toluene diisocyanate (TDI).
These are extremely complicated cases, for which expensive, very high pressure equipment has usually been used, involving arduous and dangerous physical work for the operators. Our solution for these cases has been in use for some time, achieving excellent results with far fewer complications.
What about the washing of food tanks?
Well, as you know, this is a particularly sensitive area, and in recent years there has been great concern on the part of the industry in the development of very demanding standards in this regard.
We have adapted to these standards and we have products for cleaning food tanks, which have specific certificates (NSF) and which also meet kosher requirements. It is a very complete range? Yes, in addition, cleaning plants also frequently use other auxiliary products, for external washing, or for renovation and conditioning of stainless steel or aluminium tanks and silos, or other needs, such as disinfectants, defoamers, deodorisers. All these cases are covered by TURCO products.
What are your current projects?
We already have very promising market contacts in countries outside the EU, so I think we will soon be working with important customers in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.
How do you see the outlook for the sector in this time of crisis, due to the appearance of the coronavirus and all the restrictions that go with it? Curiously, I think that this sector is one of the least affected by the situation. We have noticed that activity has not decreased and in some cases has even grown strongly. However, like everyone else, we are looking forward to getting back to normality, to get back to personal contact with customers, which is always the best way to communicate.
For more information: Visit: turco.spain.com
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