ECONOMY

Elin is finding cleaner and safer ways to supply lubricants, fuel to the Greek islands

Two ultramodern tankers are leading the way for oil company Elin’s expansion to major Greek islands such as Rhodes and Crete, Elin CEO Yiannis Aligizakis told Kathimerini in an interview. Apart from an advanced system, Elin Yachting, aimed at safeguarding transparency and product quality, Elin also plans to further expand its business into global markets in addition its lubricant trade in Southeast Asian ports. What is the current standing of Elin in the Greek island fuel supply market? Elin enjoys a leading place in the island fuel supply market, with more than 140 coastal stations, out of its total 480 stations. Our immediate targets include the establishment of the Elin name on the markets of Rhodes and Crete, which we recently started operating with two new, chartered tankers. It is an Elin vision to contribute to the development of sea tourism, since we regard it a one of the country’s most valuable tourism products. What mechanisms do you employ in supplying islands with fuel? Are you satisfied with the two tankers’ functionality? We have put into practice a pioneer idea that replaces the need to have fuel storage facilities on the beautiful Greek islands. Three fuel trucks are carried aboard our modern tankers and are loaded with fuel while the vessels are sailing. The trucks are used to deliver fuel to each island’s stations, then they are taken to the next island, and thus we have achieved a minimal level of disturbance to the islands and residents. The boats themselves, in addition to a large cargo capacity and high speed, are double-hulled and feature a number of advanced systems, such as a bottom loading system, a vapor recycling mechanism to achieve zero gas emissions into the environment, an inactive gas supply network to all parts of the boat and a remote loading and unloading management system to assure maximum environmental protection. Both ships have won Elin two prizes – from Lloyd’s and Ecocity. What are your weapons in dealing with competition in the marina fuel supply market which you recently entered? We have adopted a growth strategy based on the provision of exceptional services, the best fuel quality and a commitment to customer service. In the region of Attica, we supply fuel and lubricants to all of the area’s marinas, and we operate a number of specialized fuel stations in the marinas of Sani Resort, Posto Carras and Samos Pythagorio, as well as in the Olympic marinas of Lavrion, Lefkada and Volos. In addition, we operate as many as 140 onshore fuel stations around the country. Our success so far dictates that we be eager in further investing and serving our customers through a special set of Elin Yachting services. What exactly is Elin Yachting? For us, Elin Yachting means being close to our customers in order to serve them in the best way and supply them with high-quality products. What we call «Elin Yachting» is a package of services that includes a fuel sample with each delivery, vessel protection systems during delivery, environmental protection with the use of special anti-pollution equipment. The special nature of Elin Yachting services has enabled us to lead this highly demanding and rapidly growing market of sea tourism. What is your current business, services and future plans in foreign markets? Our operation in the shipping lubricants business started in 1979, with an objective to supply lubricants under the Elin sign to foreign markets, an enterprise that required some time to flourish, but we can now be proud of our customers using Elin Marine products in all Southeastern Asian ports. We are currently in search for new ports in Southeastern Europe, a region that we believe offers significant growth prospects. We are examining those markets and Elin’s likely infiltration into some of them. Should we find positive conditions that can be matched by our strategic planning, then we will go ahead with the appropriate moves.