Updates on Tüpraş

Tüpraş Ventures’ First Investment in Robotic Technologies


Tüpraş’s venture capital entity Tüpraş Ventures engages in yet another innovative maneuver to support the company’s refinery business in terms of safety and operational excellence. Tüpraş Ventures’ investment in AISField, which operates in robotic technologies, will help expand the innovative robotic and digital product portfolio and promote products and services to domestic and international customers and investors. The ATEX-certified AISField robot, which facilitates tank base maintenance even when at operation, has been introduced in Tüpraş refineries.

Tüpraş sustains digitalization and robotic technology initiatives in sustainable refinery, one of the four main businesses within the scope of the Strategic Transformation Plan. Tüpraş’s venture capital arm Tüpraş Ventures supports its parent company through technologies designed to accelerate the digital transformation of the energy industry.

Tüpraş Ventures supports promising startups with a view to promoting digitalization and establishing strategic cooperation in the energy industry. The company’s first investment in robotic technologies is the Ankara-based startup AISField, which is active in robotic inspection and data management.

Targeting the expansion of Tüpraş’s innovative robotic product portfolio, Tüpraş Ventures will continue to focus on new business partners for future investments.

AISField explores robotic technologies, automation, and advanced software solutions in the field of non-destructive testing. The company develops robotic technologies and software to provide non-destructive testing solutions and systems to power plants, storage facilities, and a range of industries including oil, liquid fuel, natural gas, and defense.

The technology facilitates base inspections in full stroge tanks

The RUVI OilDiver robot, developed within the scope of an R&D project covered by the TUBITAK SME Support for Order-Based R&D Projects, enables base inspection and maintenance even when the fuel tanks are full. Tüpraş is a customer organization within the TUBITAK support program.  

The RUVI Diver underwater drone can perform visual and ultrasonic inspections in refinery and fuel storage environments and in industrial facility water tanks. The I-Cleaner robot successfully cleans polluted water tanks.

The first ATEX-certified robot in action in Tüpraş refineries

In addition to providing high workplace safety, the robot, which ensures a 95-percent time efficiency, is one of few internationally recognized ATEX-certified applications. The ATEX certification by the European Union primarily focuses on protecting human health and safety.

Premiering in Tüpraş premises, RUVI OilDiver saves time and money by eliminating the need to disengage the tanks and contributes to occupational health and safety by removing the need for employees to enter the tanks. By opting out of the traditional hydrocarbon cleaning, this new technology also eliminates waste generation and disposal, thus promoting an environmentally friendly approach. Product field testing and introduction has been successfully completed in Tüpraş facilities.

Tüpraş Deputy General Manager for Innovation, Investments and Planning, Levent Zağra, commented on the investment: “At Tüpraş, our primary business goal is to cultivate a safe working environment for our employees, benefitting exhaustively from safety-promoting technologies and preventing our colleagues from placing themselves in dangerous situations. Hazardous and dangerous inspection and maintenance tasks in refineries can be carried out more securely, quickly, and in greater detail using robotic technologies

Periodic inspections of refinery storage tanks take time and effort due to steps such as drainage, cleaning, inspection, repairs and painting. As part of the Tüpraş OilDiver project, a multidisciplinary work group including Tüpraş teams will produce a remote-controlled robotic technology for the first time in Turkey to perform inspections of storage tank bases while in operation. With the use of this robotic system, which is the first of its kind in Turkey, full tanks can be inspected and issues can be detected early.”

Zağra explains that the Tüpraş OilDiver project eliminates tank drainage and cleaning, creating significant inspection duration and cost benefits: “ The cutting-edge techology faciliates uncrewed inspections to be undertaken in enclosed spaces while the stroge tank is in service. It also stands out by minimizing risks to the environmend and human health. We are confident that this cooperation and investment will constitute a significant example for the entrepreneurship ecosystem. Initially conceived as a startup and corporate collaboration project, the final product will not only boost our progress towards operational process improvement and strategic transformation; it will help us more closely follow developments in robotic technologies.”

Tüpraş Ventures

Established in late 2022, Tüpraş Ventures invests, under the Tüpraş Strategic Plan, in domestic and international technology companies focusing on sustainable refining, biofuels, carbon management with a particular interest in zero-carbon electricity and green hydrogen, smart information technologies, Industry 4.0, energy efficiency, environment and recycling, and waste management.

Tüpraş Ventures will be investing in strategic focus points across a wide region, particularly in North America and Europe, and will present enterprises with an opportunity to test and scale their technologies through the exchange of Tüpraş’s extensive industry experience and know-how. https://www.aisfield.com/about