4 minutes with… Taner Onoglu, Vice President, Altaca Energy

June 4, 2015 |

Tell us about your company and it’s role in the Advanced Bioeconomy.

“ALTACA Enerji” is the leading technology company of Turkey focused on energy from waste. We currently own and operate the largest integrated biogas and bio-fertilizer plant in the region. We design, build and operate biogas plants for ourselves and for other investors.

Tell us about your role and what you are focused on in the next 12 months.

We use bio-gas manufactured from organic wastes (manure from cattle and chicken farms, slaughterhouse waste, agricultural waste and food processing plant waste) to produce electricity which is sold to the national grid and use the sludge at the end of bio-gas process as the raw material for our liquid and solid bio fertilizer plants. None of the waste entering our boundaries is lost; every single piece is turned into a clean and economically valuable product while eliminating potential environmental pollution.

We are currently developing new projects of our own to build 3 more bio-gas plants, and more importantly, focused on completing construction of our first demo size “CatLiq” Plant in the next 12 months. CatLiq is the revolutionary technology to manufacture synthetic crude oil. We bought all its rights and patents from a Danish Technology Development Company at its early stages in 2011 and have developed it further, ready for commercialization by the end of 2015.

What do you feel are the most important milestones the industry must achieve in the next 5 years?  

Improve existing technologies to be more energy efficient. Develop new technologies that will allow the processes be more cost effective

If you could snap your fingers and change one thing about the Advanced Bioeconomy, what would you change? 

I would make every single government official understand that renewable energy is the future and bio-energy is the one to be supported the most for both economic and ecological reasons.

Of all the reasons that influenced you to join the Advanced Bioeconomy industry, what single reason stands out for you as still being compelling and important to you?  

Energy from waste is more than just business, it is a social responsibility. While making money, we eliminate waste that always has the risk of polluting the environment and we also create a lot of jobs in rural areas.

Where are you from? 

Istanbul, Turkey

What was your undergraduate major in college, and where did you attend? Why did you choose that school and that pathway?

Civil Engineering from Istanbul Technical University. My father is also a civil engineer and graduated from the same university 30 years before I started there. I always loved building new things and seeing the result of my work with my own eyes. So following my father’s pathway was an easy decision to make.

Who do you consider your mentors – could be personal, business, or just people you have read about and admire. What have you learned from them?

My brother Alper Onoglu, whose vision made it all happen

Ugur Koyunoglu, from Enka Construction, who taught me how to apply “engineering approach” in business.

Ralph Crabtree of Baker Hughes who reinforced for me that “Honesty and trust will always lead to success in business”.

What’s the biggest lesson you ever learned during a period of adversity?  

Never give up. If you keep doing the right thing, under any circumstances, eventually you will be the winner.

What hobbies do you pursue, away from your work in the industry?

Travelling, basketball

What are 3 books you’d want to have with you, if you were stranded on a desert island

3 new books that I haven’t read before. I do not like re-reading a book.

What books or articles are on your reading list right now, or you just completed and really enjoyed?  

Green Energy, a reference book published by Turkish Agricultural Ministry

What’s your favorite city or place to visit, for a holiday?

Provence, France

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Category: Million Minds

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