Ship-shape

Owned and operated by the Torlak family since 1880, the TOR Group has grown with each successive generation of the family. Having first started out manufacturing wooden boats in the Rize Provence, the family business evolved into an international shipbuilding and maintenance group that continues to develop new areas of expertise. This illustrious past includes delivery of the first steel vessel in Turkey in the year 1968, which at the time put the TOR Group at the forefront of modern ship construction. Eventually the family would go on to establish Torgem Shipyard in the Halic shipbuilding region of Istanbul, Turkey.

Torgem Shipyard grew in size and was relocated to its current location in Tuzla, Istanbul, Turkey in 1983 since which time the shipyard has developed into part of the TOR Group of Companies.

The Shipyard covers an area of 19,000 square uk metres including 4202 square metres of marine fills with pier and coastal borders, 2000 square metres of workshop space, a 12,000 square metre construction area with two slipways, and an outfitting and repair quay. The company’s strategic location is protected by a water-break against potentially disruptive weather conditions.

To date, Torgem Shipyard has served as the construction site for 100 new build projects, giving the company a wealth of experience, and the opportunity to constantly upgrade its facilities and technology, meaning that the shipyard is equipped to handle the building, repair, maintenance and conversion of a wide range
of vessels.

Having taken over operation of the shipyard as the fifth generation in early 2012, chairman Mustafa Kemal Torlak previously told Shipping and Marine magazine about some of the changes to the business that were to be implemented which would involve the restructuring of the TOR Group and a new focus on niche markets such as tug and workboats, as well as other specialist areas like AHTS and offshore support vessels.

Since that statement, the TOR Group has been restructured and comprises of a number of separate companies beginning with Torgem Shipyard that owns and operates shipyards, workshops and group offices. These assets are used by affiliate ‘Tor Marine’ who is responsible for shipbuilding projects and ‘Lemmar’ who is the affiliate that carries out conversions and ship maintenance and repairs. Completing the TOR Group is ‘Tor Construction’, who is responsible for onshore projects. This new structure is partly the result of the global financial crisis of 2008, when the TOR Group felt it could better position itself through the formation of specialist affiliate companies focused on niche sectors.

Furthermore, importance was given to investing in people; as such long-term employment, quality assurance and professional competence became a high priority. The TOR Group has implemented its quality management systems in accordance with ISO 9001. Furthermore, all personnel benefit from in-house training programmes as well as Total Quality Management (TQM) and Employee Health and Safety Procedures (ISG) training. The company has built its reputation around being a trustworthy partner that consistently drives for excellence throughout all of its operations.

The results of these changes are beginning to show; this year the TOR Group has launched six new built boats, and has a number more contracts ongoing. One of these is for a fleet of ten port service boats, including three tugs, three fast patrol boats, one garbage collection vessel, one service vessel and one diving boat, which are to be delivered for the Saudi Ports.

Likewise the Group is doing well in the repair and maintenance segment and with a successful track record of converted single hull vessels to double hulls, the refitting of Ropax vessels, resizing of vessels in both length and height, and conversion of general cargo ships to container vessels, this side of the business remains well placed to grow.

Perhaps more strongly than some, the shipbuilding industry has felt the pressing hand of the global economic crisis. However, the long history of the TOR Group means that the company has seen and overcome several crises of the past and with that experience it has risen to marketsthe challenge, which has enabled the TOR Group to structure its business in the best possible way.

Likewise, the leadership of the new management team has seen the Group secure new business and some significant success even in these depressed circumstances. With an aspiration to add even more new products and niches to its activities, the TOR Group looks to be in ship-shape condition for the future.

Long family-owned heritage
Shipbuilding and repair services
Established new niche markets