TBY talks to Patrick Regis, CEO of Rolls-Royce Turkey, on the significance of Turkey to the company, important sectors, and the defense industry.

Patrick Regis
Patrick Regis was appointed as the CEO of Rolls-Royce in Turkey in April 2012. In his role, Regis is responsible for the total regional business performance of Rolls-Royce’s four sectors: civil aerospace, defense, marine, and energy, including its nuclear business. Prior to this assignment, Regis was the CEO for Vietnam and established a permanent Rolls-Royce presence in that emerging economy. He was also a Regional Director for North America in Rolls-Royce’s marine business segment, where he was instrumental in the rapid growth of the North American subsidiary and established Rolls-Royce as a leading provider of power systems in the US. Regis has been with Rolls-Royce for 11 years, preceded by a 22 year career with the US Navy. Regis holds two Masters in Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and is a graduate of the Ecole Nationale d’Administration (ENA) in Paris.

How has Turkey's significance to Rolls-Royce developed over time?

Rolls-Royce has been involved in Turkey for many years, with most of our engagement performed remotely without the benefit of a local platform from which to operate. What has changed in recent years is the realization that the overall business case has grown so significantly across all of our business segments that it became important to coordinate our various activities in the country, through one integrated, coherent, long-term strategy. This in essence led us to set up the corporate office for Rolls-Royce in April 2012. As you are aware, Rolls-Royce is a global power systems company operating in multiple sectors: civil aerospace, with our primary customer being Turkish Airlines; Defense aerospace, principally through the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM) and Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI); marine sector, providing propulsion and auxiliary systems both for vessels and naval military vessels, through SSM, shipyards, and fleet operators; energy sector, focusing on providing turbo-machinery for pumping oil and gas through pipelines and gas compression stations, as well as power generation for gas-fired power plants of up to 200 MW in capacity. Finally, we operate in the civil nuclear sector delivering reactor plant instrumentation and controls systems to reactor vendors as well as mechanical components for the nuclear island. Turkey is moving into the next phase of its impressive development in high-value engineering and manufacturing projects, which is precisely the segment Rolls-Royce is renowned for internationally. In essence, we believe there is very good alignment between Turkey's strategic industrial priorities and those of Rolls-Royce.

What are the most important sectors for Rolls-Royce in Turkey?

What is unique about Turkey is that each business segment described above presents great opportunities. The civil aerospace sector is significant because of the extraordinary fleet expansion of Turkish airlines into long-haul routes for which our engines have world-leading performance and fuel efficiency characteristics. Turkey's plans to develop its own indigenous aircraft in the defense sector provide collaborative opportunities in power systems and services solutions. When you consider the geo-strategic and economic significance of the southern energy corridor in Turkey, pipeline projects such as TANAP and the need for gas-power plants as an element of the country's long-term energy mix, then you see this segment has high relevance to our business as well. Nuclear is a stated strategic area for Turkey, and Rolls-Royce is intending to participate in both Akkuyu and Sinop projects, working through the respective reactor vendors. Finally, the naval ship construction programs in Turkey are of great importance. Our ability to deliver propulsion system solutions to our customers, especially in conjunction with MTU, which we recently acquired jointly with Daimler, provides strong prospects, as MTU is already well represented in Turkey.

What can Rolls-Royce bring in relation to others in the defense sector?

What differentiates us is our desire to engage in high-value engineering, manufacturing, and support activities in the long term, through partnerships with the Turkish defense industry. Our capabilities include power systems for helicopter, trainer aircraft, and fighter jet programs but also the design of propulsion systems for naval ships. Very few companies have the breadth of systems engineering and services capabilities that Rolls-Royce has across as many different platforms.

“Rolls-Royce is a global power systems company operating in multiple sectors."

What are your top goals in Turkey over the medium term?

Our goals are to position ourselves through a sound industrial strategy, which includes developing partnerships in Turkey's most significant programs in aerospace, marine, and energy (including nuclear). In doing so, making best use of our skills, our high-value engineering, and our manufacturing capabilities to the benefit of our local customers in these areas will be a priority.