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The Warsaw Voice » Business » June 30, 2011
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Risky Business
June 30, 2011   
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Naftor Sp. z o. o. protects facilities of strategic importance in Poland, focusing on fuel storage facilities. The company’s new CEO Artur Wołczacki talks to Marcin Pawlak about the security market in Poland, and how he found himself running the show for Naftor.

Specifically, what line of security is Naftor in?
Our firm is in the security business. We are part of the Perno Group. We were created to provide security for private property and protection against industrial fire, and this is part of our job of securing strategic facilities. This also involves additional responsibilities such as cleaning and maintaining the landscaped areas of the facility we are protecting. The idea to create Naftor came from Naftobaza Sp. z o.o., a company that takes care of the storage and distribution of fuel in bulk, and thus Naftor’s security centers around fuel storage tanks and facilities of this type.

Because of the industry we work in, there are specialist requirements to provide security for this field. First, these are highly sensitive facilities. There is a high risk of a workplace fire and things of that sort. Our requirements are accordingly demanding. The protection of private property in principal comes down to protecting it against a terrorist act. However, there is the second aspect, which is the transportation of materials, which is quite an intensive task. Overall, there are steps taken to protect a shipment and nullify the threat in the case of an accident. However, if it is whole tanks on fire it is not something we, or any security company in Poland, can deal with, and government forces need to be called. In terms of fire precaution, we are responsible for maintaining fire safety systems on the base we are monitoring.

Along with this goes the maintenance of “green areas” in the compound. Compounds are not just made up of storage tanks, but hectares of grass which need to be well maintained in order to minimize the risk of self-ignition. From this comes our company specialization, which is protection of industrial facilities. We are also involved in providing infrastructure security. We take part in providing security for train transport of fuel, in association with PKP Cargo. On top of this we protect some nitrogen yards in Tarnów, and in Kędzierzyn in the near future.

As far as the size of our company is concerned, we are medium-sized with a turnover of zl.30 million a year and around 700 employees.

You only recently took over as CEO of Naftor. How did your career path take you here?
As everywhere in life, some of it was coincidence, and some my experience. I worked quite a bit for the state in supervision and this gave me valuable experience. I was always interested in the security sector and worked in the security sector, however not in this precise type of security. I had the opportunity to get to know Naftor in 2010. I have been in my current position at Naftor since May.

What does the future hold in store for Naftor?
We will try to develop our business activities by staying within this specific field, focusing on the security of strategically important facilities such as power plants. We will mostly be dealing in the energy sector. These are Very Important Facilities, of a higher fire risk, and this requires our specialist knowledge. We will be joining the bidding process for contracts in that regard shortly. Right now our supervisory body is debating going public.

How does this type of security differ from the security of regular buildings and offices?
It is quite different than guarding a store. Our men are from the Specialist Armed Protection Units (SUFO) and are equipped with machine guns. They are well trained and specialize in what they are doing. We are able to take advantage of their training and make the offers that we’re making for the security of strategic facilities. Regular facilities do not require this level of specialization.

What does the market look like in Poland?
The competition is huge and the market is developing—in different security areas at a different pace. There are anywhere between 3,000 and 4,000 companies offering security services in Poland. Competition drives costs down and formal offers are at a very low level. Firms have strict budgets. In the future, I believe we will turn to the German model where there are a few big companies controlling the field. Another aspect of the market is that many companies can get subsidies from the government which don’t apply to us. This allows them to offer lower prices for their clients. This artificially brings the prices down. Overall, the market has good prospects and will continue to grow. Consolidation looks to be the next trend with a rise in the quality of the services and a lower final cost for the client.
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