Increased lubes and additives production on the agenda for majors in Asia and Africa
The growing Asian market demand for synthetic lubricants is one of the reasons Perstorp, the specialty chemicals company is investing in the construction of a new Pentaerythritol (Penta) production facility in Gujarat, India. The company already produces Penta in Gemany, the US and Sweden.
India is also in the sights of ExxonMobil which, according to reports and is said to be "planning to set up a lube blending plant in Khopoli in Raigad, Maharashtra. The company wants this facility to be one of its largest in Asia with over 500,000 barrels per year capacity.” The quote from a company official, with Exxon currently running safety and environmental studies before making a final commitment. The plans come at a time when India automarkets are set for a 2-3% recovery over the next few years, following a slump due to economic slowdown.
In North Africa, Chevron has signed a deal with Morocco's Akwa Group to make the the country a lubes manufacturing and exporting hub to Africa. And Afriquia Lubrifiants is also set to manufacture Texaco products in Morocco, based in Jorf Lasfar, with a view to exporting them to 14 African countries as part of the strengthening of the two companies' 13-year-old partnership.
Meanwhile, increasing demand for high-performance lubricants in Indonesia has led to Idemitsu establishing a new lubes manufacturing plant in Bekasi. The facility has an annual production capacity of 50,000kl and will manufacture mostly first-fill engine oil for cars and motorcycles, as well as OEM replacement products - known as partner brand production - using the new facilities.
South Korea will be the birthplace of a new supplier to the lubricant additive market, according to Lube Report. Nicca Chemical, which has already responded to increased demand for fluorinated water repellant in the textile industry, will begin production of fluorine next April in Daegu, South Korea, to provide additional supply to the lubes additive industry.