Chevron Brasil Lubrificantes General Director Antonio Ennes said the company is looking at expanding its lubricant business by 20-25% by 2018.
The company currently supplies 180 million litres of lubricants per year and is one of the top five lubricant companies in Brazil.
Economic growth in Brazil has slowed dramatically since expanding 7.6% during 2010. Brazil’s central bank estimated that Brazil’s gross domestic product or GDP shrank 0.1% in 2014 and is forecasting a contraction of 0.5% for this year, while revising its forecast for the 2015 inflation rate upward to 7.9%.
Thus, it was not a complete surprise when the company reported a 3% contraction last year. Ennes said he expects a similar scenario this year. But the company remains optimistic, especially as the Texaco brand, which Chevron acquired from its purchase of Texaco in 2000, is celebrating 100 years in Brazil. The Texaco brand is especially strong in Brazil.
Chevron continues to invest in its Brazilian operations, recently establishing its first South American Group II base oil supply hub in Rio de Janeiro, which will offer a complete product line, including Group II grades 100R, 220R and 600R.
The supply hub, according to Cary Knuth, general manager of base oils at Chevron Lubricants, will provide a reliable supply of premium base oil to lubricant producers in Brazil and other South American markets as “they transition to new formulations and grow to meet the increasing lubricants demand in South America.”
Chevron’s Pascagoula Miss., U.S.A. base oil refinery will be a source of the Brazilian base oil supply hub, as will Chevron’s other two base oil plants in Richmond, Calif., U.S.A. and Yeosu, South Korea (which Chevron operates along with GS Caltex in a joint venture).
The hub in Rio de Janeiro will allow Chevron to serve all its South American demand.
Chevron Brasil also operates a lubricant blending unit at Duque de Caxias, Rio de Janeiro, one of the group’s largest, a grease and coolant manufacturing plant at Osasco, Sao Paulo, and eight warehouses throughout the country.