Gulf Oil Lubricants India Ltd. is investing INR 150 crore (USD 22.3 million) on a second greenfield lubricants blending plant in Chennai, India, which will boost its lubricants blending capacity to 135,000-140,000 metric tonnes per annum, according to Managing Director Ravi Chawla. The projected timing is 18 months from now.
It has a state-of-the-art lube blending plant in Silvassa, which was recently expanded from 75,000 to 90,000 metric tonnes.
“We are aiming for strong growth in India,” Chawla explained. He added that Gulf Oil, which is part of the international conglomerate Hinduja Group, will start focusing on the passenger car market segment, where its market share is currently only at 4.5%.
“We have been able to grow at 12-13% in the last one year but we are aiming to double the growth from present levels in [the] car segment,” he said.
India’s lubricants market volume is estimated at around two to three million metric tonnes. Public sector companies are the dominant players, with a combined market share of about 40%. Annual growth in India’s lubricants market is projected at a decent 2.5%, but Gulf Oil’s target is 7%. In mature markets like Europe and the United States, the lubricants market is flat or growing at 1% per year.
“We are trying to increase our share to 9-10%, from 7%, from the open market sales segment,” Chawla explained.