LLK-International, a subsidiary of Russia’s Lukoil, plans to participate in the African lubricants market, in particular, Egypt, South Africa and Nigeria, according to Maxim Donde, CEO of Lukoil Lubricants Company. Lukoil is the largest lubricants producer in Russia, accounting for 40% of the country’s total lubricant production.
"Africa today is one of the few regions with organic growth in consumption of lubricating materials. In general they are far from the global averages by number of cars per 1,000 population. They will start to catch up, which will boost consumption of lubricating materials," said Donde.
Lukoil Lubricants' parent has upstream interests in West Africa, which is one reason for going into this market, Donde said. However, not having made any large oil discoveries there, the company has indicated in the past that it may divest of these projects.
“There are difficulties entering the country: the language barrier and a certain amount of instability [in] one region or another. Therefore, this is a difficult step, but we are definitely thinking about it," he said.
Lukoil has an annual production of one million tonnes from nine plants located in Russia, Belarus, Austria, Finland, Romania and Turkey. Lukoil also has contract manufacturing arrangements with 26 plants around the world.