BR Distribuidora, the largset lubricants supplier in Brazil, has entered an agreement with RefiPampa to blend Lubrax-branded finished lubes for sale in Argentina.
The Brazilian company said the arrangement is the latest step in its strategy to expand across South America.
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The blending plant, located outside Buenos Aires in Campana province, began making Lubrax products in March. BR officials told Lube Report that they expect output to ramp up to about 56,000 liters (352 metric tons) in May.
Meanwhile BR continues to import lubricants that it also sells in Argentina. Officials said those volumes have been growing and that it expects sell an average of 216,000 liters per month of combined imports and locally produced fluids this year.
BR said that producing locally will make its supply to Argentina more efficient and improve the company’s service in the country.
“As a result, they will have greater competitiveness and performance closer to the market, not depending entirely on imports,” said Kleber Cafe Lins, head of lubricants at BR. “They will improve local service, market presence and, consequently, market share.”
BR was formerly the fuels and lubricants distribution arm of Brazil’s state-owned Petrobras, but the energy major privatized BR in 2019. Petrobras retains a 37.5% ownership in the company, but BR operates independently.
BR has an existing relationship with RefiPampa, having contracted the company to sell its lubricants since 2019. One of the sales channels that the latter company supplies lubes through is its Voy con Energia chain of fuel stations.
RefiPampa started off making Lubrax 68 Hydra hydraulic fluid and has since been adding other products such as other hydraulic fluids and heavy-duty diesel engine oils.
BR also contracts to have lubricants blended in Chile and Colombia and also sells lubes in Bolivia, Uruguay and Paraguay and claims to hold 20% and 15% of the latter two markets respectively. The company has announced plans to expand a blending in Rio de Janeiro next year, increasing its capacity from 300 million to 500 million liters per year.