Gulf Builds, Expands Blend Plants

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Gulf Oil Corp. Ltd. plans to construct a blending plant in or near Chennai, India. Officials say the business also plans to augment an existing plant in Silvassa, India.

The Hyderabad, India-based company is scouting for locations near the southern city of Chennai to build an expandable blending plant with initial capacity to make 50,000 metric tons of lubricants per year, Gulf Oil Corp.s president and chief executive officer, Ravi Chawla, told Lube Report Friday. That plant would be completed by March 2016. In addition, Gulf will increase the capacity of its blending plant in Silvassa, near Mumbai, from 75,000 t/y to 100,000 t/y.

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With 75 percent of its portfolio serving the automotive sector, Gulf believes it hasnt yet tapped Indias industrial oils market of 950,000 t/y. With many industries emerging near Chennai, Gulf considers southern India the key to growth in the industrial sector, Chawla said. Building on its relationships with an array of original equipment manufacturers, Gulf is eyeing approvals from several other OEMs near Chennai, and also plans to boost exports from the proposed facility, which will be on the coast of the Bay of Bengal.

On Jan. 30, Gulf Oil Corp. shareholders voted by a large majority to support managements proposal to carve the lubricant business into a separate company named Gulf Oil Lubricants India Ltd. Management expects to complete the demerger in April.