Idemitsu Doubles Capacity in Tianjin


Idemitsu Kosan Co. has completed an expansion that increases the capacity of its Tianjin, China, lubricant blending plant to 110,000 metric tons per year, making it the companys largest.

In a news release issued Friday, the Japanese company said the expansion more than doubled the capacity of the facility, which was designed to produce 50,000 t/y when it opened in December 2004. The plant blends automotive and industrial lubes and is staffed by 151 people.

Idemitsu Kosan said the expansion is part of its strategy of becoming more of an international supplier. With the set-up of a production and sales system closely aligned to the needs of the customer, we aim to be a global lubricant manufacturer, it stated in its news release.

The company has blending plants several other Asian locations, including Mumbai; Karawang, Indonesia; Chonburi Province, Thailand; and Haiphong City, Vietnam. Idemitsu Kosan reported lubricant sales of 945,000 tons for its fiscal year ended in March. Forty-six percent of that volume was overseas, including record sales in China.

The company has said it wants to increase total sales to 1.1 million t/y by March 2016 and to have overseas sales account for more than 50 percent of the total.

Idemitsu Kosans strategy in China is based partly on growing sales of automobiles manufactured by Japanese original equipment manufacturers or joint ventures that they have with Chinese companies. Toyota, Honda and Nissan all have significant sales in China.

The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers predicts that Chinas car population will grow by 12.5 million vehicles in 2015.

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