Adnoc Sees Opportunity in India Emissions Regs


MUMBAI, India – Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. plans to start marketing synthetic lubricants in India, claiming the country’s move to stricter vehicle emissions standards next year will spur demand for high-performance passenger car engine oils.

We are coming to India [in] July 2019, Thangavel Rathina Kumar, senior technical support manager of the lubricant division at Adnoc Distribution, said at the ICIS Indian Base Oils & Lubricants Conference held here earlier this week.

The company will import API Group III base oils and have its lubricants toll blending by a Mumbai company that it declined to identify. Sister company Adnoc Refining produces up to 500,000 metric tons per year of Group III base oil at its Ruwais refining and petrochemicals complex.

Adnoc is one of the global industry’s newer Group III marketers and, amidst a surplus of capacity, was among the suppliers that shipped Group III to India the past few years. India is one of the world’s largest net importers of base oils but previously had consumed negligible volumes of Group III. Some observers viewed sales there as dumping, but suppliers said they were helping to stimulate Group III demand in India.

The market for high quality base oils and synthetics in India is expected to expand as automakers strive to meet tougher vehicular emissions caps and develop technologies for fuel economy. India plans to jump from the current BS IV emissions standard directly to BS VI in April 2020, skipping the BS V phase altogether to tackle the nations worsening air pollution. BS VI is equivalent to the European Unions Euro 6 standard and is expected to force engine design changes that require more advanced engine oils.

Adnoc Distribution is in the process of forming an Indian entity and will be the company’s major shareholder, Kumar noted. He noted that few of the minority shareholders will be from India, but declined to provide further details. The company aims to supply about 20,000 to 30,000 metric tons of synthetic lubricants to India over the next five years, he added.

Adnoc Distribution will market automotive oils – mostly synthetics – under the Voyager brand in India. Adnoc’s distribution arm currently markets finished lubricants under the Voyager brand in the United Arab Emirates and through a network of distributors internationally.

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