ExxonMobil Decides on India Blending Plant

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ExxonMobil has decided to build its first lubricant blending plant in India, a Rs 760 crore facility in Maharashtra, according to the chief minister of the state.

The American energy giant acknowledged in December that it was considering building a plant in Khopoli, a city in Maharashtra’s Raigad district, 75 kilometers east of Mumbai. But the company said then that it had not made a final decision and that it was also considering alternatives such as expanding toll manufacturing arrangements and new marketing tie-ups.

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Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said last month that the company has now decided to invest Rs 760 crore (Rs 7.6 billion or U.S. $102 million) to build a blending plant, according to an article in the Business Standard. The article was about a June 15 press conference where Thackeray announced 12 capital investments in the state.

A spokesman at ExxonMobil’s headquarters in Irving, Texas, U.S., declined to discuss the project. “We are evaluating opportunities to expand our business operations in India to provide our customers with more choices and ensure easy availability of” the company’s lubricants, he said. “We welcome the opportunity to work with the government of Maharashtra. As our plans are in the early stages, we are unable to provide further details at this time.” 

India is the third-largest lubricant market in the world after the United States and China. ExxonMobil, the second-largest lubricant marketer in the world, currently supplies the Indian market from a toll-blending facility in the country and its own blending plant in Singapore.