Hindustan Petroleum Corp. Ltd. reported that its sales of lubricants and greases declined 2% for the 2020-2021 fiscal year, while its lubricants exports declined 12% despite the addition of six new markets.
Owned by India’s central government, the company posted lubricant sales of 619,600 metric tons for the fiscal year ending March 31, down from 633,200 tons a year earlier and down from 635,200 tons in the 2018-2019 fiscal year. HPCL said it remained India’s largest lube marketer for the eighth consecutive year.
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The company said it exported 14,800 tons of lubricants to 16 overseas markets, down from 16,800 tons of lubricants to 10 overseas markets for the previous fiscal year.
Its value-added lubes category recorded its highest ever sales volume at 545,000 tons, up 6% from a year earlier. Hindustan Petroleum said continued focus on the automotive segments over the past few years – especially in the 4-stroke engine oil lubricants segment – helped it register double-digit percentage growth in 2020-2021 in the motorcycle engine oil segment.
HPCL estimated India’s lubricants demand for the 2020-2021 fiscal year at 2.5 million tons, with process oils contributing one third of the demand.
The Mumbai-based company’s lubes business supplies lubricants and greases to private and government-owned industrial customers, as well as to a network of 280 lube distributors and 18,634 retail outlets, many of them in the bazaar market.
The company said it gave further impetus during the year to marketing lubricants and specific products for engines compliant with Bharat Stage-VI automobile emissions standards. Implemented in April 2020, the standard puts India roughly on par with European Union emissions regulations. It also significantly raised the quality of lubricants that will be required in new cars, trucks and motorcycles.
HPCL said it continues to improve operational efficiencies at its six lubricant blending plants through infrastructure augmentation, automation and other solutions. To further strengthen its lubricant marketing channels and widen its geographic reach and market presence, the company said it added more than 50 new channel partners during the fiscal year, using the internet because of the pandemic.
Hindustan Petroleum noted that it its Green Research and Development Center in Bengaluru is constructing seven new labs in its Phase II expansion program in addition to nine existing labs. Under the Phase II program, construction completed during the fiscal year included a lubes research lab and a corrosion studies lab.
The company said lubricants research and development continued to play an important role with developments of new products for India’s government and private-sector customers. This included approvals for new products through close interaction with India’s army, air force and other agencies.
The company’s base stock plant in Mumbai – owned jointly with Oil and Natural Gas, which has a 51.1% controlling stake – makes API Groups I, II and III base stocks. It is India’s largest base oil refinery. HPCL said in the annual report that the Mumbai plant achieved its highest annual production of base stocks but did not disclose the volume. In 2019-2020’s annual report, the plant’s base stock production reached a record high of 478,000, up 1%, the company said.