Gulf Oil Lubricants International Ltd. has agreed to manufacture and market S-Oil lubricants in India – a deal that will mark S-Oil’s entry into the market as it seeks to build its finished lubes business.
The arrangement also means extra business for Gulf but sets up one of the nation’s largest independent lubricant suppliers to manage the brands of two companies.
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Seoul-based S-Oil is best known in the industry as a merchant supplier of API Group II and III base stocks, but it also produces finished lubes, including engine oils marketed under the S-Oil Seven brand, largely marketed for use in vehicles manufactured by South Korea automakers such as Hyundai and Ssangyong.
The company was already selling those products in more than 60 countries, but all were produced in South Korea. Gulf said it is making S-Oil’s products at its blending plant in Ennore, near the Southern India port city of Chennai. That plant, which opened in late 2017, has capacity to make 45,000 metric tons of lubricants per year. The company also operates an 80,000 t/y plant in the city of Silvassa, in Western India.
Gulf is part of the Hinduja conglomerate, which is headquartered in London but based in Mumbai. In recent years analysts have pegged it as one of the 10-largest lube suppliers in India, the world’s third-largest lube market.
Officials with both companies noted that the new arrangement expands on their existing relationship. S-Oil has been a base oil supplier to Gulf for 15 years.
“Our relationship with S-Oil gets even stronger with this opportunity as we will work together to launch new products and grow our market shares in India across segments, bringing in a range of technologically advanced products for Indian consumers looking for value creating solutions,” GOLIL Managing Director and CEO Ravi Chawla said in Monday’s press release.
“The S-Oil Seven range made with leading technology and approval from OEM’s in segments that are growing, as also the renowned quality of Korean products will be showcased and now made in India.”