Lopal Enters Thai Market

A Thai lubricant blender has begun toll manufacturing for Jiangsu Lopal Tech, the Chinese lubricant marketer announced last week. Lopal officials said the lubes manufactured by PSP Specialties will be sold under the Trisonic brand, which was developed in Singapore in Thailand and China and later in other countries.

Lopal currently sells Trisonic lubricants in Thailand and China. The company says it plans to expand the products reach into the Asia-Pacific region and Africa in the next five years, and the rest of the world within 10 years.

Although the company did not disclose its sales target, Winston Fong, general manager of Lopal Tech. Singapore said, We have a five-year growth plan with clear volume and revenue target to gain a fair market share.

The company said it will focus on branding, followed by an expansion of retail channels with automotive parts distributors or suppliers, and workshops. Top-tier Trisonic lubricants are certified by the American Petroleum Institute and approved by the Ministry of Energy in Thailand.

The Trisonic range of lubricants includes passenger car motor oils, pick-up truck engine oils, motorcycle lubricants, heavy duty engine oils, automatic transmission fluids and automotive gear oils.

"Thailand has a large population of passenger cars, pickup trucks and motorcycles at 8, 6 and 20 million units respectively. The estimated engine oil demand [for those categories of vehicles] is 110, 110 and 90 million liters, respectively," said Fong.

Thailands total lubricants demand is at about 500 million liters per year, with automotive lubricants accounting for 70 percent or about 350 million liters, according to Shi Junfeng, chairman of Jiangsu Lopal Tech Co.

Apart from a growing vehicle population, Thailand is also a regional vehicle production and export base for the worlds top car-makers, with annual vehicle exports exceeding one million units and the second-largest pick-up truck market in the world behind the USA. It is also the fifth-biggest producer of motorcycles in the world after China, India, Indonesia and Vietnam, added Shi.

Although Lopal has its own blending plant in China producing its Lopal brand of lubricants, We have no plans to produce Trisonic lubricants in China and will remain as a 100 percent imported lubricant brand into China, said Fong.

In August last year, Lopal invested U.S. $2 million to set up the wholly-owned Singapore subsidiary to expand its overseas markets.

Lopal Tech Co. was founded in 2003 and is headquartered in Nanjing, Jiangsu province. The company claims to be the largest private domestic lubricant manufacturer in China. The company was listed in the Shanghai Stock Exchange in 2017. It has two blending plants - one each in Tianjin and Nanjing, with a total capacity of 300,000 tons per year. Lopal lubricants received approval from Mercedes-Benz last year.

Lopal Tech. Singapore was responsible for the research and development of Trisonic.

PSP is a privately owned company headquartered in Bangkok, Thailand with a manufacturing base in Samutsakorn, 40 kilometers southwest of Bangkok with 450 employees. The company has 33 lubricant blending tanks producing a wide range of lubricants for automotive, industrial and marine applications. The companys blending capacity is about 120 million liters per year. It also has a grease manufacturing plant with an annual capacity of 15,000 tons. In 2011, sales reached 10.5 billion Baht (about U.S. $350 million).

Photo: Lee Snider/Alamy