Russian Toll Blender Ramps Up Grease Output


Russian lubes and greases marketer Obninskorgsintez is ramping up its grease production through robust marketing and expansion of its customer base, a company official told Lube Report.

The company last year opened a grease plant designed to produce 25,000 tons per year, and it is gradually reaching its full capacity.

In 2019 we plan to produce 3,000 tons of greases, while by the end of 2021 [we will] achieve 10,000 tons per year annual grease production, Evgeny Goryansky, head of strategic development at Obninskorgsintez, said. Some of the foreign partners that use our expertise and capacity are Totachi [of Japan] and Rolf [of Germany]. They placed large orders for greases produced in our new plant.

He said that localization of the lubricant production in Russia continues, and that is favorable for toll blenders like Obninskrgsintez.

According to our sources, foreign companies localized around 60 percent of the total lubricants production they sell in Russia, he said, adding that many of these plants operated by foreigners are based in Obninsk, an industrial hub in Kaluga Oblast, near Moscow.

German independent lube maker Fuchs Petrolub SE and French oil major Total each operate its own lubricants blending capacity in the region.

The Russian company has long-standing contracts with a number of Russian and foreign partners for toll production of antifreezes and lubricants.

This year its toll blending customer base expanded in the greases as well.

Import substitution is a government-sponsored program to boost the domestic production and displace the primacy of the imported products in Russia.

Obninskorgsintez noticed a stagnation in lubricants production and consumption in Russia last year. However, the company had a successful year thanks to a robust advertisement campaign and to marketing activities focused on distribution of its products, Goryansky said.

Besides that, the company expanded its product portfolio, got a few OEM approvals and performed testing of its products with Russias large lubricant consumers that operate in the mining, industrial or farming sectors. A number of other Asian and European companies became partners with the Russian toll blender.

Their products made here are meant for the Russian, East European, Central Asian and other more distant markets, Goryanski said.

Originally a supplier of antifreeze, the company made its first foray into lubricants more recently. It produced 140,000 metric tons of lubes in 2018, down from 150,000 tons in the year before. It sells its own lube production under the Sintec brand.

The company now claims to be among the five largest lube marketers in the country, after Lukoil, Gazprom Neft and Rosneft. Unlike the top three producers, which are all a part of integrated oil companies, Obninskorgsintez is an independent lubricant producer without its own base oil production.

Grease kettles

Photo courtesy of Obninskorgsintez

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