Global lubricant sales by French energy giant Total S.A. jumped more than 20% in 2019, according to a report that the company published recently.
For 2019 the company’s sales reached 48,000 barrels per day, up 23% from 39,000 b/d in 2018. Annual sales had remained in the 38,000 to 39,000 b/d range from 2015 through 2018, according to Total’s Factbook 2019, published on July 27.
The company attributed the increase to several actions: the launch of its Quartz EV and Rubia EV fluids for hybrid and electric vehicles; its acquisition of a lubricant blending plant and associated activities in Tanzania in 2018, which allowed growth in East Africa; and its A2019 acquisition of some of Houghton International’s rolling oil activities in North America. The United States Federal Trade Commission required divestment of those operations as a condition of Houghton’s merger with Quaker Chemical.
Total said it has also made efforts to improve performance and strengthen its supply chain – for example by constructing blending plants in closer proximity to customers. In October 2018 the company opened a plant in Kaluga, Russia, to supply that country as well as neighboring markets such as Belarus and Central Asian countries. The plant was designed to produce 40,000 metric tons per year of automotive and industrial lubricants per year, with a scale-up option to ring this capacity up to 70,000 t/y. The company said it also has another blending plant under construction in Algeria, North Africa.
The report said the company is also leveraging its network of 11 blending sites in Asia and the Middle East – particularly plants in Singapore; Tianjin, China; and Dubai, United Arab Emirates – to expand in Asia. On the packaging side, the company has progressively rolled out a redesigned packaging style with new colors, new labels and more ergonomic design.
The company said its ongoing partnerships with original equipment manufacturers include PSA Group, Kia, Mazda and Aston Martin. Total said it has partnered with major actors in e-commerce to grow its sales and develop new services and new distribution schemes.
On the business-to-business front, the company noted it is supplying lubricants and services to more than 50 mining sites in Asia-Pacific, including leading mining players operating in countries such as Australia, Indonesia or New Caledonia.