Azmol-BP Shifts to Georgia, Uzbekistan


Azmol-BP Shifts to Georgia, Uzbekistan
At the end of September, Azmol-BP announced expansion of its presence across the Caspian Sea to Uzbekistan, where it recently started production in a new blending plant operated by Marakanda Petroleum. Photo courtesy of Marakanda Petroleum

Lubricant maker Azmol-British Petrochemicals has transferred its production activities to Georgia and Uzbekistan after losing control of its factory in Berdyansk, Ukraine, during Russia’s occupation of parts of the country.

At the end of September, Azmol-BP announced that it has entered a toll blending agreement to have its products manufactured at a new factory operated by Marakanda Petroleum in Chinaz, Uzbekistan, 53 kilometers southwest of the capital of Tashkent.

A Marakanda Petroleum representative told Lube Report that the plant started operations in 2022 after being built with help from investors from Uzbekistan and a company from Canada.

Last year Azmol-BP began having products made in Kutaisi, Georgia, at a plant operated by UG Lubricants, formerly Agrinol Kavkaz. That plant, which has production capacity of 36,000 metric tons per year, also makes lubes sold under the Agrinol brand and the German brand Lorf. UG reported sales of 3,000 tons in 2022. In addition to Georgia, UG claims to export lubricants to Kazakhstan, Turkey, Serbia, Iraq, Syria, South Africa and Cambodia.

Marakanda plans to expand, but “at the moment we work with Azmol products only on the market of the Republic of Uzbekistan,” a representative said last week.

The plant has production capacity of 12,000 t/y of motor and industrial oils and features 254 cubic meters of tank park and uses blending technology designed by the Swiss ABB Group.

The migration of the manufacturing of Azmol-BP’s products began after the company’s factory in Berdyansk was caught up in Russia’s February 2022 invasion of Ukraine. Company representatives told Lube Report the plant was taken over by individuals aligned with Alexander Ponomaryov, a member of the country’s parliament. Ponomaryov has been accused by some Ukrainian news organizations of complicity with Russian occupiers but told Radio Free Europe in a recent interview that he was tortured by occupational forces and coerced into cooperating.

The sprawling site in the Azov Sea port city, was once one of the largest grease and lubricant producers in the Soviet Union, but its business shrank significantly in the years following the empire’s break-up.

At one point the plant went dormant for several years, but it was revived after British Petrochemicals invested to turn the company into a 50-50 joint venture. Before the war with Russia began, Azmol-BP claimed that it and Agrinol supplied a combined 8% of the country’s lubricant demand of 200,000 t/y.

Related Topics

Asia    Europe    Finished Lubricants    Latest Headlines    Plants & Equipment    Plants & Facilities    Region    Ukraine    Uzbekistan