Total unveiled its new lubricants blending plant in Kaluga, Russia, Monday, saying it will reduce reliance on imports and cut delivery times both domestically and in neighboring markets such as Belarus and Central Asian countries.
The French energy giant said its lube distributors and direct customers both will benefit from shorter production and transportation times, as well as optimization of logistics and storage costs.
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The plant, which cost U.S. $50 million, is on a 17.3-acre site in the Vorsino industrial park in the Kaluga region, with direct links to European Russias main road and rail infrastructure.
The plant will allow Total to localize production of its top-tier lubricants for the Russian market, the company stated in an Oct. 15 press release. The facility has been designed to produce 40,000 tons of automotive and industrial lubricants per year, with a scale-up option to bring this capacity up to 70,000 t/y.
The plant is operated by Total Vostok, the companys subsidiary in Russia, employs 50 workers and took less than two years to build.
Anatoly Artamanov, governor of the Kalua Region, and Total Chairman and CEO Patrick Pouyanne attended the grand opening.
As illustrated by our commitment to major liquefied natural gas projects in the Arctic, Russia has become a key country for Total, Pouyanne said during the opening ceremony Monday. In addition to our upstream activities, Russia is also one of the highest priority development markets for the companys downstream products, especially lubricants. The new plant will produce the entire range of Total and Elf branded products, including Total Quartz and Total Rubia motor oils for passengers and commercial vehicles. It will also produce a full range of industrial lubricants. Total has operated in the Russian market since 1994.
Total and Elf are among the top 10 most popular motor oil brands sold in Russia, according to consultancy Ernst & Youngs Moscow oil and gas center.