Jordan Plant to Blend for Iraq


An Iraqi lubricant distributor is preparing to open a 100,000 metric ton blending plant in Zarqa, Jordan. The company, Qais Alrawi & Sons, is the sole agent in Iraq for Fuchs Petrolub AG.

The plant is scheduled to open within two months. Officials from both companies explained that it will produce Fuchs-branded lubes for sale in Iraq.

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Geopolitical circumstances have so far made it prohibitive to install such a sizeable unit inside Iraq, said Apu Gosalia, head of global strategic marketing at Mannheim, Germany-based Fuchs. Yet the Iraqi market is developing rapidly and requires first class supply and support.

Industry sources say lubricant production in Iraq sank dramatically in the years following the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. That vacuum created opportunity, and importers rushed to take advantage. According to one source, by 2008 the country was importing 90 percent of the lubricants it consumed, although domestic production then began to revive.

Qais Alrawi & Sons officials say the company has grown even without its own blending facilities. The Fuchs products it sells are all imported.

The idea of building this plant came after the increase of our market share in Iraq, Business Manager Omar Alhajahjeh told Lube Report. We needed to be more competitive, so we undertook this project to solve our transportation costs, which is the main aspect that we can control.

Zarqa Free Zone is located northeast of Amman and is one of several sites in Jordan that offer tax breaks and other incentives to encourage business investment. The project was first reported by the Jordan Times based on a news release from the Jordanian Free Zones Corporation.

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