Fuchs Thinks Big in India

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Fuchs Lubricants (India) on Thursday outlined its expansion plans for the Indian market, including a new blending plant in Ambernath on the outskirts of Mumbai.

Representing an investment of more than 400 million Indian rupees (U.S. $8.9 million), phase one of the state-of-the-art plant is ready to go onstream, according to Fuchs. Construction of phase two will commence in 2011 at an investment of Rs. 100 million.

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Fuchs said it plans to triple sales in India to Rs. 2 billion in the next two to three years. The company will target both high-end niche marketing segments and also general lubricants. It will manufacture specialty lubricants for original equipment manufacturers to meet their requirements in the manufacturing process, for machinery first fill, as well as products for in-use servicing. Fuchs stated it intends to get well entrenched in Indias fast growing automotive sector as a first fill lubricants supplier.

We see a huge growth potential for Fuchs Lubricants in India and as part of our expansion plant, we have set up the Ambernath plant to cater to a wide range of sectors, stated Fuchs Petrolub AG Germany chairman Stefan Fuchs. The plants features include its own waste water recycling plant and stringent pollution control systems. The facility will manufacture a wide range of environmentally friendly Fuchs products, to be marketed under the Planto and Eco brand names.

Planto is the lead brand for rapidly biodegradeable products at Fuchs for both automotive and industrial lubricants, Alf Untersteller, executive vice president for Turkey, the Middle East, Central Asia, India and Africa, told Lube Report. Eco products are industrial lubricants, predominantly metalworking fluids.

Fuchs said the plants internationally benchmarked research and development center will initially adapt lubes to sub-continental conditions. Soon it will likely be upgraded to a regional hub for research and development, the company said.

Beyond the product chemistry itself, Fuchs drives a considerable part of developing its lubrication technology from the application side, Untersteller explained. That means close cooperation with our customers under their own specific process conditions. For this approach Fuchs needs short ways back to well-equipped R&D facilities, and a dense communication with the client to derive the best technical results. Hence our new R&D center for India will effectively support adding value to our clients business by further tailoring our proven products.

According to Parsippany, N.J.-based consultancy Kline and Co.s, “Opportunities in Lubricants 2010: India Market Analysis,” Indias finished lubricants demand totaled an estimated 1.8 million metric tons valued at nearly $2.8 billion in 2009. That included industrial lubricants consumption of 950,000 tons, commercial automotive segment consumption of 732,000 tons and 182,000 tons for the consumer automotive lubricants market. Kline estimated that 1 million tons of Indias lubricants market is accessible to international suppliers, with 305,000 tons of that considered quality products, much of which is imported.

Modernization of Indias cars and commercial vehicle population, the need for longer life oils and increasingly stringent emission limits are some of the key factors driving an improvement in lubricant quality levels in India, Kline found.

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