Lube Capacity Upped Down Under


Gulf Western Oil is investing more than AU $10 million (U.S. $9.8 million) to construct a lubricants blending facility in Australia that will have 60 million liters per year capacity and more than double the blenders warehousing.

The company hopes to be producing lubricants between the third and fourth quarter of 2013 at the new 5,500 square meter (59,200 square feet) facility in St. Marys, New South Wales, on the outskirts of Sydney.

Gulf Western Oil is owned by brothers Ben Vicary and Andrew Vicary. We have our plant design complete, our 32 brand new stainless steel storage tanks are midway through construction, and we have awarded the building contract to a local building firm that has worked with the family business on various projects during the past 10 years, said Ben Vicary. Currently we are close to our manufacturing capacity, and we have outgrown our warehousing capacity a few years ago. Due to the high volume growth which we have been experiencing, it has been necessary to have a lot of raw materials stored off site, and that doesnt suit our model for growth into the future.

Having storage facilities to purchase bulk base oil cargoes from Asia, Europe, the United States or from local distributors will give Gulf Western Oil considerable flexibility, he continued, noting it will also increase the companys bulk additive storage by 180 tons.

According to Andrew Vicary, the companys current blending facility has been in Penrith, NSW, about 10 minutes west of St. Marys, since 1994. Our current blending capacity is approximately 16 million liters per annum, he told Lube Report.

He said the driving factor in choosing a site for a new facility was availability of a greenfield site to suit its needs, which was a minimum 8,500 square meters, or 91,500 square feet. There was nothing available in Penrith, so we had no alternative but to look elsewhere, with St. Marys being the closest option for us, Andrew Vicary said.

In terms of Australias lubricants market, he noted, there is a lot of potential throughout Australia in the mining sector and the industries that support it, and we are continually trying to strengthen our reach into this sector. The [agriculture] sector is also doing pretty well at the moment after several very dry, lean years of drought over the last decade.

Gulf Western Oil claims to be the largest Australian-owned lubricants manufacturer, and currently devotes its capacity to supporting its own Gulf Western brand of products sold throughout Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Rim.

Our strength has always been agriculture, heavy transport and industrial, said Ben Vicary. It is our goal to continue to grow these markets and to capitalize on our recent successes in retail as well as for future growth. We see a lot of potential in Australia and New Zealand.