East Africa to Add Blending Capacity


Mount Meru plans to open three blending plants, and Mogas will launch one larger blending facility over the next two years in several countries in East Africa, according to industry sources.

Chelan Jain, managing director for Mount Meru in Zambia, told Lube Report it will begin lubricant blending in Lusaka, Zambia in June 2017, and in Tanzania and Rwanda in 2018. These blending plants will each have a production capacity of 2,000 metric tons per year.

Ashish Goyal, managing director for Mogas in Tanzania, told LR on the sidelines of the ICIS African Base Oils & Lubricants Conference last month in Tanzania that it will open a 22,000 mt/y lubricant blending plant in Langa, Tanzania in the first quarter of 2017.

Mogas has contracted with partners for toll blending, but is now transitioning to blending lubricants on its own. Now the volumes have grown, and our service provider is not able to handle it, Goyal said.

He noted Tanzania only has three blending plants, which Goyal sees as a gap in the countrys blending capacity. He said its new plants location in the port city of Tanga will provide easy access to other regional markets within East Africa.

Jonathan Njine, managing director for Lubesol, believes a new focus on lubricant blending is taking shape in East Africa. The rush to set up blending plants in the region could be attributed to the exit of multinational corporations from the East African lubricant market, Njine said, noting this exit created the opportunity for less experienced corporations to build and operate blending plants.

He fears the rush to open new plants could lead to a decrease in quality. Some people have entered into lubricants blending in East Africa, not because they know how to run it nor are they employing professionals to run it, but they are simply there for the money, Njine cautioned. So quality is compromised; safety is compromised.

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