Gulf Oil Bites Into Indonesia


Indias Gulf Oil Corp. entered into a joint venture with Tarapur Grease Industries Pvt. Ltd. and PT Tawang Swasti Rawikara to form PT Gulf Oil Lubricants Indonesia, headquartered in Jakarta, to manufacture and market the entire range of Gulf lubricants and greases in the Indonesian market. Gulf Oil holds 36 percent equity, while Tarapur Grease and PT Tawang hold 32 percent each in the new venture, formed Aug. 22. Already, it has set its sights on an ambitious target of 8 percent market share in the first year of operations.

At 600,000 metric tons, the Indonesian lube market ranks seventh-largest worldwide and is reportedly growing at the rate of 6 percent annually. Pertamina, the state-owned major, is the sole player on the fuels scene. PT Gulf Oil Lubricants Indonesia is an early entrant in the lubricants arena, that was liberalized as recently as April 2003.

With a planned plant capacity of 25,000 tons for lubes and 15,000 tons for greases, V. Ramesh Rao, Gulf Oil executive director, intends to concentrate on the automotive segment because our strength lies in retailing, distribution and branding. Unlike most markets, in Indonesia the industrial lubes segment is larger (nearly 65 percent) than the automotive segment. Automobile sales are on a 6 percent growth track, however, which should gradually increase the automotive lubes share.

Gulf Oil Corp., a member of the Gulf Oil International family and Indias second largest private player, has interests in mining products and infrastructure, specialty chemicals and floriculture, as well as lubricants. Executive Director Rao says he is delighted that he has been successful in generating equity for both the Indonesian project as well as a joint venture to blend and market lubes in Bangladesh kicked off in July this year.

Tarapur Grease is part of the Standard Greases Group, Indias largest private-label grease manufacturer with a huge array of multinational brands in its kitty. For entrepreneurs Vinod Vyas and Durgesh Chandavarkar, taking their expertise to Indonesia is not only a natural extension of our grease business by tapping Indonesias favorable market potential but also an opportunity to enter lube marketing.”

PT Tawang Swasti Rawikara is an Indonesian business house with a range of interests: automobiles, real estate, media, aviation and the hospitality industry. It has been the distributor for Gulf Oil International since 2000 after the Indonesian government opened up the market for synthetic lubes in 1997. Other visible brands in Indonesia’s retail trade are Elf, Shell and Mobil.

Soon Gulfs entire range of lubricants, greases, brake fluids, coolants and oil filters will be on offer in Indonesia in what Rao terms part of our expansion program in the newly opening Asian market.”

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