Indian grease manufacturers, like their counterparts in other countries, have for the past couple years bemoaned sharp increases in the costs of lithium, the chemical used to thicken most of the worlds greases. A speaker at an industry conference in Guwahati, India, last month advised companies to consider using aluminum complex grease instead in certain applications.
Fuchs Petrolub signed an agreement to acquire independent lubricant blender Nulon Products Australia, an expansion into the competitive retail market for automotive lubes down under. Terms were not disclosed.
Global demand for automotive lubricants should continue to rise even as electric vehicles become more popular, an official from consultancy Frost & Sullivan said recently. Thats because the global vehicle parc will still be dominated by internal combustion engines despite quickly increasing sales of EVs.
Grease production in China remained steady in 2017 while Japans output grew and India shifted toward higher quality, according to the National Lubricating Grease Institutes yearly survey, which was presented during the organizations annual meeting earlier this week.
In a deal that would strengthen ties between two of the worlds largest lithium suppliers, Nutrien Ltd. agreed last week to sell a 24-percent stake in Chiles SQM to Tianqi Lithium Corp.
CNPC has begun supplying a variety of lubricants-related products, including lube additives, in a bid to gain new clients and fight for market share.
Indonesias national oil company, PT Pertamina Lubricants, signed an agreement recently to explore the possibilities of establishing a grease company with local subsidiaries of two Japanese firms.
China produces almost as much grease as North America and Europe combined, and the rest of Asia collectively churns out more than each of those Western regions, according to this years production report from the National Lubricating Grease Institute. Lithium soaps reign as the most prominent thickener type around the world.
For upwards of a year, Indias grease manufactures have had difficulty sourcing lithium hydroxide, a key raw material for making greases thickened with lithium-based soaps. Their woes are unlikely to end soon unless they find alternatives to lithium and lithium complex greases, industry officials said.
French oil giant Total Lubricants opened a grease production plant in Tianjin, China, Friday - its first in the Asia-Pacific region.