Dubai: A state-of-the-art lubricant manufacturing plant and grease processing unit, jointly set up by the Hinduja Group and the government in UAE's Ras Al Khaimah emirate, has been commissioned with an aim to gain a regional market share of upto to 8 per cent in the next four years.
Gulf RAK Oil LLC has been set up as a manufacturing facility for lubricants and greases in Maritime City, Ras Al Khaimah, and was commissioned by Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, the ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, in the presence of Gopichand P Hinduja, Co-Chairman, Hinduja Group of Companies.
The joint venture enjoys a LLC status being a Government of Ras Al Khaimah company.
A joint venture of the Government of Ras Al Khaimah and Gulf Oil International - the energy wing of the Hinduja Group, the facility has a blending capacity of 70,000 MTPA of lubricants.
The launch was also attended by M K Lokesh, Ambassador of India to the UAE, and senior officials of the government of Ras Al Khaimah and the Hinduja Group.
Spanning across an area of over 13 acres, the production facility at Gulf RAK provides for blending, filling and storage of finished products.
The plant has also been set up with a small pack filling line, drum decanting unit for blending, drum and bulk filling facilities.
The plant holds the capacity to fill small pack up to 6,000 MTPA in addition to grease production and filling of 10,000 MTPA.
Strategically located by the side of Saqr Port Canal, the facility has a direct pipeline access from the ship to company's base oil storage tanks, leading to the reduction of transportation hassles of bulk cargoes such as tank rentals and contamination.
IDO and Gulf Oil, through another Joint venture Standard Greases and Specialties (India) Ltd, have also commissioned a grease manufacturing facility in the same facility at Ras Al Khaimah.
This will ensure decreased product costs and facilitate a higher rate of organic growth.
Standard Greases bring with them their 3 decades of technology and manufacturing experience in the Grease manufacturing.
"We are very pleased to launch our lubricant and grease manufacturing plant in Ras Al Khaimah. The plant is strategically located to enjoy easy accessibility as well as supportive trading policies which makes it viable for our products to be available at much more economical rates to the end user across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and MENA region," said Frank Rutten, Vice-President International of Gulf Oil.
He said RAK Maritime City offers an extremely productive ground for investment owing to its strategic location and foray into the IDO owned enterprises and investors in RAK.
"As a major producer of lubricants in the emirate, Gulf RAK has been set up with a state-of-the-art manufacturing and storage plant.
An ambitious expansion plan has already been charted out for the plant to ensure a market share of at least 6 to 8 per cent in the next four years, which is expected to reflect in the rolling plan with Gulf RAK Oil's existing customers, GCC customers of GOMEL Jebel Ali and new customers," Rutten said.
The present blending capacity of the plant on three shift basis is 30,000 MTPA of lubricants.
Proposed expansion plans of the plant with new machineries and equipment will see an increased blending capacity of 44,000 MTPA.
The facility has the present bulk storage capacity of approximately 7000 MT for base oils and 2000 MT of finished products.
It is estimated that the lubricant market in the GCC area is about 1.5 million tonnes and growing at around 8 per cent.
As a region, it is the second biggest regional markets in the world, after Asia Pacific.
Jim Stewart, CEO and Board Member of Investment and Development Office (IDO) of the Government of Ras Al Khaimah, said: "We are very pleased to partner with Gulf Oil to launch this manufacturing facility for lubricants and grease in the emirate IDO of the Government of RAK has a very clear vision of continuous development and growth through investments in new and existing businesses.
We are focused on developing the infrastructure to promote investments in the emirate and collaboration with partners who are specialists with a proven track record of success."
"Gulf Oil is an established leader with more than 110 years of expertise in the oil and gas industry specialising in lubricants, greases and other specialty products.
They were an obvious choice to collaborate with and give shape to the long standing dream of IDO to see real time growth in the manufacturing industry sector. This is a highly lucrative partnership with mutual promise of growth. We are exciting to take this partnership forward with many expansion planned in the pipeline," he said.
Gulf Oil International is one of the top 10 lubricant companies in the world. Established in the US in 1901, Gulf Oil now operates in more than 130 countries worldwide and has 20 manufacturing plants across the world.
Recently, Gulf Oil acquired the US specialty-lubricant maker, Houghton.
Owned fully by the Hinduja Group, Gulf Oil also operates gasoline service stations in many countries across the world.
The Investment and Development Office, Government of Ras Al Khaimah, is the central investment office of the Government and is tasked with a number of important mandates in support of the vision for the continued growth and development of the Emirate.