24 February 2011 18:01 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--Russian consumers are requesting high-specification lubricants rather than the old government standard products, an executive with Lukoil Lubricants said on Thursday.
Government-standard (GOST) lubricants for automotive and industrial use still account for 70% of all lubricant consumption in Russia by volume, but just 60% by value, said Maxim Donde, Lukoil Lubricants general director. He was speaking to delegates at the 15th ICIS World Base Oils & Lubricants Conference.
The challenge for the Russian base oils industry is to produce more high-specification lubricants within the country to satisfy local demand, he said.
Donde forecast that the volume of lubricants consumed in the Russian market would be evenly split between GOST and high-specification products by 2015.
Russia is a net exporter of the base oils used in lubricant manufacture, but it imports 300,000 tonnes/year of its annual consumption of 1.4m tonnes of finished lubricants. Most of these imports are high-specification oils that are formulated with Group II and III base oils, which have higher viscosity index values.
Upgrading and expansion projects in Russia were delayed by the economic recession of 2008-09, but none had been cancelled, Donde said.
Six projects were expected on stream between 2012 and 2014, which would add more than 1.4m tonnes of annual production capacity, mainly for Group II and III base oils.
Lukoil is Russia’s largest producer of base oils, with a 45% share of total production capacity. Donde said the company’s development plan called for its base oil production to become balanced with its production of finished lubricants.
The meeting began on Thursday and runs through Friday.
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