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October 2, 2018

Volume 3 Issue 3

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Azmol-British Petrochemicals' Lubes Go Global

Joint venture Azmol-British Petrochemicals ramped up its production this year, with European automakers recommending its lubricants for their vehicles, and entered new markets for the first time since restarting operations in 2017, the company said.

Azmol, a 50-50 Ukrainian-British JV, resumed production last year, following several years of dormancy. That was followed by a restructuring led by Ukrainian companies Agrinol, a Berdnyansk-based lube maker, and West Oil Group, which operates the largest network of fuel stations in the country. British lube maker Global Lubricants was tasked with Azmol-BP’s technical modernization.

The Ukrainian and British investors succeeded in closing outstanding debts, modernized parts of the production process and renewed the enterprise’s workforce last year. Azmol-BP has total production capacity of nearly 225,000 metric tons per year, including 125,000 t/y of finished lubricants and close to 100,000 t/y of greases. It also has its own filling and packaging line.

Azmol-BP’s workforce can “develop and implement the production of new modern lubricants that meet all the requirements of the world market,” Terry Dicken, founder of the JV and owner of Global Lubricants, told Lube Report. Dicken is also chairman of the European Lubricating Grease Institute.

The company uses base oils of refiners such as Nynas, Chevron and Neste for its finished products, and makes formulations with additives from European and American additive makers. In the past year, Azmol-BP received recommendations for its motor oils by the German automakers Daimler and Volkswagen, and from France’s Renault.  It is also a licensed producer of Castrol marine oils.

Azmol-BP aims to become an important player in the global lubricants business and said it is working to find additional new customers. The company’s sales territory is expanding, with recent forays into Russia, Lithuania and Libya. Azmol-BP also ships its products to countries such as Cambodia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Iraq, Turkey and Latvia.

The company produces a slate of lithium, calcium and calcium sulfonate greases. It also produces bentonite, aluminum and synthetic greases. Calcium, potassium-calcium, lithium and potassium-lithium greases make 75 percent of its total grease production. The company said it switched to more energy efficient horizontal reactors for lubricant production from the previous vertical ones.

Located in the Azov Sea port city of Berdyansk, Azmol was one of the largest lubricant makers in the former Soviet Union. The company was created in 1937, and beginning in the 1940s supplied the Soviet market with greases, automotive and industrial oils.