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May 14, 2019

Volume 3 Issue 3

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SK, Taif Said to Talk Cooperation

Taif Group and a sister company of SK Lubricants met in Nizhnekamsk, Russia, last week to discuss the possibility of cooperating to have SK’s Zic-branded lubricants manufactured in the Russian city, a news site reported last week.

The article in Realnoe Vremya did not indicate whether the companies were discussing the formation of a joint venture, a toll blending deal or some other type of arrangement. Officials at SK Lubricants did not respond to a request for immediate comment today. Taif officials could not be reached for comment.

Photo courtesy of Nizhnekamskneftekhim

SK Lubricants intends to use the Nizhnekamksneftekhim chemical refining complex’s polyalphaolefins production to produce its Zic-branded finished products in Russia.

Taif is a diversified holding company based in Kazan, Tatarstan, and part owner of rubber and plastics manufacturer Nizhnekamksneftekhim, which operates a 10,000 metric ton per year plant in Nizhnekamsk, another Tatarstan city. Taif does not currently produce lubricants, but the company’s general director said it would like to align with SK to do just that.

“We are ready to set up a joint finished lubricant production with SK,” Albert Shigabutdinov said during a meeting with SK Engineering and Construction, according to the Realnoe Vremya article.

The same article reported an unidentified SK Engineering and Construction official saying, “We are seriously interested in production of finished lubricants under SK Lubricants’ Zic brand in Nizhnekamsk.”

Like SK Lubricants, SK Engineering and Construction is a subsidiary of Seoul-based SK Group, one of the largest conglomerates in South Korea. SK Lubricants is the world’s largest supplier of API Group III base stocks and also manufactures and markets finished lubes under the Zic brand. In some countries, such as China, it produces lubes at wholly owned blend plants, while in others, such as Pakistan, its products are made at plants operated by others.

In addition to cooperating in the production of Zic lubricants, Shigabutdinov said Taif is willing to supply PAOs to be used as base stocks for those fluids and would also consider expanding its plant to meet SK’s needs.

Kazan, Tatarstan-based Taif Group is a holding company with operations in the petrochemical industry of Russia. It is one of the owners of Nizhnekamksneftekhim’s 10,000 tons per year polyalphaolefin plant. Taif has a network of 200 petrol stations that could serve as an outlet for Zic lubes.

SK Engineering and Construction reportedly expressed interest in procuring methylene diphenyl diisoccynate, polyurethanes and synthetic rubbers from Taif.