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December 24, 2019

Volume 3 Issue 7

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Chevron and Akwa Form Morocco Hub

Chevron and Casablanca, Morocco-based energy company Akwa Group reached an agreement to create an African lubes hub in Morocco, the companies announced late last month.

The operation will be managed by Societe Afriquia Lubrifiants, a joint venture that the companies formed in 2006. Originally Akwa held a 75 percent stake, but Chevron increased its holding to 50 percent as part of the new agreement, according to a Nov. 27 press release. Chevron will supply its own Group II base oils for the production of finished lubricants and its blending technology for use in that production.

The companies plan to distribute those lubricants to 14 countries in North and West Africa: Algeria, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Togo, Tunisia, Senegal, Niger, Mauritania, Mali, Guinea, Benin, Gabon and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Sales have already begun into Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Niger and Togo.

The Casablanca plant will have capacity to make 40,000 metric tons per year, Chevron spokesperson Ali Redouane told Lube Report. He added that the joint venture is considering an investment of U.S. $40 million to build a second plant in Morocco.

Most of the lubes distributed by the joint venture will be made by it in Morocco, but volumes produced by Chevron in Belgium will supplement. The companies estimate the combined lubricants market of the 14 countries at 600,000 metric tons per year. “We aim to become number one in each of the 14 new markets,” Redouane said.

“Until last year, finished lubes were imported to Morocco from Belgium,” he explained. “As of today, 80 percent of the Texaco range is produced in Casablanca for Morocco and the 14 new export countries.” Texaco is one of Chevron’s lubricant brands.

A new shipping dock will be constructed next year in Jorf Lasfar, Morocco. It will receive high-capacity ships and export lubes packaged in isotanks and flexitanks. The hub in Casablanca connects to the dock via two pipelines.

“This new pact allows the integration of high-end formulas of Chevron lubricants in local production, the export from Morocco … to 14 countries in Africa, the construction in the kingdom of an African hub for the marketing of lubricants and the implementation of a new production and logistics platform,” Akwa General Manager for Fuels and Lubricants Adil Ziady said in a news release. “With this agreement, Afriquia Lubrifiants consolidates its expertise and reputation as a preferred supplier.”

"Our new strategy for Africa will allow Afriquia Lubrifiants to expand its distribution network, its sales and its product portfolio,” said Stewart Wright, general manager of Chevron Lubricants for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. “The success of our joint venture with Akwa Group, already visible in Morocco for more than 10 years, will now extend to the north and west of Africa, with new ranges of lubricants that will always bring more quality and efficiency to industry, manufacturers and end customers.”

In April, Chevron established a Group II base oil hub in Casablanca through Afriquia to distribute to North and West Africa. It was the company’s second such hub in Africa following the establishment of another in Durban, South Africa, in 2014.