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April 6, 2016

Volume 17 Issue 52

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Cepsa Opens Automated Lubes Warehouse

Spanish multinational oil and gas company Cepsa opened a fully automated lubricants warehouse in San Roque, Cadiz province, to improve logistics.

The 4,590-square meter warehouse involved an investment of €14 million (U.S. $15.9 million), and has capacity to store over 26,000 pallets of lubricant oil drums, according to a promotional video on Cepsa’s website. The site employs 70 people, with all the packaging movements being handled by automated stacking cranes.

Photo: Cepsa / Flickr

Cepsa's warehouse has capacity to store more 26,000 pallets of lubricant oil drums.

The facility is next to Cepsa’s Gibraltar-San Roque refinery, where the company manufactures a wide range of fuels and materials used in petrochemical applications.

The warehouse was a collaborative effort between Cepsa and U.S.-based Mecalux, a warehouse storage solutions provider, said Milagros Fernández, production manager at Cepsa’s lubricants unit. “[The warehouse] is completely physically and digitally integrated with the blending and packaging systems of the production unit,” she mentioned in the video.

The Gibraltar-San Roque refinery has capacity to produce 200,000 tons per year of lubricants and paraffins, and can package 170,000 t/y of engine oils, which are marketed under the Cepsa and Ertoil brands, according to a document on the company’s website.

“The location of the new warehouse, close to the Gibraltar-San Roque refinery, means it is tightly integrated into the production process from the manufacture to the final distribution of the product, passing through its mixing and packaging phase, storage, to its distribution,” the company stated in a press release. It added that integrating both facilities will also improve security and traceability of Cepsa’s products.

Consultant Geeta S. Agashe, president of Geeta Agashe & Associates LLC, noted that lubricants counterfeiting is a problem in both Spain and Portugal. “This new automated system will help in that regard,” Agashe told Lube Report.

The significantly improving economic climate in Spain and Portugal augurs well for this kind of an investment, she said. “Spain’s gross domestic product is forecast to grow by 2.8 percent, the fastest growth rate since 2007,” Agashe said. “Portugal’s GDP is expected to grow at 1.6 percent, again the fastest growth rate since 2010.” She noted the hard work of the governments in Spain and Portugal to reform their economies has helped them turn the corner, boost growth and put public finances on a stable path. “The employment rate has improved steadily, thereby putting more folks in position to drive to work, which means increased demand for both industrial and automatic lubricants,” Agashe added.

Founded in 1950, Cepsa is one of the most prominent lubricants suppliers in the Iberian Peninsula. Parsippany, N.J.-based Kline & Co. ranked the leading finished lubricants suppliers for 2014 in the region – which includes Spain and Portugal – as Repsol, Cepsa, BP, Total, Shell, ExxonMobil and Galp, followed by all other suppliers. “The top three combined account for just under 50 percent of total [regional] sales of automotive and industrial oils and fluids,” George Morvey, industry manager for Kline & Co.’s Energy Practice, told Lube Report.

Cepsa states that it sells more than 235,000 t/y of lubricants, refrigerants, base oils and paraffins across 80 countries, including some in emerging markets such as Latin America and Asia.

George Gill contributed to this report.