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October 25, 2017

Volume 17 Issue 52

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Blue Chip Aims Across Africa

South Africa’s Blue Chip Lubricants said the completion of its 43,000 tons per year blending facility in Johannesburg earlier this year will enable it to embark on large-scale blending of lubricants for the South African and sub-Saharan African markets.

Blue Chip Lubricants is the sole blender and distributor in Africa of Q8Oils lubricants, a product of Kuwait Petroleum Corporation.

“We will look to distribute Q8Oils into the [Southern African Development Community] region. We already have a few partners that we are working with, but we will be looking to appoint and support a larger network of distributors in these countries,” Hayley Arneen, sales and marketing manager for Blue Chip Lubricant, told Lube Report by email. The SADC is a regional economic community comprised of 15 member states; Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Sandile Khoza, director of Lutramart, the new partner under the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment policies to Blue Chip Lubricants, lauded the new facility.

“We now have the opportunity to rationalize the entire value chain in the petrochemical industry, from blending and manufacture through to proactive maintenance, and leveraging the lowest total cost of ownership for our customers,” said Khoza.

The new blending facility is designed to manufacture a variety of products.

“Our extensive product range includes specialized and general-purpose greases, automotive and industrial oils, cleaning and cutting fluids, and various complementary products such as grease pumps, rags, hand cleaners and degreasers,” said Kathleen Marais, director and owner of Blue Chip Lubricant. “Here we offer products to increase operational efficiency by optimizing the production processes and reducing lubricant consumption.”

Patrick Swan, principal consultant at Aswan Consultancy and former president of the South African Institute of Tribology, said Blue Chip is embarking on massive projects that are good for the lubricant industry. However, he added that the new blending facility “may not have any real impact on the lubricant market in South Africa,” noting that building a huge blending plant does not automatically amount to taking a large chunk of the lubricant market in South Africa.