Lubes industry faces record raw material costs

United Arab Emirates: Wednesday, April 06 - 2005 @ 12:41

Opening the third annual ‘Outlook for the East Suez – Lubricants and Baseoils Conference’, Kamal Said, Chief Operating Officer, Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC) International Sales LLC, said the industry could overcome the twin threats of record raw material prices and low cost, sub-standard products by working to promote the quality, high specification lubricants.

Said, who co-chaired the conference, commented: “This event comes at a most challenging time for our industry – we face record prices for raw materials across the entire supply chain and substantial consumer resistance to accepting these cost pass through.”

Said pinpointed one of the biggest issues facing the lubricants industry as quality acceptance and awareness of the risk involved in using sub-standard products.

“As the industry continues to develop more sophisticated, more efficient lubricants designed to protect engines and reduce hazardous exhaust emissions, it is faced with increasing competition from low cost, poor quality, often products without specifications that fail to advise the customer or protect engines while causing pollution,” warned Said.

“Within the UAE alone, more than 80 lubricants are on sale, 75% of which are unbranded, low quality productions.

“To meet this challenge and maintain the integrity of our industry, we have to introduce lubricant minimum performance standards and a means to monitor lubricant marketer’s products to ensure customers get sophisticated and reliable lubricants.”

ENOC, together with ADNOC and EMARAT with support from the international oil majors, is working with the UAE Federal Government organisation, Emirates Authority for the Standardisation & Metrology, and the Emirates Conformity Assessment Scheme (ECAS) for the setting of lubricant standards through compliance procedures, and the implementation of procedures to control the marketing of substandard lubricants.

The Group’s ‘Partnership in Progress’ programme brings together end users, to develop greater industry co-operation, and provide education about damage to machinery caused by low grade products.

And across its international markets in 26 countries, ENOC works in partnership with distributors and the industry to get the quality message across.

Kamal added: “By dynamic marketing of the reliability of our lubricants and the high standards of our industry we can create greater consumer confidence and awareness.

“Our priorities must include creating brand awareness and product differentiation by marketing our professional industry as a producer of safe, reliable, quality lubricants.”

It has attracted leading international, regional and local experts and decision markers for seven sessions over two days to discuss the challenges facing the sector across the entire supply chain.

The conference is one of four specialist sessions running in Dubai during Middle East Petroleum and Gas Week alongside the 13th Middle East Petroleum & Gas Conference, the region’s longest running annual oil conference.

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Wednesday, April 6- 2005 @ 12:41 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.

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