(EnergyAsia, April 29 2013, Monday) — The Gulf Oil International Group, owned by India’s Hinduja Group, has started up two new lubricants blending plants in Ras Al Khaimah in the UAE and Argentina.

Gulf RAK Oil, a joint venture of the Ras Al Khaimah government and Gulf Oil International, last month opened a lubrication manufacturing plant in Ras Al Khaimah’s Maritime City. The plant was commissioned by Ras Al Khaimah’s ruler, Shaikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, at a ceremony attended by Gopichand P. Hinduja, co-chairman of the Hinduja Group of Companies, M. K. Lokesh, India’s ambassador to the UAE, and government officials and business executives.

Sited on a 5.3-hectare plot, the plant has a blending capacity of 70,000 metric tonnes/year.

Frank Rutten, Gulf Oil’s international vice president, said:

“We are very pleased to launch our lubricant and grease manufacturing plant in Ras Al Khaimah. The plant is strategically located to enjoy easy accessibility as well as supportive trading policies which makes it viable for our products to be available at much more economical rates to the end user across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and MENA region.”

Two weeks ago, Gulf Oil started up a second lubricants plant at a location on the Acceso Oeste highway about 38 km from Buenos Aires in Argentina.

The highway links the main routes of the MERCOSUR customs union countries of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela, which gives Gulf products an important logistical competitive edge in the region.

Occupying a 20,000 sq m site in an industrial zone, the new plant is well positioned for expansion from its current production capacity of 6,000 tons per year.

The company said it expects to raise capacity to 9,600 tons a year by 2016 and to 15,000 tons in five years.

Emilio Alvarez Cañedo, CEO of Gulf Oil Argentina, said:

“The new plant is the result of nearly a decade of strong business growth. Delivery in a timely manner has always been one of the great attributes of the company.”