Business

Malaysia’s Hyrax Oil opens new lubricant blending plant in Muthurajawela

Hyrax Oil Sdn. Bhd. proudly inaugurated its lubricant blending plant in Muthurajawela, Wattala on 24 June 2019 through its strategic collaboration with Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC), under a build-operate-transfer (BOT) agreement. In addition, both parties established a supply agreement for increased collaboration and partnership. The grand opening ceremony of the lubricant blending plant was led by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, ministers, and government officials. The opening ceremony was also graced by dignitaries from Malaysia and Sri Lanka. Built across five acres, the plant spans 40,000 sq. ft. and has a capacity of 72,000 MT per annum to blend automotive, industrial, marine, and specialty lubricants including greases and transformer oil for power and distribution transformers. The plant’s filling and packing capabilities extend to small packs, pails, drums, IBC tanks, and flexibags. This is the second international lubricant blending plant of the Malaysia-based Hyrax Oil, the first one being in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The Prime Minister said: “Establishing commercial enterprises that attract direct foreign investments to Sri Lanka indeed begets positive economic outcomes. The present Government has been continuously engaged in implementing and encouraging such viable initiatives. I would like to extend my warmest wishes to Ceylon Petroleum Corporation on the occasion of the establishment of a lubrication blending enterprise in collaboration with Hyrax Oil Sdn. Bhd. of Malaysia as a direct foreign investment. It indeed is a milestone in the Sri Lankan petroleum development sector. This would essentially result in a significant reduction of foreign exchange spent on petroleum lubricant imports whilst providing high-quality lubricants that are suitable for modern vehicles at an affordable price to local vehicle owners. Furthermore, this would create more job opportunities within the industry and also provide a platform for technical knowledge exchange within the field. It is envisioned that this new venture would also enable Ceylon Petroleum Corporation to gain a competitive edge in the local lubricant market and subsequently achieve financial progress and sustainability.”

Commenting on the occasion, Hyrax Oil Group Managing Director Dato’ Hazimah Zainuddin said: “The opening of Hyrax Oil’s first lubricant blending plant in Sri Lanka is a moment of pride for the company and a step ahead for the country’s lubricants industry. I would like to thank the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka for gracing this special occasion along with respected government officials. The Minister of Petroleum and the CPC have been extremely supportive of our efforts. Our close collaboration with CPC has been an essential element in our success in constructing the new plant. Hyrax Oil is also committed to transfer all necessary knowhow and technology to local Sri Lankan staff who will manage the plant under Hyrax Oil’s stewardship. At the end of a 20-year period, the plant, operated under a build-operate-transfer contract, will be handed over to CPC. At that time, CPC will inherit a plant that will have modernised, ISO-backed processes and procedures and will be managed by a team with all the necessary skill sets. We at Hyrax Oil are fully committed to make this collaborative effort a success for both parties within the next 20 years and beyond.”

Having invested $ 30 million in the new lubricant blending plant, Zainuddin stated that about 40% of the output of the plant could be exported while 60% would be distributed locally.
“We have been exporting to more than 35 countries and from Sri Lanka we plan to cover the South Asia region. If possible, we will immediately start exporting. The market in Bangladesh for lubricant is huge; we would be very happy if we could even get a share less than 1%.”

In 2006, Hyrax Oil Sdn. Bhd. participated in an international tender to provide lubricants to CPC, with which it has been collaborating for more than 10 years. Supplies commenced in 2008 and over the next 10 years, CPC in collaboration with Hyrax Oil Sdn. Bhd. launched their own brand of lubricants, Ceypetco-Hyrax. Since the introduction of these lubricants, CPC quickly moved up from ground zero and achieved market leadership position in terms of market share in the local lubricants industry. A laboratory equipped with the latest state-of-the-art testing equipment is built as an essential part of the new plant with Hyrax Oil, imparting technical skills to local staff. After-sales and technical support to CPC’s dealers and petrol sheds around the country will be elevated in accordance.

PHOTO Krishan Kariyawasam