Hyderabad, November 7: Gulf Oil Lubricants India, a Hinduja Group company, has delayed the commissioning of its expansion project at Silvassa in Dadra and Nagar Haveli, by a month to January. The company also plans to begin construction of its proposed 125-crore plant near Chennai shortly. Gulf Oil, which is mainly into the lubricants business, has taken up a pilot test of marketing batteries for two-wheelers, particularly motorcycles, through its retail network, said Ravi Chawla, Managing Director. The pilot test for batteries is aimed at gauging the market before we take any decision on getting into this business. We are sourcing these batteries from a local manufacturer, and also importing, he told Business Line.
With a current manufacturing capacity of 75 tonnes a year, the Silvassa plant is running at about 95 per cent capacity now. The company is boosting this to 90-95 tonnes with an investment of 40 crore. It had said earlier that the expansion would be completed in December. The prolonged monsoon has delayed the commissioning, he said. Referring to the new plant proposed near Chennai, he said, Work on the plant is expected to begin soon and take about two years to complete. This will have capacity to manufacture 50,000 tonnes a year.
Last year, Gulf Oil reported a turnover of 1,017 crore, and expects a growth of over 10 per cent this year, with some select segments such as motorcycles seeing much higher growth. Having built a network with original equipment manufacturers in the commercial vehicle segment in the past, we are now looking at similar engagements with OEMs in the two-wheeler and four-wheeler passenger segments, Chawla said. The commercial vehicle lubricants business contributes about 40 per cent of the companys total volumes, followed by the industrial (25 per cent), motorcycle (18 per cent) and cars (5 per cent) segments.