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Local lubricant makers push for bigger market share

By Wainaina Wambu | October 19th 2021

Chevron is one of the world’s largest suppliers of finished lubricants. [Courtesy]

In a market dominated by multinational oil marketers, local lubricant manufacturers are steadily making their mark.

Last week, Yana Oil, a member of the Sameer Group, announced a deal with Chevron-owned Caltex.

Chevron is one of the world’s largest suppliers of finished lubricants.

Under the deal, Yana Oil will blend the lubricants, with Caltex only bringing in the raw materials and packaging. Caltex previously imported Chevron’s finished products.

“Chevron have a very big prospect for the Kenyan and regional market. They are confident of our high standards and having one of the biggest manufacturing capacities locally,” said Yana Oil Executive Director Kamran Kangari during the announcement of the deal in Nairobi. Yana Oil, which was established in 2020, has a capacity to blend five million litres of lubricants monthly.

Mr Kangari said the firm had the capacity to supply the biggest players in the market.

He said currently, Yana serves about four top local oil marketers, but they are still not operating at maximum capacity.

“Our future plans are very straight; we want to manufacture and come to 100 per cent level of our factory and be able to export through those oil marketers to the East African region,” said Kangari.

The firm manufactures lubricants for both automotive and industrial purposes, such as engine oils and coolants.

Multinationals like Shell, Total and Ola control about 90 per cent of the local lubricants market. Birthed in the pandemic period, Yana Oil started by assisting the government in manufacturing hand sanitisers.

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