The Italy-based motor oil and grease producer, Petronas Lubricants, signed an exclusive dealership agreement with Gomeju Oil Ethiopia that enables the latter to promote and distribute Petronas products in Ethiopia.
Based in Turin, Petronas Lubricants is a subsidiary company of Petronas (Petroliam Nasional Berhad), Malaysia’s fully integrated oil and gas multinational which is ranked among the largest corporations on FORTUNE Global 500.
Petronas Lubricants was established in 2008 after two companies – Petronas Lubricants wing and FS Selenia, FIAT’s lubricants company – merged. FL Selenia has been producing lubricants for FIAT vehicles since 1936. Petronas Lubricants has four manufacturing plants – two in in Italy, one in Belgium and one in Spain.
At a launching ceremony held at Sheraton Addis on March 12 executives of Petronas and Gomeju Oil Ethiopia have announced their new partnership that allows them to supply Petronas motor and grease products to the Ethiopian market.
Steven Vandenheede, supervisor of Export Sales for Africa, Middle East and Overseas, said that Petronas products have been recommended for brand new vehicles produced by IVECO and New Holland. “We work closely with IVECO, CNH and Mercedes Benz. IVECO recommends new trucks to use Petronas motor oil when they come out of the manufacturing plant. As a manufacturer we are the only company who can manufacture recommended lubricants by IVECO and New Holland.”
Vandenheede said that there are a large number of IVECO trucks in Ethiopia adding that IVECO was unable to import Petronas products due to legal issues. “Now thanks to Gomeju we can bring our products to Ethiopia.” Grease and motor oil of various types, automotive grease, oil spray, oil lubricants for cooling systems for automotive, agricultural and construction machineries are among the long list of products that Petronas Lubricants produces. Petronas Lubricants which produces 600,000 metric tons of lubricants generates USD 1.7 billion annual revenue.
Yigzaw Mekonnen, general manager of Gomeju Oil Ethiopia, said that Gomeju is proud to partner with the global leading lubricants manufacturer, Petronas Lubricants. “Petronas grease and motor oil are of high quality. The price could be a bit higher but that does not mean anything considering the high quality of the products.”
Yigzaw told The Reporter that unavailability of land for the construction of gas stations and marginal profit margin are the major constraints hampering the growth of petroleum companies. “These problems have been there for a long time and they are not resolved yet. We still hopefully wait for the government to solve the problems.”
Gomeku Oil Ethiopia was established by Tewodros Yeshiwas and his wife Genet Gebreigzabher with a registered capital of 53 million birr in 2015. The company raised its capital to 100 million birr.
Gomeju Oil started its operation in 2016 with 24 gas stations. The company was officially inaugurated in May 2017. The number of gas stations has reached 40. The company has invested one billion birr on gas stations, buildings, and fuel tanker trucks and created 1,000 jobs. According to Yigzaw, the company will now focus on lubricants, LPG and bitumen supply.
Managing director and founder of Gomeju Oil Ethiopia, Tewodros Yeshiwas, told The Reporter that considering the scarcity of land in Addis Ababa Gomeju Oil has imported portable gas stations to be delivered to the Addis Ababa City Administration. The portable gas stations will be given to Small and Micro Enterprises organized by the Addis Ababa City Administration. “Due to busy schedule we could not hand over the portable gas stations so far. We want to contribute our share to youth job creation scheme,” Tewodros said.
Gomeju Oil is in the process to build an ethanol and lubricants blending facility. Tewodros told The Reporter that his company is finalizing negotiations with plant manufactures in the UAE.
Gomeju is also planning to join the aviation fuel market. The company has submitted proposals to build aviation fuel depot at the Addis Ababa Bole International Airport and in some regional airports.