One of the main global events for the base oil sector, the 18th ICIS World Base Oils & Lubricants Conference took place in London on 19th-21th February. Neste Oil was sponsoring the conference.
"This is a global event and basically all the industry is here. This is an excellent place to network and build relationships, “ says Marketing Specialist Ulla Kotila from Neste Oil, Base Oils.
When marketing its top-tier base oils Neste Oil has a quality driven approach and it is targeting the high performance engine oil and industrial lubricants industry.
“If you have a nice car, you want the best for it and need to know what is inside the tank. You want reduced emissions, fuel economy and bring longer life, durability to your engine. All these aspects are brought by products that use Neste Oil base oils as a raw material in their lubricants,” explains Thomas Guinot, Marketing and Technology services manager, from Neste Oil, Base Oils.
Oversupply has been a problem in the marketplace but Neste Oil has worked hard to differentiate itself from the competition. “We have developed partnerships with the additive companies, our customers and also with carmakers. Our formulations provide broad coverage OEM approvals that help our customers to sell their finished lubricants and win in the market place. ” Guinot says.
“In addition, we follow carefully our customers’ evolving geo-strategies: for example at the moment many global clients are focusing on Eastern and Southern markets. Therefore, we adapt to and are selective with our customer portfolio to provide the added value product services the premium lubricants market need.”
The future plans include diversification of the portfolio which has historically focused on the automotive industry. Guinot takes as an example a hospital that generates electricity with diesel engines. “You need higher quality base oils and that is where we can make a difference in energy efficiency and emission control using the same concept that we have been applying to the automotive sector.
Neste Oil base oils have a very strong position in Europe. The growth areas at the moment are in North and South America. In the future Neste Oil has an ambition to grow in the Asian economies while premium lubricant demand is rising.
Two years ago Neste Oil took a bold step tripling capacity when it started base oil production in Bahrain.
“It demanded a lot of preparation but we managed it with diligence and our experience. We produce on two sites, in Porvoo, Finland and Bahrain exactly the same products; they are of the same global slate. That is something that our customers value highly and that is what differentiates NEXBASE from the other group III's,” Thomas Guinot says.
Outstanding Customer Service
One of the participants in the ICIS Conference was Commercial Director Simon Brander from Multisol. The company is a distributor for Neste Oil’s base oils mainly in the UK, France and Benelux servicing predominantly independent automotive lubricant manufacturers.
“Multisol’s or Neste Oil’s strategy is not to have the lowest priced product in the marketplace - it is to supply quality products and a quality service. Our customers recognise the value of working in partnership with us to get products on specification meeting qualifications required. Neste Oil’s customer service is outstanding, very reliable,” Brander praises.
“Neste Oil continuously invests heavily in formulation approvals, which can be costly, time consuming and technically challenging. Especially in the European market it is great to be working with a European producer.”
Brander believes that Neste Oil is well placed to tackle the challenges lying ahead.
“Their foresight and their appetite to invest in future technology have proven to be very good and everything that I hear and see suggests that this will continue,” Simon Brander from Multisol says.