24 September 2012

Back in business - What has changed in a year?

Written by Virpi Amoedo
Published in Oil products

I have been now back to base oils business some weeks. For those of you, who don't know, I'm back from my maternity leave and spent about 10 months at home taking care of my lovely baby boy. Yes indeed, we have nice long maternity leaves here in Finland, and it was a real break from the day-to-day business.

Many things have changed during the year. Internally at Neste Oil, the most significant change is obviously start up of new base oils production in Bahrain. When waiting for my baby to born, I received great news from Bahrain that the unit started up really successfully. So instead of one unit, we now have two units located in different parts of the world, and this enables us to serve our customers in all key markets. Now the Bahrain unit has good operating experience already, which enables jv partners to analyse the development potential of the unit.

The market has also changed. One year ago we talked about potential economical recession, and indeed industrial activity has slowed down in many areas. It has had an impact on lubricants demand, and consumption figures are reported to be lower compared to last year. Many of us been longer time in the base oils, additives and lubricants business have seen the cycles. However, I would assume that right now many of us are facing the same challenge of converting the views about economic recovery to concerete plans in terms of demand and supply forecasts.

However, the trend towards higher performanse is intact. There is continued conversion to higher quality lubricants, and in terms of base oils, Group III continues to take market share in all markets. All the developments anticipated in coming year makes my work really intereting , and I'm excited about returning to base oils business. I'm looking forward to meeting again our customers and partners in the industry.

Virpi Amoedo
Vice President, Base Oils