11 July 2020

Table of Contents for Industry Focus- Lubricants & Engine Oils

Industry Focus- Lubricants & Engine Oils

Greasing the Turnaround


India’s fast track rollout of EPC infra projects, and the Mining Ordinance for the mining sector, is heralding an overall turnaround for all three sectors, and the ECE industry in particular. This will generate major demand for lubes and engine oils. However, the demand gradients are slippery with plenty of players in the market, and only branded lubes co-developed with equipment OEMs will sell more….thinks Satish P. Chavan.


According to a report “Indian Construction Equipment Market Outlook 2018,” published by RNCOS, the Indian construction equipment market is projected to grow at a CAGR 19 per cent during the forecast period 2013-2018. Another report by IBEF projects Indian construction equipment market to grow threefold from 2015 to 2020, clocking a phenomenal CAGR of 50.9 per cent by FY20 at a projected value worth $ 22.7 billion, from $ 2.9 billion in FY15. A report by AT Kearney, ‘Building India’s Earthmoving and Construction Equipment Industry,’ projects India’s ECE industry at a robust CAGR of 20-25 per cent next few years. Such robust CAGR projections will generate concomitant demand for lubricants used in machineries – ranging from offhigway equipment to stationary crushing & screening, batching, plants. The mining sector is also opening up majorly due to the mining Ordinance, fueling major demand for mining equipment which use lubes. With both sectors projecting a robust growth rate, it will have a multiplier effect generating concomitant demand for lubes and engine oils in the Indian market.

For engine oils, ‘India Automotive Engine Oil Market Forecast & Opportunities, 2018," has projected tremendous growth, fuelled by increasing automotive sales. The automotive engine oil market is projected at a CAGR of 19 per cent till 2018. Also enforcement of strict emission norms is also pushing the demand for engine oils. India has now overtaken Japan as the 4th biggest lubricants market in the world, with demand for industrial lubricants surging significantly.

Companies are offering more defined aftermarket services to compete successfully. Most of them are co-developing branded lubes along with OEMs. End users are focused on TCO, to extract substantial benefits with minimum downtime and extended life cycle for their equipment. All these have a common denominator, use of hi-tech lubricants for harsh operating conditions.




An important emerging trend in the Indian market is the new shift to branded lubricants and engine oils, driven mainly by the sophistication of high-end machines which run best on brands recommended by the OEM, who have a tie-up with them. According to a paper ‘Indian Lubricants Sector: The road to recovery,’ released by equities researcher Phillip Capital, Castrol tops brand recall and Gulf Oil Lubricants India Ltd (GOLIL), is in top 3 in terms of brand positioning. “We expect blended realization to keep on increasing, driving margins,” the paper says. The retail lubricant industry is brand building to boost customer preference to grab more market share and pricing power. These include new products launches accompanied by heavy branding activity.  Global leader, Shell Lubricants, launched its Shell Tellus S2 MX and Shell Tellus S2 VX brands in India, a range of hydraulic oils developed to deliver optimum value through: wear protection, long fluid life, and system efficiency. These are the upgraded formulations of the Shell Tellus S2 M and S2 V hydraulic fluids, respectively.


“For decades, Shell Tellus S2 hydraulic oils have set the industry benchmark for dependable lubricants that are trusted to deliver reliable equipment operations. Changes to equipment technology and operating conditions have placed increasing demands on hydraulic oil. In light of this, we have developed two upgraded formulations of Shell Tellus S2 hydraulic oils that deliver dramatically improved performance over previous generation,” says Hans Gerdes, Shell Tellus Brand Manager.



“We work closely with OEMs, academic groups and industry bodies to understand the challenges faced by our customers. The new generation of Shell Tellus S2 hydraulic oils - Shell Tellus S2 MX and Shell Tellus S2 VX – are a result of our continuous efforts and we are proud to introduce these to the market” elaborates Akhil Jha, VP-Technical, Shell Lubricants India.






Now end users are focused on reducing operating costs. Responding to this shift in demand, lubricant manufacturers – in collaboration with OEMs --have developed specialized engine oils, to match heavy duty caliber of bigger machinery. Indian lubricant manufacturers have developed specialized power transmission fluids to the stringent performance stipulated by OEMs. Most of these oils have passed tests in various field trials conducted in Indian conditions. In engine oils for mining equipment the API CH4, CI4, CI4 Plus to the CJ4 grades in SAE 15w40 viscometrics are recommended.

Shell Lubricants, in partnership with Komatsu, offers Komatsu Genuine oil 15W-40. Following a global alliance of over 15 years, both companies together created this new formulation meeting the requirements of API CI-4, DH1 which makes it a unique combination. Commenting on the partnership, Akhil Jha, Vice President Technical, Shell Lubricants India said, “As part of Shell Lubricants’ commitment to developing superior lubrication solutions, we work closely with our OEM partners to develop products to fit their needs. This association with Komatsu is yet another milestone for us in this direction. We aim to continue nurturing this partnership and work closely to increase the technical intimacy.”

Yasunori Fujii, General Manager –Parts, Komatsu India Pvt Ltd adds, “Komatsu is happy to be associated with Shell Lubricants, which is known for supplying high quality lubricants. We are sure that this tie up with Shell Lubricants will lead to higher customer satisfaction, which is a common goal for both Komatsu and Shell.”

French major TOTAL S.A. offers MAN Branded lubricants exclusively for MAN vehicles in Indian market. “We are honored to embark on this exciting journey with MAN.


Thanks to our experience and expertise in developing customised solutions, we are fully prepared to meet expectations and demands of MAN to supply them with required products. This development is an excellent example of collaboration between two teams and demonstrates the Total’s philosophy of being close to our customers,” says Prakash Jonnalagadda, CEO & ED, Total India (lubes division). “We at MAN India are working with global partners like Total to provide complete solutions to our customers. MAN Trucks has been present in India for the last 10 years now and have pioneered many technologies. The partnership with Total is one such step forward in this endeavor,” elaborates Joerg Mommertz, CMD, MAN Trucks India.






The Indian lubricants sector is a 2.8 mmtpa (3.1 bn litre, conversion of 1.11x) market with the automotive segment holding 42 per cent volume share, industrial 23 per cent, transformer and white oils 23 per cent, process oils 8 per cent, and greases 4 per cent. The market has over 30 players, both PSU and private, domestic and industrial, integrated and standalone. Castrol has an estimated 55 per cent market share along with PSU and OMCs like IOCL, BPCL, HPCL in the retail trade, 20 per cent is with international players like Total, Shell, Mobil, Valvoline, Motul, and 25 per cent is with other private players, including Gulf/GOLI, Tide Water Oil, Savita, Raj, etc.

According to Grand View Research, India emerged as the fastest growth in APAC market projecting a CAGR of 4.3 per cent from 2016 to 2024. Very soon demand for lubes and engine oils will climb to higher octanes, but the real winners will be Brands with a value addition strategy in a very lucrative lubricants’ market.


OEM tie ups of major lubricant players including genuine and co-branded oils


GOLI - Gulf




Tide Water-Veedol

Tata Motors,

Ashok Leyland,





Volkswagen Group,

Mahindra, Swaraj,


Tata Motors



Maruti, Suzuki, Ford,

Schwing Stetter,




Siel Cars

GM, JCB, LT Komatsu,

Volvo Engines, MAN,




L&T Komatsu

Bosch, Triumph,


Greaves, LT Komatsu,

Ashok Leyland

L&T Komatsu


SML Isuzu

Suzlon, SKF, Tata

Bharat Benz, Scania,





Cummins, Timken,




San Engineering

Honda Motors

John Deere, JSW Steel,


Tata Motors




ZF, Federal Mogul





Kubota Agri



In many industrial applications, oils formulated with GS Caltex premium base oils KIXX LUBO range can dramatically improve performance over Group I formulations — with minimal or no cost increases. Due to the chemical and physical properties of GS Caltex Group II base oils, lubricants blended with them can withstand tougher operations and environments, including higher operating temperatures, smaller sumps, higher power densities, longer drain intervals, lighter materials, and more compact designs than their Group I counterparts. GS Caltex Base Oils possess all five base oil attributes that are key to industrial oil quality as mentioned below:

  • Operates over high viscosity range
  • Excellent Oxidative and Thermal Stability
  • Improved Water Separability
  • Excellent Low Temperature Properties
  • Enhanced Air Release Properties

Jayanta Ray, GM – Industrial & OEM, GS Caltex India Pvt Ltd



“All major lube companies offer online services to advise maintenance personnel for oil analysis and monitoring done for each individual equipment. Shell has, Shell LubeExpert, and Shell LubeAnalyst, for its clients. ExxonMobil offers online Best Practice tips on their newly redesigned website: mobil.com/industrial. “Mobil Serv is an initiative in that direction and demonstrates ExxonMobil’s continuing commitment to providing best-in-class lubrication solutions, leveraging a combination of advanced lubricant technologies, expert technical services, and extensive industry expertise to help customers achieve their safety, sustainability and productivity goals,” explains”

Imtiaz Ahmed, Asia Pacific Mobil SHC Brand Manager, ExxonMobil Lubricants





Lubricants Used

Large Mobile Equipment Like Dumper

Engine Oils, Hydraulic Oils, Transmissions Fluids, Automotive, Gear Oils

Lorries, Dozers, Excavators, Back Hoe

Greases, Brake Fluids, Radiator, Coolants, High Pressure Pin Greasing

Rock Drills

Rock Drill Oils, Hydraulic Oils, Semifluid Greases

Conveyor Belts (Gear Boxes, Head, Tail And Tension Bearings, Hydraulic System)

Gear Box Oils, Roller Bearing Grease


Hydraulic Oils, Compressor Oil (Reciprocating And Screw)-Can Be Synthetic Or Mineral

Pneumatic System

Air Line Lubricant (Pneumatic) Multi-Purpose, EP Type And Graphite Or Molybdenum Disulphide Grease For Anti Seize Of Threading In Drilling Rods.

All Grease Points

Anti Seize Of Threading In Drilling Rods.



Lube Points


Diesel Engine

Hydraulic System

Pump Transmission

Swing Device

Swing Bearing Gear

Final Drive Gear Box

Splitter Gear Box



Final drive

Diesel engine

Hydraulic System

Power Transmission

Pivote Bearing

Telescope Suspension



Diesel engine

Hydraulic System

Air Compressor

Feed Gear Box

Hydraulic Hammer

Rotation Gear Box




Diesel engine

Hydraulic System

Power Transmission

Final Drive Gear Box

Final Drive Differential Gear Box


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