Flagged Off

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe (2nd R) arrives to visit the site of a bomb attack at St. Anthony's Shrine in Kochchikade in Colombo on April 21, 2019. - A string of blasts ripped through high-end hotels and churches holding Easter services in Sri Lanka on April 21, killing at least 156 people, including 35 foreigners. (Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA / AFP) (Photo credit should read ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

Mar 21 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Caltex Lanka Lubricants will ship five million litres of lubricant oils into Bangladesh, its first foray into the country and a possible launch pad into other regional markets, top officials said Tuesday. The local arm of US based Chevron Texaco, Caltex dominates the local lube market with about 80 percent followed by Lanka Indian Oil Corp. (LIOC) with 13 percent.

The balance is split between operators Exxon Mobil/Esso, Valvoline, Shell, and British Petroleum/Castrol, though Caltex has the only blending plant locally.

Caltex formally flagged off its first consignment to Bangladesh on Tuesday, where it will compete in the top end segment of the lube business.

The Bangladeshi market at 150 million litres is three times the size of Sri Lanka. Caltex will tie up with the Navana Group in Bangladesh as its local partner.

“Success in Bangladesh will result in greater economies of scale for manufacturing operations, which can be leveraged for the benefit of Sri Lankan consumers,” Kishu Gomez, Managing Director of Caltex told LBO.

The company hopes to reach a 30 percent market share in Bangladesh in about two years, but is competing against six other already established players.