Chevron and Akwa set up new lubricants joint venture in Morocco

Akwa Group, in partnership with Chevron plan on expanding their footprint in Francophone Africa. Their working collaboration dates back to 2006 through their Afriquia Lubrifiants joint venture.

Talks are in progress in Morocco to establish retail agreements in Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire.

Morocco-based Akwa Group and the American global oil and gas major Chevron celebrated the 13th anniversary of their partnership last Wednesday in Casablanca.

The two energy corporations are strengthening their initial alliance formed in 2006. This created the joint venture Afriquia Lubrifiants, in which Akwa Group held a 75% stake.

A few weeks ago, the US major raised its capital in the enterprise, taking its stake to 50% and an even 50-50 split with its Moroccan partner. “Our partnership has strengthened over the years we have been working together. [The capital increase] will allow us to raise our standards and create new businesses”, said Adil Ziady, managing director of the fuels and lubricants division of Akwa Group, whose core shareholder is the Akhannouch family.

Ambitions have also been extended, as the new roadmap sets out new goals for the joint venture, both locally and internationally. Previously, Afriquia Lubrifiants could only produce Chevron’s mid-range lubricants. Going forward, the company will also be able to manufacture premium lubricants locally.

“We are very pleased to have the freedom to integrate the entire Chevron range into local production. They own all the technology,” said Mustapha Miri, managing director of Afriquia Lubrifiants. Chevron’s high-quality base oils will be incorporated into production in Morocco through products that meet global auto manufacturing standards and new environmental regulatory requirements.

Also, the new roadmap outlines an expansion plan to sub-Saharan Africa. Fourteen countries are specifically targeted, covering North Africa, Central Africa and West Africa. These are; Algeria; Cameroon; Côte d’Ivoire; Burkina Faso; Togo; Tunisia; Senegal; Niger; Mauritania; Mali; Guinea; Benin; Gabon; Democratic Republic of Congo.

Operations have already been launched in five of the above-listed countries (Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Togo and Niger). “We want to draw up agreements with local retailers and the overall potential has been tentatively estimated at 600,000 tonnes per year in these countries. Our partners from Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire are currently in Morocco to negotiate the clauses of the future partnership”, indicated Miri.