مصاحبه مدیر محترم عامل با نشریه الکترونیک The Oil & Gas Year
Is Behran Oil looking to expand its share of the lubricants market?
Given our current projects, our base oil production should increase by 30% within the next two months. At the moment, we are producing Group I base oils.
We are also hoping to expand our business by producing base oils of Group II and III in Iran. This will help us to produce products for the high-end market, such as for new modern cars. Around 50% of this production would be for the domestic market, and we’d export 50%. We would target Asian countries and maybe the Persian Gulf and CIS countries in the future.
We used our R&D teams to develop these products. We also employed companies in Iran to produce the machines, facilities and equipment.
How do you think the refining sector has changed over the past 10 years?
We have expanded our business without any problems. The sanctions affected operations in the first year, but it didn’t take long to find solutions and alternatives to overcome these problems.
Co-operation with credible international companies will have mutual benefits, and many foreign companies have already approached us. Areas of co-operation will include finance, technology and equipment.
What is required to upgrade or advance the sector?
We are developing some aspects of the technology by ourselves and improving our know-how and products for the Iranian market.
In some cases, we may need new technologies to improve our products for the international market, or new formulations for products and maybe standards for management.
Right now, you’re using the technology from your own research and development, but in the future would you like to purchase licences internationally?
Yes. We always aim to improve our production technology. For producing Group III base oils, which needs more advanced technologies, we welcome co-operation with prominent international companies that already have the will and technology to reach our goals.
How are you connecting to consumers, either internationally or in the domestic market?
For the domestic market of industrial oils, we connect directly with our customers. This includes giving training courses, technical advice and providing laboratory services to our customers for the industrial sector.
For automotive oils, in all provinces in Iran we have agents who distribute our products according to Behran strategies, directions and policies.
As company policy we always do our best to increase our knowledge of auto services regarding lubricants. We hold seminars in all provinces on a regular basis to train and provide information such as composition and usage about our products, as well as all auto services.
Internationally, we have agents in many European and Asian countries. We also have facilities in southern Iraq; we entered the market directly for finished products.
How would you assess the competition within the refining sector in Iran between private refineries for base oil and lubricant producers?
In the lubricant business in Iran, as is the case all over the world, there is intense and ongoing competition. There have been many international brands active in our local market for nearly two decades.
Although keeping our position is a tough challenge, Behran has always had plans to be the market leader. We have two challenges: the price challenge in the lower end of the market and brand fight in the high end of the market.
Are you looking to connect with an international partner?
We welcome any company that wants to enter the Iranian market. We will work with them as a consortium, a partnership or joint venture company if it is a complementary activity. If they have a competitive advantage, it will help us to stay in the market as a market leader.
Lots of companies in the oil and gas industry have approached us, and we are negotiating to select the best one. Still, we are a very strong brand in the territory here, so domestically we will remain Behran, but in the new market we may look for a partner as a new brand.
Can you tell us about how Behran handles its exports?
We have exported to more than 40 countries in Europe, Asia and Africa over the past 20 years through our exclusive cargo train station that we have at our refinery and the Behran terminal at Imam Khomeini Port in the Persian Gulf.
We have two lines of train cargo that we handle every day. Each wagon weighs about 5,500 tonnes and at least 10 wagons can be loaded and discharged per day for two lines. With this facility and infrastructure for logistics, we can facilitate our exportation. In addition, our Behran terminal has a storage capacity of more than 40,000 cubic metres.
Our products are in accordance with the highest national and international standards, and we hold certificates such as ISO 9001, ISO 40001 and OSAS 80001, ISO 17025 and ISO/TS 16949.
Is this kind of logistics infrastructure unique to your company?
Yes, I think it is. The terminal station at the port is one of the best facilities for companies that approach us to do fuel freight in Iran. If they bring the fuel to Iran, it is helpful that we have the storage capacity in the port and the infrastructure.
Our rail port station in Iran is connected with CIS countries, in one way through Sarakhs and in another from Jolfa to Armenia. This means that the countries on the north side of Iran can be connected to the Persian Gulf via these borders. Also, it means we can do imports and exports from the Middle East and even to Europe.
We have our own storage tanks in Bandar Imam Khomeini [BIK] and our own train station in the south of Tehran inside our refinery. Thus, we are connected to international markets by roads to the northern neighbours of Iran and by BIK to the rest of the world. Vessels can dock and discharge their loads at BIK storage tanks for exports and imports.