Sotugraisse or the Société Tunisienne des Graisses et Dérivés is a Tunisian company founded in 1996 by Habib Errais (CEO) and Mohamed Mestiri (Board Chairman). It is located near the port city of Radès near Tunis, and employs 10 people. Sotugraisse produces three ranges of grease:
- Calcium grease (dropping point 80°C)
- Lithium-calcium grease (dropping point 140°C)
- Extreme pressure lithium grease (dropping point 180°C)
Aiming to add a complex lithium grease to the range by 2015, the company serves a range of clients in Tunisia, including industrial companies, agricultural producers, trucking firms, distributors, quarrying companies and cable manufacturers.
Sotugraisse, located outside Tunis, Tunisia, specializes in the production of grease and lubricants. The company produces a range of different greases and used to only use paraffinic oil in their grease production, but recently made the switch to using Nynas naphthenic oil in some of their products.
"We supply around 300 tons of grease annually to a wide range of clients in Tunisia, who fall into three main categories," says Mohamed Mestiri. "We produce simple calcium grease with a dropping point of 80°C for clients such as farmers, we produce a multi-usage lithium-calcium grease with a dropping point of 140°C for clients such as those in the trucking industry, and we produce a high-quality grease with a dropping point of 180°C for industrial clients like cement or cable producers, who need a grease that can support very high pressure applications," he explains.
Mohamed Mestiri runs Sotugraisse together with his business partner Habib Errais. Both of them used to work for Esso Tunisia but in 1996 set up on their own. They purchase oils for grease production from many different providers and, until recently, only used paraffinic oils. "But recently, we made the switch to naphthenic oils and now half our oil consumption is naphthenic," says Mestiri. "The choice is mainly about quality – the grease we can produce from naphthenic oil is clearer, brighter, more homogeneous and it performs better. " he adds
Sotugraisse has been testing greases produced with naphthenic oils and the results have been conclusive. "The naphthenic-based products are clearly better, they offer better performance and our customers agree," says Mestiri. "Then we might consider moving more of our production to naphthenic oil-based greases – after all, quality is very important to us," he says.
Indeed, Sotugraisse market share is increasing year-on-year. "The business is growing really well and we are winning new customers all the time," says Mestiri. "Since 2003, we have been ISO-certified for our Radès site, and the future is looking very positive. Let's hope we can find a good way to work with oil producers that results in a win-win situation for everyone as our respective businesses grow," he concludes.