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The history of the Berdyansk plant in southeast Ukraine dates back to 1937, when the first aviation fuel was produced at the facility’s cracking plant. For many years, it was a leader of the lubricant industry in the USSR and Eastern Europe.
But as the economic and political situation in Ukraine changed in the years following independence, the plant was involved in political intrigues and corruption schemes. By 2015, Azmol, a once prosperous enterprise, had accumulated large debts and went bankrupt. Manufacturing stopped, divisions were closed and facilities sold as scrap metal. The workforce shrank from more than 3,500 to only 150 workers.
However, new life was brought to the plant as it was privatised and British investors came onboard in 2016 – Azmol British Petrochemicals (BP) was born. Following significant investments to restore and modernise the plant, as well as to recruit and train new staff, the first shipment of oils and greases was dispatched in April 2017.
"Today, we successfully supply more than 150 different types of synthetic, semi-synthetic and mineral products to a larger number of countries in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Asia,” says Darya Dudko, an import manager at the company. “We cooperate with customers from the industrial and agricultural sectors, as well as retail networks, service stations and railway operators.”
Manufacturing is based on advanced technologies, and the new research and development division and the laboratory work intensively to test and refine the product slate. The aim is to provide the Ukrainian and foreign markets with premium motor oils and lubricants.
“We produce wide a range of products for motorcycles, cars and trucks, including grease lubricants, coolants and car chemicals that are suitable for the toughest operating conditions.”
Nynas has worked with Azmol for many years, and with the reorganisation of the company this partnership was renewed and further developed.
“Because of the trends and demands in the lubricant industry, naphthenic specialty products play a crucial role in our production,” says Vita Tanasevich, the head of Azmol BP’s laboratory. “Using NYNAS T110 and NYNAS T600 oils in the formulations of greases, we have achieved significant improvements in quality indicators and the appearance of the product.”
Collaborative work between Azmol BP’s Technical Department and Nynas Ukraine has maximised the economic benefit from the use of naphthenic oils.
“Namely, decreasing the amount of lithium soap thickeners in the production of grease lubricants, which resulted in the reduction of lithium soap consumption compared with the previously used Group I mineral oils. This allowed us to make a low-cost, top quality product.”
Darya Dudko notes that Nynas’ reliability, high quality standards and flexibility of supply were other deciding factors in selecting them as a partner.
“The first supplies of NYNAS T110 were from Belgium, but now we have the opportunity to purchase this oil from Poland, halving our transport costs.”
In the future, Azmol BP hopes to increase their purchases of Nynas products and their range, maximising the use of naphthenic oils in its lubricant compositions.
“We have also signed a purchase contract for NYNAS T22 oil for Metal Working Fluids, another area where we see advantages in Nynas’ products over Group I oils,” says Andrey Yashchenko, Chief Technology Officer.
“The company always meets our expectations, in terms of both consistently high product quality and strict compliance with all contractual terms.”
Azmol British Petrochemicals has been manufacturing highquality oils, lubricants and various cutting fluids for more than 80 years. An industrial leader in Eastern Europe, after a period of decline the company was reborn in 2017 with a focus on modernisation of production, product improvement and international expansion. Its Berdyansk plant in Ukraine currently has 384 employees and annual production of over 10,000 metric tonnes of lubricants and other oils.