IFP Petro Products (P) Ltd is a Ghaziabad-based SME in the re-refining space. It re-refines used oil for use in sectors like automobiles and rubber.
In an interaction with FE’s BV Mahalakshmi, Anant Bhargava, CEO and full time director, says IFP is in the process of tying up with vehicle manufacturers to collect used oil from service stations across the country. He says a gradual shift is being seen among large oil corporations, some of which are evaluating opportunities to partner with used oil refiners which can help them either set up their processes or manage used oil waste re-refining for them. As the industry evolves, re-refined used oil could help partly address the country’s lubricant needs. Excerpts:
What is the scale, scope and objective of your engagement with vehicle manufacturers?
IFP Petro is working to have MoUs with multiple vehicle makers for collecting used oil from their factories and all their authorised service stations on pan-India basis. We are proposing to vehicle manufacturers to declare used oil as their genuine part with the dealer and ensure its proper effective disposal. This will involve 100% billing, environmental compliance and sale to authorised recycler. There is no data collected regarding used oil generation versus new oil consumed by service stations.
Could you give an overview of the re-refining services space in India?
Improper disposal of used oil is a key contributor to environment pollution. Currently, on an average, 90% or about 1.5 million tonnes per annum of used oil in the country gets wasted because of improper disposal, which adds 3.52 million tonnes of carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide pollutants to the air. Used oil should be disposed of within 90 days, else it can damage land and ground water. This lesser known further contributes to the larger pollution woes.
What are the challenges and opportunities in this business?
Since the industry is largely unorganised, price is usually controlled by local traders, and hence can vary on a regular basis. Also collection of used oil is a huge challenge. Distance increases the cost of collection, sometimes making the process non-viable, which gets compounded by the inconsistent quality of oil. A stronger mechanism to enforce government policies around waste disposal would help a lot. It will also help address the larger issue of unregulated prices. A gradual shift is being witnessed among large oil corporations, some of which are evaluating opportunities to partner with used oil refiners that can help them either set up their processes or manage used oil waste re-refining for them. As the industry evolves, re-refined used oil could help partly address the country’s lubricant needs.
Currently, India is the fourth largest consumer of lubricants in the world. About 15 lakh tonnes per annum is consumed out of which more than 75% is crank case (engine oil). Automobile service centres in India currently do not have to return the used oil to the oil companies. Developed countries have been recycling and re-refining lube oil for the last 30 years.
Going forward, how does IFP Petro’s journey look like?
IFP Petro started the used oil re-refining journey in 1977 with the technical knowhow from Indian Institute of Petroleum, Dehradun. We have been in this field for 37 years and made strategic investments in upgrading capacity and technology to meet customer requirements and environmental norms. We have over 1,845 customers, which include prominent names like Shriram Piston & Rings, Subros, Bharat Gears, JBM Group and Castrol India, to name a few.