Wed | Nov 25, 2020

LSC expanding lubricants facility at Rockfort

Published:Wednesday | June 5, 2019 | 12:35 AM
Managing director of LSC Jamaica, Neil Crooks.
Managing director of LSC Jamaica, Neil Crooks.

Lubricating Specialties Company (LSC) is adding another 500,000 gallons in capacity at its facility in Rockfort, Kingston, for which it already has the green light from regulator National Environment and Planning Agency, NEPA.

LSC operates the former Shell lubricants facility, a 1.2-million capacity plant at Rockfort, under lease. It currently has 23 tanks there – six steel tanks for storing raw material and another 17 horizontal tanks for storing lubricant additives – and NEPA has granted a permit for an additional 22 steel tanks.

LSC Managing Director Neil Crooks says the company is now in a position to add ­manufacturing capacity across the network.

“This installation will now give us additional storage, plus the manufacturing side of it, and holding tanks that will complete the make-up of Rockfort to make it a fully functional business,” said Crooks.

“Initially, when the matter was covered, it was the same capacity, but how the facility was configured, it was not totally amenable to the manufacturing,” he told the Financial Gleaner.

The indicative cost for the expansion, he said, is around US$5 million, which translates to about $665 million at spot exchange rates.

The cost would be finalised closer to the start of construction, scheduled for the third quarter and wrapping by the first quarter of 2020.

“We have an aggressive time line of six months. We’re aware that in Jamaica we have to make some allowances,” Crooks said.

LSC also operates a manufacturing facility in May Pen, Clarendon. The company is already known to manufacture lubricants on behalf of the Top One brand, but Crooks says they also quietly ­manufacture for other big brands.

“Our position is to really support our clients in the market that supply both regional and local markets. We are clear in our role that we’re not a brand marketer, but we make products on behalf of our customers,” he said.

“We’re trying to make it an attractive option to do manufacturing here in Jamaica rather than manufacturing out of the USA or one of those South American countries.”

LSC currently employs 40 workers but expects that number to climb to about 75 on a phased basis.

The company is one of two lubricants manufacturers in Jamaica, the other being the Paramount/Allegheny plant at Waltham Park Road in Kingston. Both companies make lubricants for heavy industry and speciality customers. Paramount has the capability to produce food-grade lubricants.

neville.graham@gleanerjm.com