UKLA President’s Report

Having just returned from a two week business trip to Asia followed immediately by a UKLA Board Meeting held at the Thornton campus of Chester University two things immediately strike me as strange about the times in which we live.

China – the powerhouse economy of the world, still growing at 6.5% with even the pessimistic considering that 2016 will show GDP growth of 6%, and yet, colleagues and customers alike are close to suicidal about the prospects for business.

Some, clearly thinking of the pure economic situation are wondering how to maintain their businesses, incomes and spending power, whilst others, more philosophical are almost in the mode of national disgrace as China falls from its position as the world’s leading economy; the irony being of course that it still is and will continue to be in so many ways.

Especially galling to the Chinese seems to be the reports in Asia that the places to invest currently are Vietnam and India where, in Vietnam at least, no-one seems to be stopping to consider whether they will be successful or not just going ahead full speed.

A final group of Chinese register that their economy is going through a massive transition but are not sure whether the country as a whole knows how to achieve and successfully manage this transition to an internal market led economy.

UEIL President’s Report

Since last I wrote to you, UEIL has been striving to ensure that NOT all lubes are included under the Excise Movement and Control System (EMCS), trying to limit it to those that are subject to fraud and smuggling in transboundary movements and to make sure that lubricants are not widely taxed in Europe – despite recent developments in the policy-making scene. An ad hoc UEIL Task Force is working on this issue. The next relevant meetings at the European level will take place in May – find out more in the next issue of the Lube Magazine, or contact us for updates (

I take the opportunity of having your attention to draw you to the public affairs section of the UEIL area in this edition of LUBE (page 60). The authorities regulating and managing REACH (European Regulation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) have done a study on the impact it has had on companies all over Europe, and Arne Richters (UEIL’s Senior Public Affairs Advisor) has written about it. I believe some of you will enjoy the conclusions and recommendations that came out of this review.

Reflecting on the important event of ICIS in London (where an ICIS/UEIL partnership has been established to better promote our respective events), amidst a climate of recession and depressed prices, the operators are looking for a better future and are looking for strengthening co-operations and business developments.

We are already looking ahead to the UEIL Annual Congress taking place in Berlin, and preparations have been intensified. To make this a memorable congress, the programme committee has been working hard to find the best speakers and the most relevant topics for our industry (taxation of lubricants, biolubricants, the impact of the oil price in the industry, amongst others). In case you have an interesting topic you would like

Please don’t let that stop anyone intending to do business in China from buying a ticket, it continually amazes driving past factory after factory, hour after hour and seeing the scale of the opportunity.

By total contrast the challenge facing Chester University in re-shaping for a new era the site which was once the hub of Shell’s lubricant R & D is immense – I quote their new Commercial Director – “It costs five million pounds a year just to keep the lights on.”

However, the opportunities, resources and scope for companies to get involved and use these resources are enormous.

UKLA certainly does not have the resources to sponsor major activity but seeing the relevance of a connection which will potentially produce outstandingly relevant graduates for our industry it is the intention of the Board to work with Chester University to see if some of the resources can be used for the benefit of Members.

Hugh Dowding UKLA President

to share, don’t forget to submit your abstract (one page) by 8 April! Would you like to get more involved? Take a look at the sponsorship opportunities we put together on our website

In the meanwhile, I look forward to seeing you at the UNITI Congress this month in Stuttgart, one of the most important events for the Mineral Oil Technologies, covering areas of Fuels,

Biofuels, Lubricants, Additives and Base Oils. This is an important congress that our sector stakeholders cannot miss. My friends Immo and Edwin are waiting to welcome you. Nuno Loureiro from the UEIL Secretariat will be there as well to answer all your questions related to UEIL and the 2016 congress.

Mark your diary – the next UEIL Board of Directors, Committees and General Assembly meetings will take place on the week of 23 May 2016.

As a final note, I would like to praise Lube Magazine for the digitalisation of Lube-Tech! With nearly 20 years and over 100 editions published, Lube-Tech has provided in-depth, technical commentary concerning a range of Lubricant Industry fields and has been contributed to by article providers from numerous companies and countries. Congratulations for this achievement, which will facilitate access to the important information Lube-Tech provides. UEIL is proud to have Lube Magazine as its Official journal.

Don’t hesitate to contact us in case you have any questions

Fabio Dalla Giovanna UEIL President



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