Oiling up: Caltex on the region's lubricant upgrade
Chevron’s Caltex turns its back on decades-old CF-4 diesel engine oils in favour of CH-4 product, and in line with GCC requirements
As of March 2017, Chevron’s engine oil brand, Caltex, has retired its entire range of CF diesel engine oils in the region in line with the regulatory requirements of the Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology.
In August 2016, ESMA stepped up its enforcement activities against the use of CF engine oils, which – having been replaced by CH-4 oils in many countries around the world in 1994 – have technically been banned across the GCC since 2013 by Gulf Standards Organisation (GSO 1785:2013).
In practice, however, it has taken country-level authorities across the Gulf some time to enforce the new rules, and up until recently, CF engine oils had continued to be used by a large volume of medium-duty diesel vehicles and stationary on-site plant in the region due the familiarity of operators with the product.
Explaining the situation was Adriaan de Kok, business manager for the Middle East at Chevron Al Khalij, who noted: “If you went out into the market six months ago, you would find that 60% of the engine oil sold in the trade would be CF or below — and that is basically designed for vehicles from the 1980s.”
Now, in line with the GSO regulations and ESMA’s actions, Chevron Al Khalij and its local partner and distributor EPPCO have immediately discontinued the distribution and sale of their CF diesel engine oils.
In its place, the companies have unveiled Delo FleetPro — a replacement range of CH-4 engine oil products that delivers greater durability and a longer working life for lower total cost of ownership for the customer.
The shift from API CF (1994) to the API CH-4 (1998) standards involves a significant step up in the level of corrosion protection in the oil and a lowering of noxious emissions.
However, another advantage of Delo FleetPro as a multi-grade diesel engine oil is the addition of powerful antioxidant compounds that prevent the breakdown of the oil — a process that would otherwise impair its performance over time — thus lowering the required frequency of oil changes.
Fleets that use the CH-4 Delo FleetPro product can increase the oil drain intervals of their vehicles from 5,000km to 10,000km — a shift that delivers a significant decrease in the oil’s total cost of ownership.
Delo FleetPro SAE 20W-50 also maintains its fluidity and viscosity from below 0°C up to 50°C, with the ‘20W’ in its name indicating its suitability in significantly sub-zero conditions, which — while not common in the region — can cause severe damage to engines using inappropriate oils where they do occur.
This is a significant step up from Chevron’s CF-4 Delo Silver SAE 40/50 product, which could, in theory, coagulate at low temperatures — causing significant problems for engines.
The Delo FleetPro SAE 20W-50 product is entering the market at a mark of 15% to 20% compared to Delo Silver, but will deliver twice the working life, among many other benefits.
De Kok continued: “Customers in the region are confronted with challenging situations, such as high operating temperatures, owning fleets of variant ages, and operating in high-sulphur and ultra-low sulphur environments.
“The introduction of Caltex Delo FleetPro SAE 15W-40 and Delo FleetPro SAE 20W-50 addresses these challenges, while meeting the latest GSO regulations and standards, and aligning with the UAE Green Agenda.”
He reaffirmed: “Caltex Delo FleetPro provides good low temperature startability and high-temperature protection; helps prevent corrosion and maintain oil drain intervals; and provides good wear protection, deposit control and soot dispersancy performance.”
The next step for Chevron Al Khalij and EPPCO will be to drive greater awareness in the UAE, where many operators are unaware or unsure of the improvements in CH4 oils that allow them to be used for longer distances.
De Kok noted: “Our biggest challenge is to educate consumers to feel safe with pushing it to 10,000km or more, because the oil can do it; the only thing that prevents them from doing it is their own habit and perception.
“The other big enemy we have in the region is that we have a lot of substandard manufacturers that don’t adhere to the necessary specifications, and so a lot of users of vehicles are scared and would rather be safe than sorry.”
The lengthening of engine oil drainage intervals would also have significant environmental benefits, as it would halve the volume of waste oil produced. By contrast, in the absence of strict industry controls, oil can pollute both the soil and groundwater resources.