Petron lubricants were formally launched in Cambodia by MKCSS Holdings Co. Ltd. in formal ceremonies held at the Hotel Intercontinental in Phnom Penh last October 6. Introduced in the Cambodian market were world-class Petron-branded lubricants: Petromar XC, a marine lubricant with industrial applications; RevX and Ultron for automotive use; and Sprint 4T for motorcycle use. Petron's pChem fuel additive, known to lessen emissions and improve equipment performance, is also being tested by industrial users in Cambodia.

Petron's exclusive distributor in Cambodia is MKCSS Holdings, a subsidiary set up by conglomerate AZ Holdings to address the growing demand for lubricants in the country. Under the leadership of its president Okhna Lim Rose, MKCSS chose Petron to be its strategic partner because it was impressed with the local oil company's success at gaining market leadership in the Philippines against stiff competition from multinational players. Petron's blending plant is recognized as one of the best in the region, producing consistently high-quality products.

The oil refiner's alliance with MKCSS also includes a technical support agreement. Besides supplying the Cambodian company with Petron-branded lubricants, Petron will also set up a laboratory there for testing lube quality and monitoring activities.

Petron's entry into the Cambodian market was lauded by Philippine ambassador Lourdes Morales as strengthening bilateral relations between the Southeast Asian neighbors. Senior Minister Dr. Cham Prasidh, Cambodia's minister of trade, who was present at the ceremony, expressed his best wishes for the success of this business venture between Petron and MKCSS.

Since its pilot shipment in October 2005, Petron has already exported nearly 500,000 liters of lubricant products to its Southeast Asian neighbor. Over the long term, the company expects to capture 10% of Cambodia's lubes market. This translates to shipments of nearly 1.8-million liters per year, valued at US$20-million.

According to Petron lube trade general manager Jack de la Cruz, "Petron's successful entry into the Cambodian market reaffirms management directions to embark on the production of high-value petrochemical products to not only improve its financial viability but likewise its deliberate positioning in the regional market. It is currently working to establish a market presence in the Indo-Chinese region in general, and is exploring opportunities in China, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, in particular."

Meanwhile, Willy Toledo, general manager for Petron's technical department, notes that: "Petron operates a world-class lube oil blending plant at its Pandacan Terminal, where it manufactures a wide range of industrial and marine lubricants and greases. The acceptance of Petron lubricants in Cambodia, where it competes with multinational brands, is a clear testament to the quality products it produces locally."

Petron Corporation is the largest oil refining and marketing company in the Philippines, supplying more than a third of the country's oil requirements. The company reported a net income of P2.7-billion in the first half of 2006, up 16% over the P2.31-billion posted over the same period on 2005.