09 October 2012 11:58 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Saudi Aramco Lubricating Oil Refining Company (Luberef) is planning to expand its refinery in ?xml:namespace>
The company will double the production capacity of its Luberef-II refinery to 1.2m tonnes/year by the end of the third quarter of 2015 from around 600,000 tonnes/year currently, said Luberef vice president for manufacturing Ibrahim Al-Faqeeh in a presentation at the ICIS Middle Eastern Base Oils and Lubricants conference in Dubai.
“Group I is expected to remain the dominant base oil for lubricant blending until at least 2020,” according to Al-Faqeeh.
“In addition, the increase in demand for Group II and III [base oils] will be driven primarily by engine performance and fuel economy requirements,” Al-Faqeeh said.
Group II demand is forecast to account for 25% of total global demand for base oils by 2020, with the share expected to exceed 30% by 2030, he said.
“In order to meet customer demand, Luberef has therefore decided to produce higher quality base oils of Group II, which will be achieved through an expansion at our refinery,” Al-Faqeeh said.
The expansion plans will include revamps of the refinery’s propene deasphalt unit, which will be improved to double the feed to 12,500 bbl/day, and an increase of the feed for its vacuum distillation unit to 39,000 bbl/day from 26,000 bbl/day.
Expansion at the propane deasphalt unit will be completed by December 2014, while the vacuum distillation unit will be ready by June 2014.
Luberef will also add a hydrocracking unit, an iso-dewaxing unit, a hydrogen and hydrogen recovery unit, a sulphur recovery unit, as well as a gas treatment unit to enable the production of Group II base oils at the refinery, Al-Faqeeh said.
“The expanded Luberef-II site will have added production capacity of 708,000 tonnes for Group II base oils and an additional 90,000 tonnes of brightstock. In addition, Luberef-II will produce drilling fluids as a specialty project,” Al-Faqeeh added.
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