Brazil Petrobras seeks final offers for Bahia refinery; mulls lube plant

Author: Al Greenwood


HOUSTON (ICIS)--Petrobras is seeking final offers for its refinery in Bahia state in Brazil, including one from the Mubadala Group, the state energy producer said late on Thursday.

Earlier in July, Petrobras said it had started negotiations with Mubadala about selling the refinery, called RLAM.

Those talks had finished, and the final offers will be based on the negotiated versions of the contracts with Mubadala, Petrobras said. It expects to receive the final offers in January.

The refinery is among eight that Petrobras seeks to sell.

It has already received proposals for the LUBNOR lubricants refinery in Ceara state and the SIX unit in Parana state. The SIX unit converts the kerogen found in shale into oil through pyrolysis.

On 10 December, Petrobras expects to receive binding proposals for REFAP in Rio Grande do Sul state and REPAR in Parana state.

One of the bidders for REPAR is Ultrapar, a Brazilian conglomerate that owns the fuel retailer Ipiranga and the surfactants producer Oxiteno. Other bids came from a consortium led by Raizen and China Petroleum & Chemical Corp (Sinopec).

In the first quarter of 2021, Petrobras should receive binding proposals for the two remaining refineries it seeks to sell, RNEST in Pernambuco state and REGAP in Minas Gerais.

The following shows seven of the refineries that Petrobras plans to divest.

Refinery Location Capacity (bbl/day)
LUBNOR (Lubrificantes e Derivados do Nordeste) Fortaleza, Ceara 8,000
REFAP (Alberto Pasqualini) Canoas, Rio Grande do Sul 208,000
REGAP (Gabriel Passos) Betim, Minas Gerais 166,000
REMAN (Isaac Sabba) Manaus, Amazonas 46,000
REPAR (Presidente Getulio Vargas) Araucaria, Parana 208,000
RLAM (Landulpho Alves) Mataripe, Bahia 333,000
RNEST (Abreu e Lima) Ipojuca, Pernambuco 130,000

LUBNOR's capacity includes 2,000 bbl/day of naphthenic base oil.

The eighth refinery, SIX, is in Sao Mateus do Sul, Parana.

The sale will leave Petrobras with six refineries, one of which would form the basis for a possible lubricants project.

Under the proposal, feedstock from the company's existing refinery in Duque de Caxias in Rio de Janeiro state (REDUC) will be shipped to an existing hydrocracker at Itaborai.

This project, called GasLub, would produce  low-sulphur fuels and advanced lubricants from Group II base oils. It would incorporate units that would have been part of the much more ambitious Complexo Petroquimico do Rio de Janeiro (Comperj). The construction of this larger project came to a standstill in 2014 amid the fallout from the Lava Jato corruption scandal.

Petrobras said the GasLub project is still in the technical and feasibility study-phase. The capacity of the project will depend on the results of these studies.