Recvoil Builds Chile’s First Rerefinery

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A used oil management organization, in cooperation with fuels and lubricants distributor Enex, broke ground last month on what will be the first used oil rerefinery in Chile.

The facility, which will be owned and operated by Recvoil, is being built in the coastal city of San Antonio and is designed for capacity to produce 7,100 metric tons of base oils per year. The price tag for the project is U.S. $7.5 million, and it is scheduled to begin making base oils by 2024.

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Officials called the project an important step in Chile’s efforts to make its economy more sustainable and said it will help lubricant suppliers meet obligations under a 2016 law requiring suppliers of various products to assist in recycling them.

“This will be a plant that specializes in managing and revaluing used lubricating oils,” Recvoil General Manager Hernando Holguin G. said in a Sept. 22 news release. “It will use industrial refining and regeneration processes and will also contribute to those companies that are responsible for dealing with this priority waste in accordance with the Extended Producer Responsibility Law.”

Recvoil, which stands for Recovery and Valorization of Oils, is a subsidiary of Fanalca y Orco, a Colombian manufacturer of automotive parts. Fanalca y Orco already operates a rerefinery in Cartagena de Indias in Colombia.

Enex is a subsidiary of Chilean conglomerate Quinenco and is one of the nation’s largest fuels and lubes distributors. It has agreed to supply used lubricants to the rerefinery and provide commercial and technical assistance, for example by advising on the sale of base oils produced by the rerefinery.

The plant will have capacity to process more than 12 million liters (10,800 tons) of used oils per year.

“For Enex, this is a very relevant milestone in our sustainability roadmap,” Enex Deputy Manager of Sustainability and Innovation Business Planning Management Sofia Contrucci told Lube Report. “The prompt implementation of the REP Law – which obliges companies to take responsibility for the waste generated by the products they produce once their life cycle has ended – implies a series of challenges for the lubricant distribution industry in general and for our company.

“We endeavor to stay ahead of regulations and incorporate the circular economy perspective into our operations, and the collaboration with Recvoil is a clear example of this.”