Chevron Lummus Gets Contracts for Gaslub


Chevron Lummus Gets Contracts for Gaslub
A Petrobras company flag and Brazilian flag on the company's building facade in Vitoria in Espirito Santo, Brazil. © SERGIO V S RANGEL

Petrobras has licensed technologies from Chevron Lummus Global for an API Group II base oil plant being built as part of Brazil’s Gaslub project, a concrete step in the oft-delayed landmark project.

Houston-based Chevron Lummus, a joint venture between Chevron and Lummus Technology, said in an April 3 news release that it received a contract to provide wax isomerization and hydrofinishing technologies for the base oil plant. The facility, which will be located in Itaborai, Brazil, in the eastern state of Rio de Janeiro, will have capacity to make 12,580 barrels per day of Group II stocks, including some that are Group II+.

Gaslub is viewed as a landmark project for Brazil because it not only would create an additional refinery but would represent an effort by state-owned Petrobras to produce higher-value oil products. The country has several existing virgin base oil plants, for example, but none produces higher than Group I base stocks.

The overall project has been in the works since 2008, originally named Comperj. It is a massive natural gas processing project that has been delayed numerous times, on multiple occasions by investigations that concluded bribes had been taken for some contracts.

Petrobras eventually changed the name, partly to dodge the controversy in which the project was mired. In 2021 the company decided to integrate the project with an existing oil refinery in Duque de Caxias, Brazil. In December the company chose a concept for Gaslub that calls for the current design size of the base oil plant and capacity to make 75,000 barrels per day of diesel and 20,000 barrels per day of very low sulfur kerosene for aviation fuel.

Petrobras still has to make a final investment decision on the project and has not yet announced a timeline for it.