Blue Tide Completes First Phase of Project


Blue Tide Environmental announced today completion of the first phase of its base oils rerefinery in Baytown, Texas – a low-sulfur vacuum gasoil plant.

Work has started on the second phase of the project, which was undertaken in cooperation with joint venture partner Pennzoil-Quaker State Co., a subsidiary of Shell.

When completed, the facility will process 5,000 barrels per day of used lubricants into base oils and other co-products, such as gas oil and asphalt modifiers. The first phase allows the site to produce 4,500 b/d of low-sulfur vacuum gasoil from used motor oil feedstock.

The project’s second phase is now underway, Blue Tide said, which includes constructing a hydrotreater at the Baytown facility to upgrade the VGO into Group II+ base oils. The hydrotreater is anticipated to come online in the second quarter of 2024, and Blue Tide will sell VGO and other co-products while it is being completed.

Blue Tide is owned by Tailwater Capital LLC, a private equity firm that invests in energy and environmental infrastructure solutions. In September 2022, Blue Tide announced a final investment decision to add a hydrotreater to its Baytown, Texas, facility as a key step towards the rerefinery.

In December 2022, Shell announced it acquired a 49% interest in Blue Tide Environmental LLC.

Blue Tide previously announced the Baytown facility will use licensed catalyst technology from Topsoe, a Denmark-headquartered developer and supplier of catalysts and hydroprocessing technologies. The facility’s hydrotreater technology design will be by Sequoia.

Located along the Cedar Bayou of the Houston Ship Channel, Blue Tide’s facility will also have additional storage, logistics and processing infrastructure planned on the adjacent undeveloped land owned by Blue Tide, as well as a barge dock that provides access to tanker markets along with access to rail and transload facilities.

The company says it is also developing a network of used motor oil recycling facilities across North America.