Chile Rerefinery Gains Approval


A subsidiary of Chilean energy and forestry company Copec received approval from a local environmental authority to develop the nation’s largest used lubricant rerefinery outside the capital of Santiago.

The facility is being developed by Via Limpia, a waste management unit of Empresas Copec, in Lampa, a commune in the Santiago metropolitan area. It would have capacity to process around 44,000 metric tons of used lubricants per year and to make around 30,000 t/y of base oil, according to a local news report.

Several news organizations, including Latercera, reported this week that the project obtained approval from the Metropolitan Region’s Environmental Assessment Commission. Lacertera’s April 15 article also reported that the rerefinery is designed to process 35% of waste oil generated in the country, or 126,000 t/y and that the base oil yield will be 70% of the feedstock input.

Copec hails the project for its environmental impacts, saying it will ensure safe disposal of used lubricants and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 22,000 t/y.

Neither Via Limpia nor Copec could be reached for comment.

Chile’s federal government is working to increase the amount of lubricants recycled in the country. In November a group of agency ministers adopted a decree requiring lubricant producers to organize programs to collect and recycle their products after use.

Used oil management organization Recvoil, in cooperation with oil jobber Enex, is currently developing what will be the nation’s first rerefinery, a facility in San Antonio, Chile, that will have capacity to make 7,100 t/y of base oil. That plant is scheduled to open this year.

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