Uzbekistan Base Oil Upgrade Delayed


Uzbekistan Base Oil Upgrade Delayed
An upgrade of the Sanoat base oil plant in Fergana, Uzbekistan, is scheduled to be completed in 2025. Photo courtesy of Uzbekneftegas

A project to upgrade Uzbekistan’s only base oil plant has been delayed and is now scheduled to be completed in 2025, instead of 2024, according to an official with SEG Motol, the newly established lube arm of oil major Saneg.

The plant, located in the eastern city of Fergana, will have capacity to produce 150,000 tons per year of API Group II and III base oils, SEG Motol spokesperson Roman Zimovets told Lube Report Friday.

The lubricant arm of Saneg, formally named Sanoat Energetika Guruhi, is undertaking a broader modernization of the overall refinery at Fergana. The project includes construction of a hydrocracking unit that will enable the base oil plant to make higher grade fluids.

Zimovets said the company is also making improvements to the existing Group I base oil plant, which has nameplate production capacity of 500,000 t/y. The facility dates back to the Soviet Union era, when Uzbekistan was one of the empire’s republics.

Zimovets said the base oil plant has produced at only a fraction of that capacity for years – around 100,000 tons this year. The company aims to make 120,000 tons of base oil in 2024.

SEG Motol operates a 50,000 t/y finished lubricant blending plant at the same site, and recently it began making a range of commercial vehicle engine and driveline lubricants marketed under the SEG Motol brand, as well as hydraulic and reductor oils, which are extreme pressure industrial oils.

By 2021, the operator of the Fergana refinery was Jizzakh Petroleum, a joint venture between Uzbek oil major Uzbekneftegaz and Russian energy giant Gazprom.

After Uzbekneftegaz sold its 49% stake in the joint venture to a Cyprus offshore and exited the Jizzakh founding board in October 2021, the company became 100% privately owned, and its name and status was changed to Sanoat Energetika Guruhi, which means “industrial energy group.”