Bosnian lube marketer Rafinerija ulja Modrica produced 45,000 tons of API Group III base oils in 2017, up more than 15 percent from 39,000 tons in 2016. The company plans to invest 800,000 (U.S. $955,680) in 2018 to improve upgrade base oil and finished lubricant operations.
The 45,000 tons remains 42 percent below the plants maximum production capacity of 78,000 tons, according to the LubesnGreases EMEA 2017 Base Stock Guide.
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The Modrica refinerys hydrocracked Group III base oils improved their quality over the years, and with that, sales of these products increase every year, said Zorica Davidovic, head of the Belgrade-based consulting firm Bargos Loa.
Neftegazinkor, a Russian company that founded Bosnian Optima Group in 2008, owns Rafinerija ulja Modrica. Besides the Modrica refinery, the group operates a refinery in Brod and Nestro Petrol, a network of 89 fuel stations.
Rafinerija ulja Modrica is also the regions major finished lubricant marketer. In 2017, its blending plant in Modrica produced 12,000 tons of engine oils, almost the same volume as in 2016, Davidovic said.
Rafineruja ulja Modrica General Director Evgeny Kochnev said at a recent press briefing that in coming months the company will invest 300,000 to install four new filters in the base oil plants dewaxing unit. In addition, it is investing almost 500,000 to modernize its finished lubricant packaging facility.
The Russians have invested heavily in this refinery, so Bosnia is really one of the leaders in the Western Balkans with the latest EU quality standards for gasoline and diesel fuels. The investments made in the blending capacity as well as in the base oil plant have improved the companys position, and they are now the leading lubricant supplier in the region, Davidovic said.
She added that last year the company expanded its sales abroad, and it started to ship products to more remote countries, such as Vietnam.
Kochnev said Rafinerija ulja Modrica has 383 employees, and the company plans to expand its operations to add 13 new jobs in the coming months.
The refinerys 78,000 t/y base oil plant is the only facility in Southeastern Europe capable of producing Group III base oils. At its site in Modrica, northern Bosnia and Herzegovina, it also operates a 45,000 t/y blending plant.
Neftegazinkor is controlled by the Russian state-owned oil major Zarubezhneft.