Rotterdam Group II Plant Nears Opening


Rotterdam Group II Plant Nears Opening

ExxonMobils refinery in Rotterdam is on track to open Europes first large-scale API Group II base oil plant during the first quarter of 2019, officials said last week.

The company has not disclosed the size of the project, which was first announced in early 2015, but industry analysts estimate it will have capacity to make approximately 1 million metric tons per year of Group II. ExxonMobil previously pegged the cost of the facility at more than $1 billion.

Group II has for years been a mainstay of the North American and Asian base oil markets, which have Group II capacity of 8.3 million t/y and 11.6 million t/y, respectively, but Europes Group II capacity is less than 600,000 t/y. Long after the other two regions began using large volumes of Group II, Europe instead used blends of Group I and III base stocks to make higher quality lubricants.

Over the past decade, however, Group II has become more popular in Europe and import volumes have steadily increased.

Photo courtesy of ExxonMobil

ExxonMobil reportedly provided an update on the Rotterdam project at the ICISPan American Base Oils & Lubricants Conference in Jersey City, New Jersey. Officials said the company has finished building a laboratory at the plant and will begin commercial production during the first quarter of two Group II cuts – EHC 50 and EHC 120.

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