Gazprom Group II and III Plant Nearly Complete

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Gazprom Group II and III Plant Nearly Complete
Russian oil major Gazprom Neft started construction in January 2021 on a project that will modernize a base oil plant at its refinery in Omsk, Western Siberia. © Gazprom

Gazpromneft-Lubricants’ new 220,000 metric tons per year API Group II and III base oil plant is almost completed, with assembly works about to wrap up and preparations being made for prelaunch testing, the company said recently.

The $424 million base oil plant, located at Gazprom Neft’s refining complex in Omsk, was scheduled to start streaming by December 2022, but the facility completion was pushed back to an unspecified date in 2023.

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“This would be one of the largest Group II and Group III base oil plants [in Russia],” Anatoly Skoromets, general director of Gazpromneft-Lubricants, told the Russian media Nov. 24. “It will allow us to add about 220,000 tons of contemporary synthetic base [stocks] for production of highly technological oils.”

He said that the plant is now scheduled to start streaming in 2023.

The move will help the company, a major Russian lubricant marketer, to completely replace imported base oils in its manufacturing of finished lubricants.

The base oil plant will feature hydro treatment and catalytic wax isomerization technology. When construction began in January 2021, Gazpromneft said it was using technology licensed from ExxonMobil. ExxonMobil, which was among the energy companies that exited Russia or scaled back on operations after the country invaded Ukraine early this year, said it cancelled the order to provide wax isomerization technology and is not supporting Gazprom Neft with any catalyst and technical service. The Russian company did not respond by deadline to questions about technologies involved in the project and the sources of them.

The feedstock for the new base oil plant will come from a new hydrocracking unit in the wider Omsk fuels refinery. That unit started to operate in October, the company said.

The refining complex in Omsk already has a Group I plant with capacity of 280,000 t/y plus ability to make 17,000 t/y of process oils. The finished lubricant blending plant’s capacity is 110,000 t/y.

Three other Russian base oil plants can make Group II or III stocks. Tatneft’s Taneco refinery in Niznekamsk has capacity to make 90,000 t/y of Group II and 100,000 t/y of Group III, while Lukoil’s Volgograd plant can produce 30,000 t/y of Group III, along with 520,000 t/y of Group I. Slavneft, a 50/50 joint venture between Rosneft and Gazprom, operates a 100,000 t/y, Group III base oil plant in Yaroslavl.