Rerefinery Opens Near Arctic Circle


Rerefinery Opens Near Arctic Circle
Oil Northwest Affiliate’s used oil processing refinery in Severodvinsk. Photo courtesy of Press center of the Government of Arkhangelsk Oblast

A base oil rerefinery that opened recently in Severodvinsk, Russia, may not be large, but it appears to be the northernmost such facility in the world.

Severodvinsk is located in northwestern Russia, on the White Sea, 227 kilometers south of the Arctic Circle. It is at the same latitude as Iceland and the United States state of Alaska.

The rerefinery is operated by a local company, Oils Northwest Affiliate, which says the facility was built for U.S. $1.8 million. It has capacity to process 12,000 metric tons of waste oils per year and to make 8,400 t/y of API Group I base oil.

The company is licensed to collect used oils in the Arkhangelsk oblast and the neighboring Vologoda oblast. It has signed agreements for used oil collection with large companies in the region.         

“This is the first such production in the Northwest Federal District,” Viktor Ikonikov, vice-president of the Arkhangelsk Oblast, said in a recent news release issued by the Arkhangelsk oblast government. “The company is registered in Arkhangelsk oblast and is a resident of the Arctic [economic] zone of the Russian Federation.”

Prior to this rerefinery, the used oils collected in this region were transported for processing to other regions of Russia, so the sale prices for the collected used oil were very low, said Alexey Lisnichenko, director of Oils Northwest.

“The operation of our company will increase the used oil prices in the region up to threefold,” he said. “Hence, not only large companies could be attracted to collect used oils, but medium and small size enterprises too.”

The company confirmed that it has future plans to add production of finished lubricants.

The product released at the refinery can be readily used as transformer oil, Lisnichenko said.

The local government is ready to support the logistics by establishing a used oil collection hub in the port of Arkhangelsk on the White Sea. This hub could attract collected oils across Russian Arctic regions that can be processed in the Severodvinsk rerefinery.