Saneg Targets Group I to Europe

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Saneg Targets Group I to Europe
Refiner and base oil marketer Saneg revamped its API Group I base oil plant at its Fergana refinery in eastern Uzbekistan. Photo courtesy of Saneg

Uzbekistan’s Saneg said it aims to increase its base oil sales by directly targeting the European market, asserting it has improved the quality of its API Group I base oil products through plant equipment upgrades.

Formally named Sanoat Energetika Guruhi, the company is the country’s leading oil and gas company, and it sold 65,000 metric tons of base oils in 2023, an 8% increase.

Saneg operates a 500,000 ton per year Group I base oil plant in Fergana, Uzbekistan. Its main products, solvent neutral 150 and SN 350, have registered under the European Union’s Registration, Evaluation, and Authorization of Chemicals regulation – known as REACH – and is now preparing to enter European markets, a Saneg official told Lube Report last week.

“Previously, our main export volumes were sold to end consumers in Tajikistan and Georgia, as well as to traders in Estonia and Latvia,” SEG Motol spokesperson Roman Zimovets said. “Now, we have the opportunity to sell directly to European customers.”

SEG Motol is the lubricant arm of Saneg. The main aim of REACH is to provide a high level of protection of human health and the environment from the use of chemicals. Zimovets added that most of Fergana’s base oils went to the Uzbekistan market, and the rest went to foreign markets.

Due to modernized technology, including catalyst replacement and the installation of new equipment, the Fergana plant has improved the removal of sulfur, aromatic hydrocarbons, and resinous asphaltene substances that negatively affected the finished products.

“Indicators such as carcinogen content, flash point, volatility, and color now meet European standards,” Saneg stated in a June 5 news release.

Saneg’s strategic plan is to actively penetrate the European market, where there is higher demand for Group I base oils due to the announced closures or modifications of Group I base oil plants by oil majors such as Eni and Shell and the unavailability of sanctioned products from Russia.

“Obtaining REACH compliance was made possible thanks to a comprehensive program to improve the quality of base oils produced by Saneg,” Saneg CEO Tulkin Yusupov said in the news release. Zimovets mentioned that the improved quality of the products will support the company’s lubricant manufacturing operations, which recently began in Bari, Italy.