Spain Rerefining Rate Dipped in 2023

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Spain Rerefining Rate Dipped in 2023
A truck is set up to collect used oil at a facility in Spain. Photo courtesy of Sigaus

Spain during 2023 rerefined 78% of its collected waste lubricants into base stocks, the non-profit organization charged with managing waste lubricants said last month, slightly lower than the rate in 2022.

That far exceeded the 65% mandated minimum in Spain. Most of the oil that is recycled gets processed at one of the country’s rerefineries.

In its 2023 report, Sigaus said that the collection system that it manages collected 131,000 metric tons of used oils last year, after deducting water and sediment from the 159,387 gross tons collected. The 131,000 figure would be 38% of the 341,900 tons of finished lubricants consumed last year in the country, according to Spanish Lubricants Association data released in February.

Sigaus members – which produce the majority of lubes manufactured domestically in Spain – sold 287,675 tons of lubricants in 2023, down slightly from 288,770 tons in 2022. Of the 131,000 tons collected, 101,774 tons were “regenerated” into new finished lubes. In 2022, the percentage rerefined was 79%, Sigaus said in a press release about its 2023 Report to Public Administrations. The report informs the government’s public administration bodies about the management of used oils and compliance with environmental goals established by a royal decree.

The organization said that used oil that couldn’t be used for regeneration treatment – 29,518 tons – was used for energy recovery to obtain an industrial fuel similar to fuel oil, which is used often in cement and paper factories and other types of industrial facilities.

Of the 287,675 tons of lubricants marketed by Sigaus member companies, 57% was sold into the automotive segment and the remainder into the industrial segment and other consumer sectors. About 70% of the lubricants marketed by Sigaus members were manufactured in Spain, and the rest were imported. Sigaus’ waste oil system last year involved 164 companies collecting and transporting material from 4,782 municipalities.