Hill Corp. recently finished building a used oil rerefinery and a small grease unit at its lubricant blending plant in Shymkent, in southern Kazakhstan. The company says these are the initial steps in the country’s fledgling industry for collection and processing of waste oils.
These facilities are a part of an expansion plan that the company announced roughly two years ago to expand operations in Shymkent, where it already operated a 70,000 metric ton per year lubricant blending plant.
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The Group I base oil rerefinery – designed by the German equipment maker Fluid Solutions – has capacity to process 30,000 t/y of waste oils. “These base oils are used internally only for [the] production of greases that we sell in the domestic market,” Nurshat Maratov, Hills marketing director, told Lube Report on Monday.
Also designed by Fluid Solutions, the grease plant has the capacity to produce 1,500 t/y of lithium grease.
The blending and grease plants produce engine oils, transmission fluids, industrial lubricants and greases under the Hill and Fastoil brands.
Hill is now establishing regional collection points in Kazakhstan in five different geographical regions, but it faces many challenges to its plan.
“There has to be improvement in the collection culture in Kazakhstan [which sometimes leads to] supply of inhomogeneous used oils. The presence of water and mechanical impurities requires preliminary preparation, and this increases the time for used oil analysis,” said Aleksei Kutsev, head of the company’s technical support department.
Hill believes Kazakhstan is fertile ground for the development of industry for the collection and processing of used oils. The country consumes roughly 140,000 tons of finished lubricants annually, around 60 percent of which are imported, predominately from Russia, according to the company.
Last year Kazakhstan’s legislature introduced a bill called the National Standard for Waste Oils that stipulates three types of waste oils that must be collected separately – engine oils, industrial lubricants and mixtures of used petrochemicals.
Under the 2018 standard, engine and industrial oils should be subjected to a full cycle of processing leading to production of base oils. It forbids use of lubricants as fuel and specifies the stages of processing of used lubes, documentation required for their storage, delivery, acceptance and transportation.
Additionally, the standard mandates that the volume of generated used oil should be at least 70 percent of the volume of the finished lubricants prior to their use. It also establishes the requirements for specialized equipment for processing of used oil, and its goal is achieving full cycle (cradle to cradle) processing of at least 49 percent of the lubricants consumed in the country.