The 10 billion ruble (U.S. $132 million) investment is part of Lukoil’s program to upgrade its base oils and lubricant production assets.
A new fractionation unit has capacity to yield 220,000 metric tons per year of hydrocracked residues, meaning the base oil plant can make the same amount of Group II. Officials noted that the base oil output is focused in a narrow viscosity range around 150 neutral.
“The production facility includes deasphalting and separation units that use the residues coming from the refinery’s hydrocracker … to produce high-viscosity base stocks,” the company said in its Jan. 29 news release.
The Volgograd refinery already has a Group I base oil plant with capacity to make 520,000 t/y and a 30,000 t/y Group III plant.
Another project for the Volgograd refinery – to expand the Group III plant to 240,000 t/y – has also been delayed and currently has no publicly announced timeline.
Lukoil is the largest lube marketer in Russia.
Two more Russian plants can produce Group II and Group III base oils – 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 Slavneft, a 50/50 joint venture between Rosneft and Gazprom energy giants, operates a 100,000 t/y Group III base oil plant in Yaroslavl.