Rerefinery Coming to Maryland


FCC Environmental plans to bring a $50 million Group II base oil rerefinery online in Baltimore by 2013.

The Houston-based waste oil collector last week said it anticipates breaking ground on the project in mid-2012, pending issuance of State of Maryland and City of Baltimore environmental and construction permits. The rerefinery will employ 30 full-time workers in technical, operations and support roles.

The Baltimore recycling facility will produce several cuts of both Group II and Group II+ base lube, as well as other high value co-products, stated Ken Cherry, executive vice president and general manager of FCC Environmental.

At this time, the company isnt interested in getting into finished lubricants. Our product is base oil – were going to produce an 80 neutral, a 110 and a 240 neutral, Vince Glorioso, FCC Environmentals vice president, field services and special projects, told Lube Report. Theres always the possibility down the road [finished lubricants] may become attractive, but thats not our intention right now.

Glorioso said the company is not yet disclosing which rerefining technology the Baltimore plant will use. It will be a licensed technology, he confirmed.

Plans call for a plant that will process 40 million gallons of used motor oil each year. If the rerefinery is able to stick with solely crankcase materials as feedstock, he said, roughly 75 percent of this will be rerefined into base oil, or about 30 million gallons or more per year.

The real challenge becomes trying to feed crankcase oil, not just any oil, Glorioso emphasized. Were not talking about No. 6 oil, recovered industrial lubricants, or metalworking fluids. Were talking about feeding it crankcase type material, with the right boiling points. To aggregate the level of material thats required is at times a daunting challenge.

The facility will be on a brownfield site previously used as an asphalt terminal in Baltimore. He explained that as such, the land has soil contamination that the current owner will be responsible for cleaning up before FCC Environmental breaks ground on the rerefinery next year.

The site will be remediated, he said. So far as our operations go, all of our construction, truck unloading, storage, processing facilities – any place where we handle materials – will be in concrete, impervious containment. That protects against future issues with contamination of ground.

The site is considered easily accessible to interstate highways as well as capable of handling both rail and barge shipments. Glorioso pointed out the company has numerous locations within a 250-mile radius of Baltimore: the city itself; Bayonne, N.J.; Wilmington, Del.; Harrisburg and Pittsburgh, Pa.; and in Richmond, Norfolk, Alexandria and Rockville, Va.

Weve got a significant amount of material that is within reach of the plant, where were not shipping halfway across the country, he said. Between FCC and its predecessors, weve been collecting since 1981. Weve developed a large enough base of customers, and strategically located facilities where we control the feedstock, and were able to economically transfer the material into Baltimore.

In addition to economic reasons, Glorioso said the project was also appealing to FCC Environmentals parent company, FCC of Madrid, Spain, for cultural reasons. When FCC Madrid purchased us, they were used to operating with the logic of all waste oil being rerefined – its rerefined in Europe or its hazardous. He noted the parent company wanted to bring that strategy to its U.S. operations.

Glorioso said Valvolines decision in March to launch its NextGen motor oils, a line of products made with 50 percent rerefined base oil, has been welcomed warmly in the industry. That quiet cheer you hear in the background is all of us waste oil guys who are saying Way to go, Valvoline, he said. They were the first one to step out and actually take a branding approach instead of being quiet about it.

While the Baltimore rerefinery is the first of several the company plans to build, Glorioso said those other locations are only in the conceptual stage. Were not in a position to talk about anything thats conceptual, but its being worked on, he stated, noting the company waited on issuing an announcement on the Maryland project until it had funding from its corporate board, and had secured a site.

Before becoming part of FCC in 2008, FCC Environmental was known as Hydrocarbon Recovery Services. FCC of Spain purchased the company from Siemens Water Technologies Corp. to form its U.S. division.

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