Make Way for GTL Process Oils


Base stocks from Shell and Qatar Petroleums joint-venture GTL refinery in Qatar are beginning to make inroads into the process oils market.

Shell announced an agreement to supply new Risella X process oils to a German company that will use them to make premium thermoplastic elastomers. Risella X process oils are made with gas-to-liquids base stocks from Shell and Qatar Petroleums joint-venture GTL refinery in Qatar.

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The German company, Kraiburg TPE, called the new elastomers a pioneering advance in their industry. TPEs are polymers used in applications such as blow-molding of a wide variety of products, from snowmobile tracks to household appliances to weatherstripping and shoe soles.

It is an on-going challenge for companies to improve the efficiency of their operations and continue to improve product quality, Oliver Zintner, Kraiburg TPEs director for Europe, said. For us, part of the work to meet this challenge is being done via a new TPE product, developed in close cooperation with Shell, modified with a completely new raw material.

The base oil plant at the Pearl facility, located in Ras Laffan, Qatar, is the worlds first large-scale GTL base oil plant. It has two production trains-one opened in 2011, and the other in 2012-with combined capacity of 1.3 million metric tons per year.

Shell, which has 100 percent responsibility for marketing the base oils, appears to have been trying to use as much of the output as possible in the blending of its own finished lubricants and other products, such as process oils.

Kraiburg TPE, which is part of Waldkraiburg, Germany-based Kraiburg Holding GmbH, declined to discuss the potential market for its new TPE or to compare its pricing to conventional TPE.

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