Takreer Starts Base Oil Production in UAE


ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – Takreer, the refining arm of Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. has started commercial production of base oils at the companys Ruwais plant.

Khalifa Mohammed Al Suwaidi, Takreers senior project manager, major products division, told Lube Report the refiner activated production in the second week of April. Speaking on the sidelines of the Base Oil & Lubes Middle East 2016 conference in the U.A.E. capital, Al Suwaidi declined to comment on the delays that have set back the plants highly anticipated start-up on several occasions.

During a presentation at the same event, Ahmed Saleh Al Hamed, manager for base oils & special products for Adnocs refined products division, said the plant is initially producing API Group III oils of 4 centiStoke and 6 cSt, as well as Group II 2 cSt and 3 cSt oils. After the plant is stabilized we will start production of Group III 8 cSt. Early production is on spec and already diverted to dedicated storage tanks with first cargo lifting expected in May Hamed added. Two berths at the refinerys jetty have been dedicated to base oils and can accommodate cargoes of approximately 10,000 metric tons to 20,000 tons.

When fully operational the Ruwais plant can produce up to 500,000 tons per year of Group III and 100,000 t/y of Group II base oils. Approximately 50,000 t/y is earmarked for Adnoc Distribution, a marketer and distributor of petroleum related products primarily in the U.A.E. According to Hamed, Adnoc intends to sell its base oils in several markets including India, Asia, Europe and the Americas.

The project was first announced in 2007 when Adnoc, Finnish refiner Neste and Austrian oil and gas company OMV signed a heads of agreement that contemplated the plant being a three-way joint venture with Adnoc owning 60 percent and Neste bearing responsibility for marketing. The partnership was gradually scaled back during subsequent years, first with OMV falling out of the deal, then with Adnoc becoming the sole owner and finally with consideration of Nestes marketing role ending in 2013.

The original schedule for the facility called for it to begin operating in late 2013.

At the Dubai conference last month, Adnoc moved quickly to dispel any lingering uncertainty over Nestes involvement in marketing, claiming it is in discussion with additive suppliers over formulation approvals. Adnoc also signalled that Adnoc Distribution has been appointed the exclusive buyer and seller of Adnoc base oils in the U.A.E. market.

Meanwhile, Adnoc Distribution has revealed it intends to press ahead with a new lube and grease plant located at Khalifa Port in Abu Dhabi. According to Saber Mohammed Al Ammari, lubes and grease plant department at Adnoc Distribution, the new 90,000 square meter facility will include a fully automated blending and filling plant. The first phase of the project, with a capacity of 100,000 t/y, will be completed by 2020 and the second phase, with a capacity of 200,000 t/y, by 2025. Adnoc currently operates a blending plant at its refinery in Umm Al Nar, U.A.E.

Mouyad Nashar, senior consultant at Kline Group, said Takreers new base oil production and Adnocs new lubricant plant are significant. The linkage is interesting and will help raise Adnocs profile, but the new blending plant is still a few years away.

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