Q8Oils Completes Antwerp Expansion


Q8Oils, the downstream arm of Kuwait Petroleum International, last week opened its expanded and upgraded 111,000-metric tons per year lube blending plant in Antwerp, Belgium.

Completed with an investment of U.S. $100 million, the plant can scale to a production capacity of up to 221,000 t/y. The plants site along the river Scheldt – which doubles as Q8Oils headquarters – has 24 base oil storage tanks and 42 additive tanks. It is served by highway, rail and sea shipments and houses a river jetty that can accommodate ships holding up to 5,000 tons. A tank that it refers to as a mega-blend vessel has capacity to blend batches as large as 353 tons. The facility features semi- and fully-automatic filling lines and, according to the company, can manufacture a wider range of products than any other such facility in Europe.

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Photo: Q8Oils

Q8Oils’ upgraded Antwerp facility includes all-new lube blending tanks, some of which are shown here.

Q8Oils announced plans in the second quarter of 2010 to upgrade the facility and at one point expected to have completed the project by the fall of 2014. The companys May 2 announcement did not comment on reasons for delays to its initial targets. What [is] here today began as a masterplan, KPI President Bakheet Al-Rashidi said in a Q8Oils press release. This was developed to achieve our shareholders growth ambitions.

KPI is the downstream entity of national oil company Kuwait Petroleum Corp. Q8Oils has been expanding its marketing and manufacturing efforts in Europe for some time.

We look with great pride at the work Q8Oils has done in the Benelux region, especially in Belgium, said Al-Rashidi. Their growth in retail and direct businesses perfectly demonstrates the ambitious expansion program that Q8 is pursing in Europe. We are very pleased to be so significantly invested in the European lubricants market.

In 2014, Q8Oils converted its blending plant in Leeds, United Kingdom, into a hub for filling and storing lubes. The company has a smaller blending plant in Castellar Guidobono, Italy, and a joint venture blending plant in Stockholm. It exports its products to more than 80 countries. The Antwerp plant toll blends for Gulf Oil International Ltd., which last year announced the facility would become its sole supply point for lubricants sold in Europe.

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