Uz-Pristas Rerefinery Kicks Off


The Uz-Prista Recycling joint venture opened its first base oil rerefinery in Uzbekistan last week during a ceremony attended by company and government officials in the capital of Tashkent.

The $19 million investment has a waste oils throughput capacity of 40,000 metric tons per year, a change from the previously announced 43,000 tons, and can produce 30,000 tons of Group I base oils, 6,000 tons of diesel and 4,000 tons of asphalt fraction annually.

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Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov and the Uzbek first deputy prime minister, Gulomzhan Ibrahimov, jointly spoke via a video link from an oil and gas event, while the brothers Plamen and Atanas Bobokov, developers and majority Prista Oil shareholders, addressed the ceremony on-site. The brothers founded Prista Oil in 1993.

The Uzbekistan lubricant market is large enough to provide feedstock for our used oil rerefinery, Plamen Bobokov said. It is an important step for Uzbekistan, where the waste [oil] dumping is unregulated, and there are no engaged efforts to protect the environment. The rerefinery will help to decrease used oil dumping in the environment.

As owners and majority shareholders of a socially responsible company, I and my brother have always wanted to invest in used oil processing, Bobokov said at the ceremony on May 18. These base oils will be a new business and technological input to Pristas lubricant production.

Uz-Prista Recycling is a project established with a decree signed by Uzbek President Islam Karimov. It is a joint venture between Bulgarian lube maker Prista Oil Group and Uznefteprodukt, part of state-owned energy giant Uzbekneftegaz.

Through its 2011 takeover of Texacos share in Uz-Texaco, Prista established itself as a leading local lubricants marketer in Uzbekistan. The joint venture operates a 36,000 t/y lubricant blending plant in Tashkent.

The recycling project consists of two companies. Uz-Ecoprotect collects, stores and transports used oils. Uz-Prista Recycling will operate the plant and produce base oil. Uznefteprodukt holds a 49 percent stake of the enterprise, while Prista Oil has a controlling stake of 51 percent.

The rerefinery employs 50 workers, and it uses vacuum distillation and hydrofinishing technology licensed from India-based Sequoia Global Inc. Sixty percent of the produced base oils will be supplied for Prista Oils production needs in Central Asia and Ukraine, and the rest will be used by the Uz-Prista blending plant, the company said.

Prista Recyclings involvement in the project is not only as an investor, but also as a principal developer of the rerefinerys construction and technology for regeneration of used oil, for which it has a patent application pending with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Ruse, Bulgaria-based Prista Oil is one of the leading lubricant manufacturers in Central and Eastern Europe.

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