Puralube, NexLube Team Up in Florida


Puralube, NexLube Team Up in Florida

Puralube and NexLube Tampa last month formed joint venture Puraglobe Florida LLC, which plans to complete and commission NexLubes API Group III rerefinery in Florida by the end of 2018.

Discussions of the deal came to light in March, when the Port Tampa Bay board approved transfer of a lease agreement from NexLube Tampa LLC to Puraglobe Florida LLC – contingent upon completion of a joint venture between NexLube and Puralube. The companies signed the JV agreement last month.

The refinerys API Group III base oil production capacity will be in the range of 1,040 to 1,170 barrels per day, Puralube President and CEO Andreas Schueppel told Lube Report. According to Schueppel, the joint venture will act as the rerefinerys operator, while Puralube will serve as the JVs parent company and have the majority stake in the JV. The joint venture ownership percentages and financial details were not disclosed.

The joint venture will complete the refinerys processing plant using patented HyLube catalytic processing technology developed by Des Plaines, Ill.-based UOP, a Honeywell company. Puralube acquired exclusive rights to the technology in 1995. Schueppel explained in January that the company can produce Group III base oils from standard used motor oils. We do not need a special type of feedstock, he said Monday. The development of the technology was based on the contemporary market mixture, and no pre-selection of feedstock is necessary.

Schueppel said Puralube has further developed the technology, which is used in the companys two rerefineries at its site in Troeglitz, Germany. We ran several pilot plant tests at the labs of UOP in Des Plaines near Chicago, he noted.

Puralube signed the JV contract to build one of our HyLube units on the existing site in the port of Tampa, Schueppel said. He lauded NexLube for the infrastructure that it developed at the site.

With the signature of the JV in the U.S., we are following our strategy to grow our business, and to strengthen our position in the global rerefining industry, he said. Following this, we will become the first producer of Group III base oil in the U.S. market, based on used motor oils.

Photo: NexLube Tampa LLC

Construction on NexLubes rerefinery first began in July 2012. In October 2013, NexLube officials said the facility was expected to process 24 million gallons of used oil annually and produce around 1,570 barrels per day of Group II base oil in three viscosity grades: 85, 150 and 330 Saybolt Universal Seconds.

According to a Port Tampa Bay meeting document from March, when the Tampa rerefinery project was suspended in November 2013, NexLube had invested more than $100 million into the facility and substantially completed construction of a 56,000-square-foot blending and storage building, a 20,000 square foot office building, about 30 above-ground storage tanks ranging in size from 10,000 to 900,000 gallons, piping and foundations for the processing unit. At that time, the port authority document indicated, NexLube stated that it believed the project was viable and needed time to evaluate its options due to the substantial increase in projected costs. Since that time, NexLube sought a partner to help it complete the project.

NexLube President Monte Bell said the company looked forward to completing its Tampa rerefinery project through the joint venture with Puralube.

Puralube brings not only many years of successful operating history but also the most advanced technology for rerefining used oils into Group III base oils, he said in an emailed statement. While the primary processing technology is a departure from NexLubes original plan, its advanced site development, completed tank farm and blending facility preserved significant value for NexLube shareholders and creates an excellent platform for Puraglobe Florida to build upon.

Schueppel also provided an update on Puralubes plan to upgrade one of its two rerefineries at its site in the Zeitz Chemical and Industrial Park in Troeglitz.

In Germany, we are currently in the final phase of the erection of our first Group III production, which we will commission in early spring 2017, Schueppel said. With that upgrade in place, the company will have 50,000 t/y of Group III production and 50,000 t/y of Group II+ production at the Troeglitz site.

Wayne, Pennsylvania-based Puralube Inc. has a subsidiary – Puralube GmbH – in Frankfurt, Germany.