Slavneft Completes Group III Upgrade


MOSCOW – Slavneft has begun making trial batches of base oils for the Group III upgrade at its plant in Yaroslavl, Russia, according to Rosneft, a partner in the refining joint venture. Rosneft said it is also mulling production of Group II and extender oils at its Novokuibyshevsk refinery in 2018.

Tibur Leimeter, head of RN-Lubricantss research and development, standardization and technology department, told an industry event that Yaroslavls 100,000 metric tons per year Group III base oil plant expansion will go online in June. Slavneft has stated that the upgraded portion of the plant will ultimately make Group III oils, although it has made some Group II during the testing phase. Approximately 2,800 tons of Group II and 2,800 tons of Group III products have been put on sale, ready to be shipped in the coming weeks.

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Photo courtesy of Rosneft

Rosneft is preparing to add 250,000 tons per year of API Group II base oil production at its Novokuibyshevsk refinery via an upgrade, which is set to go online in April 2018. The refinery today has capacity to produce 230,000 t/y Group I base oil, which will be scaled down to 100,000 t/y in 2021, the company said.

Slavneft is a 50-50 joint venture between Rosneft and Gazprom Neft. Until now the Yaroslavl plant has had capacity to make 250,000 t/y of Group I oils.

In late August we will ramp up high quality base oil production in Yaroslavl, Leimeter told GBCs CIS Base Oils and Lubricants conference here May 24. These products are meant to substitute for the imported Group III base oils coming into the Russian market.

European refiners have been steadily shuttering Group I capacity for years, but for the time being at least, Slavneft does not plan to reduce its Group I base oil production, Rosneft confirmed.

Those who are doing this are actually flushing out not only Group I production, but also reducing wax, slack wax and bright stock sources. We actually go in the opposite direction and leave the residual oils in to make more high-viscosity products needed on the European and Chinese markets.

At its Novokuibyshevsk refinery, Rosneft is also installing capacity to make 70,000 t/y of extender oils to diversify the sites product portfolio, which includes finished lubricants and additives. Extender oils are primarily used in automobile tire manufacturing.

The extender oils plant is expected to go online by the end of 2017 or beginning of 2018, and it will have the potential to expand to 150,000 t/y, Leimeter revealed.

Novokuibyshevsk is also preparing for a 250,000 t/y Group II upgrade, which is set go online in April 2018, Leimeter confirmed. At the moment, the refinery has capacity to produce 230,000 t/y Group I base oil, which will be scaled down to 100,000 t/y in 2021, the company said.

State oil major Rosneft operates one more Group I base oil plant in Angarsk, in eastern Siberia. The 230,000 t/y capacity is oriented to make base oils used in production of industrial oils, but it is excluded from the companys current modernization push.

In 2016 in a controversial deal, Rosneft acquired Bashneft, a privately held oil major, along with the companys base oils and lubricants production in Novo-Ufa. After Lukoil, Rosneft is the second largest lube marketer in Russia. In 2016 it produced 800,000 tons of base oils and finished lubricants.

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