Prista Readies Terminal


Lubricant supplier Prista Oil is preparing to open a base oil terminal at the port of Varna, Bulgaria. The 24,000-cubic-meter facility is the largest base oil depot on the Black Sea and bolsters Pristas position as a major base oil broker in the region.

The company, which is headquartered in Sofia, Bulgaria, already operates terminals in Odessa, Ukraine, and Yaramga, Turkey.

With terminal facilities in Turkey, Bulgaria and Ukraine, Prista becomes one of the most powerful players in the logistics and procurement of base oils in Black Sea and Mediterranean, said Milen Boichev, executive director for Prista with responsibility for its Supply and Manufacturing Division. The size of this new terminal also allows us to bring in overseas shipments, particularly Group II and Group III material, at a very reasonable cost.

Pristas main blending plant is in Ruse, Bulgaria, 150 miles inland from Varna, and the company is the countrys dominant lubricant supplier, claiming 55 percent of the domestic market. In the past few years, however, base oil trading has become an increasingly important part of its business. It opened the 11,000-cubic-meter Odessa terminal in 2004 partly as a conduit for Russian base oils but at the same time formed Star Oil, a trading joint venture with Joss Chemicals N.V.

Last year Prista bought out Joss, and it now identifies base oil trading as a core business. Savchev said base oil trading will initially account for 45 percent of the material flowing through the Varna terminal and that it should grow to constitute 50 percent.

The new terminal is located on a 29,000-square-meter lot and consists of four 2,000-cubic-meter tanks dedicated to the storage of chemicals plus four 2,000-cubic-meter and eight 1,000-cubic-meter tanks dedicated to base oils. Officials say construction has finished and that the facility will open next month. Its docks are able to receive ships up to 160 meters long and with draughts of up to 8.5 meters. It cost 7 million (U.S. $10.45 million).

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