Puralube Plans Norwegian Rerefinery


Ineos Bamble AS and Puralube Nordic AS have reached agreement for a lubricant oil production plant on the Ineos site at Ronningen in Bamble, Norway. Puralube plans to invest 400 million Norwegian kroner (U.S. $70.6 million) in the new rerefining facility, which will convert waste oils intolubricants for use in cars, other transportation and a broad range of industrial applications.

Puralube will build, own and operate the plant. When commissioned in 2010, it is expected to be capable of producing about 75,000 metric tons per year of high viscosity, low sulfur, water-white base oil.

Ineos spokesman Richard Longden said the project marks the first time the company has worked together with Puralube. As is the case at other Ineos sites, attracting new industry to its facilities to develop a broader industrial cluster fits well with the companys strategy, Longden told Lube Report. Bamble was the preferred site because of existing infrastructure and other facilities such as existing steam, fuel and office facilities.

Waste lube oil from industrial, marine and automotive uses will provide the raw materials for the new plant, he said. About one quarter of the waste oil needed – 85,000 metric tons per year – will come from Norway. The rest will come from other Scandinavian countries, as well as from Germany and Great Britain, he added.

Puralube Nordic AS is a joint venture between Norsk Spesialolje AS (NSO) and Frankfurt, Germany-based Puralube GmbH, which is a subsidiary of Puralube Inc. in Wayne, Pa. Oslo, Norway-based Norsk Spesialolje, which receives and processes waste oil and polluted water, plans to build a tank farm at the Ineos site for collection of oils destined for the new plant.

The customers for the plants base oil will be major oil companies and smaller specialty oil companies who use it to make all kinds of lubricants, according to Longden.

The project will create about 40 new jobs, said Bill Reid, CEO of Ineos Polyolefins, which owns the Bamble site. Reid added that Puralube had already agreed on an option for a possible second facility at the site.

Puralube started its first refinery in Zeitz, Germany in 2004, and has a second refinery under construction at the same location. The first one was also the worlds first refinery to operate based on patented HyLube catalytic hydroprocessing technology. The technology was developed by Des Plaines, Ill.-based UOP, a Honeywell company. Puralube acquired exclusive rights to the technology in 1995.

According to a UOP technical paper, the HyLube process uses a proprietary feed treatment system that rejects the non-distillable portions of the used oil. The remaining oil, typically 90 to 95 percent of the original feed, is directly processed over a proprietary UOP catalyst. The company claims that the results include lube base stocks equal to virgin lube oils, low sulfur fuels, aqueous effluent with a low chemical oxygen demand and no organochlorides, and a stable heavy residue acceptable for asphalt blending.

UOP said the process also eliminates operating conditions that induce fouling, coking, corrosion and catalyst deactivation.

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