ExxonMobil yesterday said it plans to expand API Group II base stock production capacity at its Singapore refinery by early 2015.
The company manufactures EHC 50 and EHC 110 base stocks at its Singapore site, which are designed specifically for blending mainstream lubricants in the Asia Pacific Market. The plant currently has 25,000 b/d of Group II capacity, according to LubesnGreases 2013 Guide to Global Base Oil Refining. The Singapore refinerys sister site on Jurong Island, referred to as Pulau Ayer Chawan, has 13,000 b/d of Group I capacity.
Expanding production of our EHC base stocks will help our customers capitalize on their new growth opportunities in the Asia Pacific region, Ken Chandler, manager of Asia Pacific base stock sales at ExxonMobil, said in a news release. It did not disclose the specific amount of increased capacity.
The expansion project will use ExxonMobil proprietary technologies, including MSDW dewaxing catalyst, the company stated.
Although they mention MSDW dewaxing catalyst, which implies they will be changing to a new generation version, that alone would not be that substantial – maybe 10 percent [more capacity] at most, Stephen B. Ames of SBA Consulting told Lube Report. However, in saying the Singapore expansion would stream in early 2015, that implies some new construction – probably an additional hydroisomerisation/hydrofining unit.
In February, ExxonMobil announced plans to expand Group II and II+ production capacity at its Baytown, Texas, base oil plant by early 2015.
These two expansion projects demonstrate ExxonMobils commitment to the base stocks market and will enable us to significantly increase global supply of our high-quality EHC base stocks, said George Arndt Jr., manager of global base stocks and specialties.
Worldwide, ExxonMobil has 131,000 b/d of base oil refining capacity, roughly 13 percent of the global total. Singapore accounts for 29 percent of its base oil holdings.
According to consultancy Kline and Co.s LubesNet Database-7th edition, overall finished lubricant demand in Asia Pacific for automotive and industrial lubricants, including process oil and marine, was about 16.5 million metric tons, or about 43 percent of total global finished lubricant demand in 2012.
The trend in the Asia Pacific region for automotive engine oil is less monograde, more multigrade, which benefits API Group II base stock demand, George Morvey, industry manager for Klines Petroleum and Energy Practice, told Lube Report.
In its LubesNet Database, Kline projects multigrade passenger car motor oil to rise from 95.5 percent of the Asia Pacific market in 2012 to 98.5 percent in 2021, while monograde PCMO is expected to decline from 4.5 percent in 2012 to 1.5 percent in 2021. On the heavy duty motor oil side, it expects multigrade will rise from 67.5 percent of the Asia Pacific market in 2012 to 82 percent in 2021, leaving HDMO monogrades with only an 18 percent market share.