Russian producers recognise the need for better quality oils to meet performance lube demands.
Tatneft site Image: Tatneft
The news came at an RPI Lubricants conference in Russia held at the end of 2016. According to coverage by Lube Report, three of Russia's major refiners - Rosneft, Gazprom Neft and joint-venture between the two, Slavneft - have finished, or are very close to finishing, major refinery upgrades to boost production of Group II and III base oils.
Despite delays from a weak economy and sanctions as well as low crude prices, enhanced base oil output to meet the increasing demand for high-performance lubes is now on its way.
According to Lube Report, there are only two plants currently able to produce Group II and III oils - Tatneft's Nizhnekamsk site and Lukoil's Volgograd operation which is also due for major overhaul in the mid-2020s. Combined, the total annual output capacity is 90k tons of Group II ad 130k tons of Group III product.
The new refinery upgrades will significantly increase capacity for the higher quality base products required to manufacture higher-performance lubes.