Saudi Aramco Base Oil Company (Luberef) announced last week that it has completed the upgrade and expansion of its base oil plant in Yanbu, Saudi Arabia, and that it has started shipping its Group II lube base oils to customers in India. Luberef shipped its 70N Group II base oils to buyers in India in January sources said. Other grades being offered included 110N and 230N.
Luberef said in October last year it planned to have commercially available volumes of Group II base oils by January 2018.
Before the expansion, Luberef had capacity to produce a combined 550,000 tonnes/year of Group I base oils and brightstock from its two plants in Jeddah and Yanbu, 270,000 metric tons at Jeddah (also known as Luberef I) and 280,000 metric tons at Yanbu (also known as Luberef II). Base oils presently produced include Group I SN150, SN500 and brightstock grades.
In addition to its Group I base oils, Luberef will expand production in its Yanbu Plant to include the manufacturing of 708,000 metric tons per annum of Group II base oils, to be marketed as aramcoPrima, thereby more than doubling its overall production of base oils to about 1.2 million MT per annum.
Luberef is a 70-30 joint venture between Saudi Aramco and Saudi investment firm Jadwa Investment Co, which bought ExxonMobil’s 30% stake in Luberef in December 2007.
In the Middle East, the Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. (ADNOC) also produces Group II base oils at Ruwais, UAE. ADNOC’s plant in Ruwais has capacity to make 100,000 tons per year of Group II along with 400,000 t/y of Group III.