The Abu Dhabi Oil Refining Co (Takreer) plans to set up a base oil refinery project at its Ruwais facility, official sources said. To be called Base Oil Refinery (BOR), the plant will have a production capacity of 300,000 tonnes per annum.

A great deal of atmospheric residue is produced in Takreer's Umm Al Nar and Ruwais refineries, which contain high quality lube oil components. "Recovering these components, which are currently blended into fuel oil, to produce base oils will command a premium price and increase the overall profitability of Takreer's refining business."

Base oil production has traditionally accounted for a relatively small percentage of a refinery's production volume. But compared to products from fuels processing, the lubricant products command high prices and this provides the opportunity to enhance the overall revenue from a refinery, the study said.

The processing method will include the following process units:

(a) Vacuum distillation and solvent de-asphalting units to prepare feedstock for downstream processing
(b) A hydrocracker to process the feedstock to produce hydrocrackates,
(c) Isomerisation-dewaxing/hydro-finishing process to finally produce base oils.

Meanwhile, last year, Takreer's new condensate processing facility at Ruwais began full commercial production of 280,000 barrels per day (bpd). In June this year, Takreer will connect its electrical grid in Ruwais with that of the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (Adwea) to exchange electrical power. As one of the largest refining companies in the region, Takreer is responsible for the operations of two refineries, the 88,000 bpd Umm Al Nar refinery and the 280,000 bpd Ruwais refinery.