By Tim Sullivan
Kuwait Petroleum International Lubricants this week announced the installation of 24 storage tanks at its blending plant in Antwerp. The tanks are part of a five-year upgrade and expansion project that will create one of the largest blending plants in Europe.
Scheduled to be inaugurated tomorrow, the new tanks have a combined capacity of 36 million liters – or approximately 30,000 metric tons of lubricating oil.
KPIL, which sells lubricants under the brand name Q8 Oils, is in the midst of a project to expand the plant’s production capacity to 250 million liters per year, or 225,000 t/y.
“We think that will make it one of the three largest blending plants in the region,” Marketing Manager Neil Grieve told Lube Report. “We know for certain it will be one of the top five.”
KPIL, part of Kuwait-based Kuwait Petroleum, adopted the expansion project in 2008, although some work done before then helped prepare for it. At that time capacity was approximately 80 million l/y, and most of the facility was four decades old and out of date. Among improvements made so far were construction of a loading jetty and installation of robotic filling equipment.
“The next large stage is a completely new blending section that would include new storage tanks for additives and finished lubes,” Grieve said. “That’s still in the planning stage.”
The Antwerp blending plant is located on the river Scheldt and is the largest of Q8 Oil’s four blending plants. Q8 Oils is a major fuels retailer in Belgium.