Used oil processing is generating increasingly more interest from the Turkmen market. Here, German technology can be successfully used. This became clear when a group of MP participants from Turkmenistan visited AVISTA Oil Refining & Trading AG in Uetze, Germany, in October 2015.
AVISTA Oil is a technology company that strives to create a sustainable closed-loop cycle for oil products. Its annual processing capacity amounts to 500,000 tons. Globally, it is at the forefront of the production of environmentally friendly base oils and lubricants. The customer base has approximately 70,000 in Europe and the United States where the company operates a closely networked logistics chain for the collection of used oil from the customers, loading terminals and a broad geographical coverage of warehousing capacity.
AVISTA Oil secures access to used oil as valuable raw material for processing (re-refining) through its own collection points throughout Germany and the neighbouring countries. The company’s own fleet of oil trucks provides for the delivery to the refinery in Dollbergen. It is there that the used oil is refined in a patented multi-stage process. Initial water removal is followed by the flash evaporation process to separate fuel oils into their component parts through lowering pressure and increasing temperature. The next stage is the actual base oil production. Through the use of the patented Enhanced Selective Refining process, AVISTA Oil is in a position to process a wide spectrum of used oils. With a special solvent, all impurities are “driven out” of the oil. The oil’s valuable components remain intact for reuse. Since the solvent is insoluble in the oil, it can be separated after the completion of the process and reused multiple times in the closed-loop extraction system. This means that hardly any waste is produced in the process of re-refining. The resulting base oil forms the basis of a high quality range of lubricants which comprises industrial lubricants, metal processing oils, motor oils, gear and hydraulic oils.
When organizing the visit, AVISTA Oil has already signalled strong interest in Turkmen market as well as in the establishment of its presence in Turkmenistan. During the company tour Björn Zippel, Head of Export, explained to the participants the business operations of the company and answered numerous questions. For their part, the participants reported on the environmental situation in their country, and recognised great potential for a market entry by AVISTA OIL in Turkmenistan. MP participants from Turkmen ministries and banks ensured their support.
The group then visited the refinery. Not only were the participants impressed by the technology but also by the high degree of cleanliness in all areas of the plant. In the subsequent meeting it was agreed that the conditions for a market entry by the German company in Turkmenistan should be examined. This includes research efforts to establish the annual average quantity of used oils and emulsions in Turkmenistan, the requirements for lubricants and the conditions for the establishment of warehousing and processing capacity in the country.
By Hans-Ulrich Nitzsche
BZM GmbH, Berlin