Chevron U.S.A. Inc. announced that, through a regional affiliate, it will be adding an additional storage facility for Group II base oil in Le Havre, France.
“We chose Le Havre as our next hub in Europe because we can offer customers along the Seine a shorter supply chain. With regular, reliable delivery, customers can minimize their base oil inventory while blending higher performing lubricants,” said Cary Knuth, Chevron’s vice president of base oil.
This is the fifth Group II supply hub in Europe for the Chevron Base Oils network. The company also has facilities in Antwerp, Belgium; Liverpool, England; Hamburg, Germany; and, Istanbul, Turkey. Initially, grades inventoried at the facility will include Chevron Neutral Oil 100R and 220R. Chevron Neutral Oil 600R tankage may be added later.
The tankage, owned by LBC Sogestrol Le Havre, is strategically located at the entrance of the Le Havre harbor, near the mouth of the Seine River. The location provides easy access to the many lubricant blenders and additive companies located upstream.
The European base oil market is transforming rapidly. Tightening automotive engine oil specifications are propelling demand for premium base oils. With a number of Group I plants closing, lubricant blenders are looking for solutions to the growing supply chain complexity.
“By strategically locating our European hubs, we have helped customers meet tightening specifications while reducing supply chain complexity,” said Knuth. He said the two biggest challenges facing lubricant blenders today are optimising formulations across their entire product line and reducing investment in tankage when adding another base oil, which may be necessary to meet new automotive specifications.
“With a large portfolio of approvals in place, and more years of experience in Group II base oil technology than any other producer, our technical support is the easy part. I think the bigger benefit to our customers is the supply chain,” Knuth said.