Spain’s Minister of Industry, Energy and Tourism, José Manuel Soria, inaugurated a Group III base oil plant in Cartagena, Spain on Sept. 22, which is owned by the SK Lubricants-Repsol joint venture firm Iberian Lube Base Oils Company (ILBOC). About EUR 250 million (USD 273 million) was invested in this project.
ILBOC directly employs 90 people and an additional 100 plus people work for third-party companies that supply services to ILBOC.
The partners announced their project in November 2011, construction started in October 2012, and by September 2014, the JV started production. With a processing capacity of 630,000 metric tonnes per annum (MTPA), the Cartagena plant is two and a half times the size of Neste Oil’s Porvoo Group III plant in the Kilpilahti industrial area, 30 kilometres east of Helsinki, Finland. These two are the only significant Group III base oil producers in Europe.
Repsol Chairman, Antonio Brufau, and SK Group Chairman, Tae Won Chey, accompanied the minister at the inauguration that was also attended by South Korea’s Ambassador to Spain, Hee-Kwon Park, the President of the Region of Murcia, Pedro Antonio Sánchez, the Mayor of Cartagena, José López, Repsol CEO, Josu Jo Imaz, SK Lubricants CEO and President of ILBOC, Kihwa Lee.