On October 29, 2007, GS Caltex began commercial production of lube base oil at its Yeosu Complex located in southern Korea. By investing 1.5 trillion won (USD 1.6 billion), GS Caltex is now a new producer of base oil with the completion of the heavy oil upgrading facility (No.2 HOU) and the lube oil plant (LOP).
With these new facilities, GS Caltex has now achieved an overall integrated production system from lube base oil to lubricant oil.
The total base oil production capacity is 16,000 barrels per day (BD), of which 12,000 BD is API Group II and 4,000 BD is Group III. GS Caltex Kixx LUBO is the brand name for the base oil products, which originates from the GS Caltex family brand Kixx. GS Caltex will focus on producing Group II 150N and 600N until December 2007 and start producing Group III from January 2008. The total line of Kixx LUBO products will be 150N, 325N and 600N for Group II base oils, and 2, 4, 6 and 8 centiStokes for Group III base oils.
Kixx LUBO Group II and Group III base oils produced by GS Caltex are environmentally friendly with low volatility, reducing oil consumption and improving fuel economy, and offers high thermal and oxidation stability to support drain interval extension. All these advantages are the result of using the latest hydrocracking technology.
The company plans to export 70 percent of its total base oil production volume with the exception of its own-use needs and domestic sales. The main market for base oil export will be the Asia Pacific region focusing mainly in China. The Company is also considering other regions outside Asia Pacific as potential markets.
Mr. B. Y. Kim, Executive Vice President of the Lubricants Business Division, expects to achieve KRW 500 billion (USD 543 million) in revenue and KRW 150 billion (USD 163 million) in operational income for 2008 to contribute to the company¡¯s earnings.
On November 14, 2007, GS Caltex entered the global base oil market with the launching of a 9,000 ton cargo of base oil from the South Korean port of Yeosu in its first base oil export consignment from the new plant. The Negotiator, a Marshall Island-flagged 13,000 dwt vessel operated by STX Pan Ocean, began loading operations on Nov. 13 and set off on Nov. 14. The cargo consisted of 7,000 tons of 600N bound for the Red Sea port of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and 2,000 tons of 600N bound for Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates.
GS Caltex Kixx LUBO 600N is of very high quality with exceptionally bright white clear transparent qualities. It has excellent low temperature performance and world top V.I. compared to other base oils with the same viscosity. In the Asia Pacific market, Group II 500N base oil has been the main product.