Mario Majic
Head of Corporate Governance, Marketing & Business Development, Avista Oil AG

The Role of Circular Value Chains in the Lubricant Industry – An International Perspective on the Current Status of Circular Economy

The challenges posed by climate change demand immediate responses from governments, companies, and consumers. Sustainability runs the risk of becoming a mere buzzword in various solutions. So, what role do lubricants play in this context, and how can they ensure that this trend evolves into a genuine alternative for a sustainable future? A circular economy within the oil industry emerges as one of the few immediate solutions that can make a substantial impact on enhancing sustainability performance, provided it is effectively managed and aligned with stakeholder interests.

Michael Liang
Asia Pacific Technology Director, Afton Chemical

Solutions for Re-Refined Based Oil

The presentation is divided into three sections: an overview of re-refined base oil; Afton options for finished lubricants utilising re-refined base oil; the carbon footprint of the product; and the principal advantages of re-refined base oil. Additionally, the presentation delves into the challenges and issues associated with the use of re-refined base oil, considering factors like production capacity and quality. It provides a comprehensive evaluation of both the merits and drawbacks of refined base oil. Lastly, it describes the cradle-to-grave and cradle-to-gate approaches of a product’s supply chain’s carbon footprint, while underscoring the significant benefits of re-refining base oil.

Dr. Edward Ng
General Manager, Technology, Gulf Marine

Re-Refined Base Oils for Marine Cylinder Lubricants

The maritime industry is increasingly propelled by sustainability considerations, shaping the strategies and operations of numerous organisations. To achieve ambitious sustainability goals, companies are scrutinising their entire value chains for opportunities to enhance environmental performance, with a recognition of the pivotal role marine lubricants play in this context. Notably, there is a growing interest in re-refined base oils (RRBOs), aligning with the broader trends of recycling, carbon footprint reduction, and environmental preservation. Many RRBO producers are actively collecting waste oils and employing advanced technologies, including vacuum distillation, hydrotreating, clay treatment, and solvent extraction, to purify these oils. Given that lubricants typically consist of a substantial portion of base oils, transitioning to RRBOs holds the potential to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of the final oil formulations. In a bid to contribute to reduced carbon intensity in the maritime sector, Gulf Marine has forged collaborations with several stakeholders to develop marine cylinder oil lubricants utilising RRBOs. While the quality of RRBOs has shown improvement over time, it remains imperative for lubricant suppliers to exercise due diligence to ensure that performance is not compromised when formulating with RRBOs. This presentation discusses key findings derived from laboratory bench tests, paving the way for further validation through sea trials.

Jung-Tsung Hung
R&D Manager, Patech Fine Chemicals Co., Ltd.

Commit to Sustainable Development through the Perspective of Ester Base Oils

Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) concerns have become integral to contemporary corporate strategies and global sustainability objectives. To avert the most severe consequences of climate change and safeguard a habitable planet, achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, as stipulated in the Paris Agreement, is imperative. In the lubricant industry, the focus is shifting toward next-generation products that prioritise eco-friendliness, higher performance, and greater responsibility. As a green base oil, esters present a unique opportunity to reduce the Carbon Footprints of Products (CFP) across four stages of the Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA), spanning raw material sourcing to end-of-life disposal. In the initial stage, substituting current petroleum-based raw materials with alternatives is of paramount importance. Alternatives can include sugar biomass, castor oil, coconut oil, and palm oil, obtained through extraction, fermentation, or recycling from biomass materials. During the manufacturing phase, achieving decarbonisation targets involves adopting renewable energy sources, optimising production processes to boost yield, and reducing carbon emissions, wastewater and solid waste. Moving to the third stage, ester base oils offer numerous advantages to meet high-performance requirements. Advanced simulation modelling enables the design of suitable chemical structures that provide thermal and oxidation stability, exceptional lubricity, anti-wear properties, and resistance to hydrolysis, contributing to heightened energy efficiency and extended warranty periods. These technologies find application not only in traditional industrial and automotive lubricants but also in immersion cooling for electric vehicle transmission lubricants and battery coolants. In the final stage, heightened attention is being directed toward the impacts of unintentional leakage or end-of-life disposal. Environmentally acceptable lubricants (EALs) are replacing mineral oil-based products, characterised by attributes such as strong biodegradability, low toxicity, and minimal bioaccumulation. Well-engineered ester-based EALs transcend conventional limits, simultaneously offering higher viscosity, enhanced hydrolysis stability, and rapid biodegradability.

Karen Lee
Business Vice President for its Process Automation Business, Schneider Electric

Sustainable Lubricants Production in an Evolving Landscape

The industry is bracing for significant changes driven by the increasing global demand for sustainability. The energy transition is driving increasing fragmentation in the production portfolio with a shift from automotive to industrial lubricants. Moreover, a growing number of customers are seeking carbon-neutral lubricants as part of their efforts to decarbonise their supply chains. Embracing a “business-as-usual” approach during this transition will prove cumbersome. Instead, let’s explore a path to smart factories and more sustainable operations. Consider this scenario: A batch orchestration system seamlessly dispatches work orders to the production line, adhering to an optimised production schedule and plan. Real-time decisions are informed by the actual state of production, meticulously recorded within a digital batch record. A balanced maintenance strategy is deployed to ensure reliable production, while sustainable performance KPIs and dedicated operations dashboards enhance visibility at both the plant and enterprise levels. Resource usage is minimised, and carbon-intensive energy is replaced with renewable alternatives. Schneider Electric, a global leader in Smart Manufacturing, boasts four Advanced Lighthouse factories within the World Economic Forum Global Lighthouse Network. In this session, we will share the approach used by Schneider Electric within its own facilities, and discuss how Smart Manufacturing can improve sustainability in lubricant production through a modular approach to digitisation.

Chee Kong Chung
Managing Director, Smart Tradzt Pte Ltd

The Practical Way to Jumpstart and Sustain Product Carbon Footprint (Lifecycle Assessment) Reporting and Analysis for the Lubricants Industry

Carbon Footprint reporting has received tremendous attention in recent times due to the urgency of the climate crisis. As awareness about climate change increases and concerns grow, investors are demanding more transparency, and consumers are seeking greater clarity and environmental accountability. Various GHG Emission regulations exist, and new reporting frameworks are being introduced to mandate reporting of value chain emissions (i.e. Scope 3). Analysis by leading Climate Change Organisations such as CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project) has shown that Scope 3 emissions can contribute between 50% – 90% of the total GHG emission, depending on industries. These value chain-related emissions (especially those product-attributable components) are critical inputs to quantify GHG emissions associated with a specific product. This is where the Product Carbon Footprint (PCF) framework is applied to measure a product-specific carbon footprint. Understanding and managing product-related GHG risks helps companies ensure long-term success in a competitive business environment to prepare for any future product-related regulations and policies. Recent initiatives by API and UEIL / ATIEL provide technical guidance and methodology to develop and measure PCF for the lubricants industry – a good foundation to harmonise the product PCF measurement and eventually enable comparison of product emission performance. So how do Lubricant companies get started in this PCF journey and how do we make these measurements and analysis more efficient, practical, and sustainable?

Dr. T C S M Gupta
Senior Vice President, R&D, QC & Technical, Apar Industries Limited

Balancing the EPR Regulatory Framework and Lubricant Performance Requirements: Technology Scenario

The lubricant Industry plays a pivotal role in manufacturing by ensuring smooth process operations. Evolving demand and regulatory standards are driving rapid changes in lubricant designs. Adapting to shifting regulations on energy efficiency and ESG disclosures through sustainable practices has become a vital differentiator. Base oils are the primary ingredient in any lubricant formulation and impact carbon footprints and lifecycle analysis. Sustainable practices in re-refining base oils will benefit society and the circular economy. While regulatory frameworks, such as Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), promote the circularity of products, efficient technologies for re-refining the base oils to the required quality levels, and suitable additive technologies are vital in making EPR regimes successful and sustainable. This paper explores EPR in India, the quality of re-refined base oils, and sustainable re-refining technologies.

Raj Padmanabhan
Asia-Pacific Regional Product Line Manager, Chevron Oronite Pte Ltd

RRBO Trends and Usage in Additive, Lubricant Formulations

Globally, interest in re-refined base oil (RRBO) is growing due to its potential for lower carbon footprints and as a sustainable avenue for used oil disposal. Advances in re-refining technology, feedstocks, collection and infrastructure have improved RRBO quality, making it suitable for both heavy-duty and passenger car motor oils without compromising performance. The use of RRBO in producing new lubricants supports circular economies and reduces CO2 intensity. Used oil collection and re-refining volumes are expanding, driven by increasing regulations. Some European and Asian countries, like Turkey and India, are working on mandates for RRBO usage. China, India, and Australia are key Asian RRBO markets. Ensuring RRBO meets industry specifications, OEM approvals, and aligns with traditional base oils is crucial. Detailed life-cycle analysis is increasingly important for understanding carbon footprint reduction through RRBO use. In this paper, we’ll discuss RRBO trends and their application in meeting industry and OEM specifications, with examples of our solutions.

Lars Van Dijk
General Manager – Asia, Fluitec

Decarbonizing Industrial Lubricants

Industrial lubricants constitute approximately half of the lubricant market, and their demand is poised for growth. In contrast, automotive engine oils are expected to decline due to the increasing prevalence of electric vehicles. This presentation will explore strategies that companies can employ to minimise carbon emissions from their lubricants. Key areas of discussion will encompass prolonging oil life using innovative technologies, transitioning to renewable base oils, and maximizing energy efficiency through lubricant practices. Emphasis will be placed on the importance of monitoring and reporting the carbon footprint of lubricant operations to track and demonstrate progress.

Sebastian Lischowski
Sustainability Lead, Infineum Singapore LLP

Accelerate Decarbonization by Addressing the Economic Question

Our industry boasts a strong track record in delivering tangible in-use benefits through the performance of our lubricants. However, in light of our climate goals, mere performance is no longer sufficient, and achieving Net Zero emissions has become imperative for all players in the lubricants supply chain. Our industry is proactively seeking decarbonization solutions, yet the challenge of how to monetize investments while maintaining economic viability hinders our ability to unlock our full potential. Substantial strides have been taken as companies enhance efficiencies, and suppliers incorporate circular and lower-carbon materials, with methodologies for harmonized PCF calculations and new regulations adding pressure. Nevertheless, we are not moving fast enough, especially in Asia Pacific. Our collective success hinges on collaborative efforts, transparent knowledge sharing, and the development of new solutions within a pre-competitive framework. This presentation shares a perspective on the progress we are making as an industry, using Infineum’s journey as a practical example, and issues a call to action for accelerating progress in the region.

C. Herman Nugroho
CEO, PT ALP Petro Industry

The Indonesian Lubricants Market and the Role of Re-refined Base Oils

The 2015 Paris Agreement has encouraged an increase in demand from global lubricant players for high-quality base oils that align with their stringent requirements. Recognizing the critical importance of advancing technology for processing used lubricants, ALP is actively addressing this need. Several process licensors in the United States and Europe have proactively introduced technology solutions to meet these escalating demands. Making Group II and III base oils from used lubricant raw materials is important, as is the development of additives that are compatible with the lubricants produced. With increasing quality expectations, it is also necessary to develop a methodology to maintain the stability of used lubricants supply. This is particularly challenging due to the diverse origins of these materials. Managing the variable quality of raw materials emerges as a pivotal factor in achieving a consistent and optimal final product. This contrasts with virgin base oil, where the raw materials generally come from the same source.

Satyan Gupta
Director, Energy Team, Kline & Company

Evolution of EPR Guidelines for RRBO and Implications for Lubricant Marketers

This presentation delves into key aspects of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), including its definition and relevance. It also explores Kline’s perspective on the disposition of Used Oil and identifies the stakeholders within the Lubricants and Used Oil Value Chain. Additionally, it scrutinizes the roles played by governments in EPR regulation. International case studies from Brazil, Turkey, Italy, and Australia are examined to provide valuable insights. The feasibility of a proposed EPR scheme for Re-refined Base Oil (RRBO) in India is discussed. Lastly, the presentation probes the concept of an ideal Lubricants EPR model and its implications for lubricant blenders.

Daniel Koh
Plant Manager, Pentas Flora Group

The Evolving Ecosystem of Re-refined Base Oils in Malaysia

In Malaysia, the re-refined base oil ecosystem is advancing rapidly, with a strong emphasis on sustainability and environmental responsibility. At the heart of this ecosystem are the critical processes of used oil collection and segregation. Pentas Flora possesses the capacity to produce Group 1 Eco Base Oil (EBO) SN150, setting a gold standard in the Malaysian market. This high-quality EBO SN150, classified as a Group 1+ base stock, is derived from re-refined petroleum and serves as a foundational component in the production of eco-friendly lubricating oils. Pentas Flora’s leadership in the evolving ecosystem of re-refined base oil in Malaysia highlights their dedication to sustainability and innovation. Pentas Flora’s ecosystem encompasses a well-established infrastructure, a network of branches, dedicated logistics teams, and a proficient marketing team, all working harmoniously to streamline the collection of used oil. This integrated approach ensures efficient collection and management while adhering to environmentally responsible practices.

Pentas Flora employs advanced technologies such as solvent extraction and distillation, ensuring an advanced and efficient re-refining process. This commitment to technology further enhances the quality and performance of their re-refined base oil, making it a credible alternative to virgin base oil. Pentas Flora champions a “cradle to cradle” approach, collecting used oil and reclaiming it to its original form, base oil, mitigating the negative environmental impacts of improper disposal.

Rajeev Verma
Regional Head – Technical Services
Petronas Lubricants International

Best Practices for Sustainability under Circular Economy with RRBOs

PETRONAS LUBRICANTS INTERNATIONAL (PLI) is a pivotal player in the lubricant industry, championing sustainability through the circularity of re-refined base oils in Europe and Latin America, with a significant focus on Brazil. In Brazil, clear legislation on used oil collection was established following the creation of ANP (Petroleum National Agency), receiving support from both the Energy and Environmental ministries.

A cornerstone of this legislation mandates that re-refining is the only permissible method for used oil disposal throughout the country. Any deviation is considered an environmental violation and a criminal offense. This legal framework has fostered a self-sustaining and economically viable market, with more than 300 million liters of used oil collected and processed by a network of re-refineries, which then supply re-refined base oils (RRBOs) to lubricant producers.

PLI has been a pioneer in adopting RRBO, a commitment that predates the mainstream focus on sustainability. Initially, the quality of RRBO was suitable for greases, high viscosity monograde PCMOs, and HDDOs with outdated API specifications. However, with significant advancements and investments in the Brazilian re-refinery industry, the availability of high-quality RRBO Group II has been established. This improved RRBO is endorsed by additive suppliers for use in hydraulic oils with OEM approvals.

Recently, OEMs have begun assessing the application of RRBO in specific genuine oils where it meets their stringent specifications. PLI takes pride in being an integral part of this progressive narrative. Our contribution extends beyond being an early adopter; we are also one of the largest customers of re-refineries. Our enduring partnership with re-refineries is rooted in our shared commitment to elevating quality standards and delivering exceptional service, underscored by consistent and reliable production volumes.


Paul Nai
Director, Product Management Lubrizol South East Asia Pte Ltd

RRBO Legislation: A Perspective on Implications for the Lubricants Industry in India and the Region

Re-refined base oil (RRBO) is a concept that goes back decades and is continuing to evolve. It is produced through processes that remove lubricants, water, debris and other impurities from used oil. While it is not possible to produce a base oil from used engine oil that is as pure as virgin base oil, modern refining processes have been able to develop re-refined base oils that get closer to the level of purity needed to meet at least some OEM specifications.

Just as technology and processes have improved to deliver a better RRBO product, demand for and curiosity about the possibilities of RRBO have grown. The viability of RRBO as an alternative to virgin base oil is good news for those who want a reusable product. And new research has shown a real advantage to using RRBO versus virgin base oil from the standpoint of CO2 emissions.

RRBO is also one way of addressing the issue of what to do with the millions of litres of used engine oil that are dumped irresponsibly into storm sewers, drains, or into the ground. When engine oil is collected for disposal in a responsible manner, the disposal method most often used – combustion – is not an environmentally friendly measure.
With new understanding of the advantages of RRBO, some countries have started to set targets for the collection and recycling of used oil, with others around the world expected to follow.

In this context, we are seeing the government of India stepping up to legislate the use of RRBO in India. This presentation offers a perspective on this legislation and its implication for the lubricant industry.