Q8Oils blending plant Antwerp: rich history, bright future

Q8Oils blending plant in Antwerp is a site with a long and rich history, dating back to 1891. Over the last years the plant underwent a 100 million dollar renovation, transforming it into one of the largest and most technically advanced lubricant production facilities in Europe. With additional expansion possibilities, the Antwerp blending plant is set for the future.

When you visit the Q8Oils blending plant in Antwerp today, you will find a high-capacity, state-of-the-art blending plant, with superbly enhanced facilities and capabilities. The only things that remind of the rich industrial history are the protected walls around the site and the 300 meter long petrol jetty.

Petroleum plant with a rich history

Let’s go back to 1861, a period in which Antwerp emerged as the first petroleum harbour in Europe. During the first 20 years the petroleum activity was centred in the Antwerp harbour until safety- and capacity issues forced it to relocate. That is when the polder area in Hoboken came into the picture. The plant “S.A. Pour L’importation des Huiles de Graissage”,  next to the river Schelde was built in 1891 to store fuel and lubricants imported from the US. The characteristic petrol jetty was built in 1902 and 1903, making it possible to transport petroleum in bulk from the mooring ships directly to the petroleum tanks on the docks.

Q8 Oils BPA 1905
1905

Operated by different companies and surviving two world wars, the site at the petrol jetty was eventually bought by Kuwait Petroleum Belgium in 1983. Due to a modernization operation in the eighties and nineties, the lubricant factory in Antwerp was able to meet the increasingly strict demands and requirements and received ISO 9002 and QS 9000 certification.

Q8 Oils BPA 1905
Blending Plant Antwerp ca 1960

100 million dollar renovation masterplan

To back up the ambitious expansion programme that Q8Oils is pursuing in Europe and the rest of the world, Q8Oils decided to start with a renovation masterplan for the Antwerp blending plant. In the first round, from 2007 to 2009, the loading arms, filling hall and base oil tank farm were renovated, making up for a 30 million dollar investment. From 2012 to 2015 Q8Oils spent an additional 70 million dollar for the construction of an empty pack warehouse, a new blending facility and related bulk storage, and a new warehouse for storing additives.

Blending Plant Antwerp in 2016
Blending Plant Antwerp in 2016

Today Q8Oils operates a state-of-the-art, environmentally responsible blending plant with a current capacity of 125 million litres of lubricants, fully scalable up to 250 million litres per annum. With 24 base oil and 42 additive tanks, the plant can efficiently produce the widest range of finished lubricant products of any blending plant in Europe. Furthermore, the mega-blend vessel can manufacture batches up to 400,000 litres and the filling hall is equipped with both semi- and fully-automatic filling lines. Q8Oils’ stringent in-house quality control procedures and world-class technical development capabilities are additionally complemented by ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and RC 14001 certification.

Petroleum plant with a bright future

The new high-capacity, modern and sophisticated blending plant in Antwerp, with superbly enhanced facilities and capabilities, is going to play a pivotal role in the expansion plans of Q8Oils’ lubricants business in Europe and worldwide. Q8Oils is now in a strong position to develop new strands to its business and reconfirm its position as one of the world’s leading manufacturers and marketers of high-quality lubricants.

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