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ExxonMobil installs new lubes reactor in Singapore refinery expansion project

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EXXONMOBIL, which is upgrading its Singapore refinery to increase the production of base oil - an ingredient used in manufacturing lubricants - has successfully installed a new lubes reactor.

The reactor, a crucial piece of equipment tied to the ongoing expansion project, is one of the largest and heaviest equipment fitted into the group's refinery in Singapore. It weighs 800 tonnes and measures 46 metres long and four metres wide.

The lifting of the reactor was completed earlier this year using a 1,200-tonne gantry crane and 600-tonne tailing crane, said ExxonMobil.

Brian Bade, the lubes expansion project manager, said installing the reactor into its final location was not easy, and involved having to install a temporary bridge.

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The reactor began its journey from Larsen & Toubro's facility in Hazira, India, and arrived at the Jurong-Hong Hang port in Singapore after nearly two weeks of land and sea travel.

It was then sent by road to the refinery, taking six hours for the six-kilometre route. The one-kilometre-an-hour operation was carried out at night in order to minimise public disruption, said ExxonMobil.

The expansion of the refinery, the largest one in Singapore, is still on track towards its scheduled completion in the second quarter of next year, it added.

ExxonMobil had declined to reveal the investment figure and how much production will be increased when announcing the expansion in February last year.

With the expansion, the group will strengthen the global supply of its EHC Group II product line. These products help to maximise the performance of major automotive engine oil grades and finished lubricants in various industries,

"Our new investment in Group II base stocks will enable our customers to blend lubricants that satisfy more stringent specifications, help reduce emissions, and improve fuel economy and low-temperature performance," its global base-stock and specialties marketing manager Ted Walko said then.