Re-refining rate in Spain falls in 2023

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Re-refining rate in Spain
A truck ready to collect used oil at a facility in Spain. Photo courtesy of Sigaus

Re-refining rate in Spain

Re-refining rate in Spain – During 2023, the re-refining rate in Spain was 78% of its collected lubricant waste, producing base oils, Sigaus, the non-profit organization in charge of lubricant waste management, said last month, a figure slightly lower than the 2022 rate. This far exceeded the mandatory minimum of 65% in Spain. Most of the recycled oil is processed in one of the country’s re-refineries.

The collection of used oil destined for re-refining accounted for 38% of the total sold in Spain

In its 2023 report, Sigaus (Sistema Integrado de Gestión de Aceites Usados) said that the collection system it manages collected 131,000 tons of used oil last year, after deducting water and sediment from the 159,387 gross tons collected. The figure of 131,000 would represent 38% of the 341,900 tons of finished lubricants consumed last year in the country, according to data from the Spanish Lubricants Association released in February.

Sigaus members – which produce most of the lubricants manufactured domestically in Spain – sold 287,675 tons of lubricants in 2023, slightly down from 288,770 tons in 2022. Of the 131,000 tons collected, 101,774 tons were “regenerated” into new finished lubricants.

In 2022, the percentage re-refined was 79%, Sigaus said in a statement on its 2023 Report to Public Administrations. The report informs public administration bodies about the management of waste oil and compliance with the environmental targets set by royal decree.

The organization adds that the waste oil that could not be used for regeneration treatment – 29,518 tonnes – was used for energy recovery to obtain an industrial fuel similar to fuel oil, which is often used in cement and paper factories and other types of industrial facilities.

Of the 287,675 tons of lubricants sold by Sigaus member companies, 57% were sold to the automotive segment and the rest to the industrial segment and other consumer sectors. Around 70% of the lubricants sold by Sigaus members were manufactured in Spain and the rest were imported. Last year, the Sigaus waste oil system involved 164 companies that collected and transported materials from 4,782 municipalities.