Volume 4 Issue 24
A devastating fire that started Monday continued to burn Tuesday at Lubrizol’s Chemtool grease manufacturing plant in Rockton, Illinois. No employees were injured, but the company said it anticipated a total loss of the facility as multiple emergency response teams continued working to control the inferno.
Lubricating grease production in North America declined 17% in 2020, according to the National Lubricating Grease Institute’s latest yearly survey. Production of greases made with aluminum soap, calcium soap, lithium soap and polyurea were all down compared to 2019 volumes. The 39 North American grease plants that participated in the survey produced about 359.3 million pounds of grease last year, or 15% of the global total of 2.5 billion pounds.
Ergon said Tuesday that it had begun the process or restarting its Newell, West Virginia, refinery, which was damaged by a May 29 fire. The company did not discuss the status of a base oil plant on the site or say when it might lift a force majeure declaration for base oils and other materials.