Synthetic Ester Plant Opening in Georgia


Zschimmer & Schwarz announced that it will open a plant in Ivey, Georgia this year to make esters to be used in the blending of finished lubricants.

The company acquired Inolexs Lexolube division, whose synthetic esters are used mainly in industrial lubricants, in January 2017 and relocated manufacturing of Lexolube products to Zschimmer & Schwarzs plant in Milledgeville, about 16 miles from Ivey. At that time, a Zschimmer & Schwarz official said it would build a new esterification plant that was projected to start up in 2018. That would be in addition to production capacity at the existing Milledgeville plant, which opened in 2003 and which sold some of its esters to lubricant blenders.

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Zschimmer & Schwarz said in an August 2017 news release that plant construction began in March 2017 and that the 1.2 million-square-meter Ivey site offered several benefits and features: a good rail connection that enables delivery of raw materials as well as forwarding of the finished products via tank cars; a tank farm with 42 heated tanks for raw and finished goods under construction that would be connected to the two large-volume reactors; a laboratory and administration building, as well as sufficient storage for packaged goods; and a biological wastewater treatment plant.

Ivey is the fourth site of Lahnstein, Germany-based Zschimmer & Schwarz Group in the United States. The others are in Milledgeville – where Zschimmer & Schwarz Inc. is based – and in Canton, Massachusetts, and Louisville, Kentucky.

According to its web site, the Lexolube division manufactures synthetic esters such as simple and monoesters, diesters, polyol esters, complex esters, aromatic esters and food safe (HX-1) fluids. Applications include compressor oils, metalworking fluids, food processing lubricants, lubes used in the manufacturing of textiles and fibers, hydraulic fluids and engine oils.

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