Songwon Starts Making Lube Antioxidants

Songwon Industrial Co., a chemical company specializing in antioxidants, has begun supplying that category of materials to the lubricant industry.

The South Korean company told Lube Report Asia last week that it began making antioxidant components for lubricants at its factory in Ulsan, South Korea, in August. The facility making the chemicals marketed at the lubes industry has capacity of 5,000 metric tons per year, according to an official who did not identify himself.

To date, actual output has been slight, the official said, but the company has contemplated the possibility of expanding the plant if sales grow to warrant that.

In October, Songwon officials speaking at the K Show plastics industry trade exhibition in Dusseldorf, Germany, said the company was entering the lubricant additives market as an early step in a broader strategy to expand the types of chemicals it offers, according to the British trade news website Plastics and Rubber Weekly.

Songwons business has focused on the supply of antioxidants - to other industries - along with ultraviolet stabilizers. The antioxidants that it is marketing to the lubes industry are phenolic and phosphite varieties.

The lubricants industry uses two main categories of antioxidant components - phenolics and amines. Major existing suppliers include BASFs Ciba; Chemtura, which is in the process of being acquired by Lanxess; and Vanderbilt, along with others. Zinc dithiophosphate, a long popular anti-wear agent, also provides antioxidant performance.

Jeongmae Choi contributed to this report.