Peachtree Rerefinery Moves Forward


Universal Environmental Services has acquired The McPherson Cos. used oil collection business and has begun construction of a rerefinery in Georgia.

Earlier this year, Avista Oil AG of Germany acquired a 50 percent stake in Universal Environmental Services LLC, enabling Universal to grow its used oil collection business and plan a base oil rerefinery in Peachtree City, Ga. Plans called for a plant that would process 30 million gallons of waste oil per year and be capable of producing API Group II base oil.

Universal Environmental CEO Juan Fritschy said the rerefinery construction is on schedule and is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2013. The site has been demolished completely and prepared, Fritschy told Lube Report. The next step is mid-November, when the foundation work is going to start.

Uetze, Germany-based Avista has two rerefineries in Europe. Minerall-Raffinerie Dollbergen GmbH in Dollbergen, Germany, has 3,300 barrels per day of API Group I capacity. Dansk Olie Genbrug A/S in Kahlundborg, Denmark, has 800 b/d of Group I capacity.

According to Fritschy, the nine Avista engineers that built the rerefineries in Germany and Denmark are moving to Peachtree City for the next two years to supervise the construction, delivery, operations and training for the new rerefinery there. Until its fully operational, theyre not going to leave, he said. They are coming on behalf of Avista to help UES to build the rerefinery because, in the end, Avista is the controlling partner of UES.

He pointed out that, in several production runs in our European rerefineries using American used oil, we tested the rerefinery set-up that we will be using in the United States and obtained excellent quality base oil.

The McPherson Cos. used oil collection business includes about 33 employees, 45 trucks, and a few properties, including terminals, he said. They are collecting about 10.5 million gallons per year, and we are collecting close to 20 million, Fritschy stated. So between the two, we are already close to 30 million gallons per year.

With a fleet of more than 70 collection trucks and 21 terminals, the newly expanded company will collect used oil from North Carolina to Louisiana and from Georgia to southern Ohio. While the two companies had some overlap in collection in areas such as Alabama, Fritschy said McPherson is strong in areas such as Louisiana and Arkansas. We are expanding the footprint in about four to five states, through McPherson, he added. They have nice properties and terminals so we can start right away servicing new customers and bigger customers in that part of the country.

The McPherson employees will also be helpful in UESs plans to start collecting waste oil in parts of Florida. We are applying for the permits, because we are going to go into Jacksonville and Central Florida hopefully before the end of the year, Fritschy said. These employees that are used to working in Florida have quite a substantial amount of knowledge about that area so they are going to help us to grow in that area.

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. The McPherson Cos., which is based in Trussville, Ala., will retain the rest of its business, which includes distribution of lubricants and fuels.

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