UES Becomes Avista Subsidiary

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Avista Oil AG of Germany acquired a majority stake in Universal Environmental Services, which is building a new rerefinery in Georgia. Terms were not disclosed.

In early 2011, Avista acquired a 50 percent stake in Universal Environmental Services (UES), enabling it to grow its used oil collection business and plan the base oil rerefinery in Peachtree City, Ga. Private equity groups MidMark Capital and Navigator Partners held the remaining 50 percent. Plans call for a plant that can process 30 million gallons of waste oil per year and be capable of producing API Group II base oil. The project is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2013.

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The McPherson Cos. merged its used oil collection business with UES on Sept. 30, 2011, and remained an equity partner, with 14 percent ownership of UES. That changed Avistas ownership share from 50 to 43 percent, with the two private equity firms owning the remaining 43 percent.

Avista acquired that remaining 43 percent stake in UES from the two private equity firms on Dec. 28, giving it 86 percent ownership. The two firms now each hold an indirect interest stake in Avista.

UES CEO Juan Fritschy noted that current owners Avista and McPherson are committed to the company for the long run. This new organization simplifies our organization and aligns our stakeholders interests, he said. We can now concentrate our attention on upgrading our collection network and completing our new rerefinery.

Site work continues for the project. We poured concrete in the first week of January so the civil work is 90 percent done, Fritschy told Lube Report last Friday. Structures started to be built last week, and all the main pieces of equipment are on time to be delivered between February and April.

Uetze, Germany-based Avista has two rerefineries in Europe: Mineralol-Raffinerie Dollbergen GmbH in Dollbergen, Germany, has 3,300 b/d of Group I capacity, and Dansk Olie Genbrug A/S in Kahlundborg, Denmark, has 800 b/d of Group I capacity. Nine Avista engineers that built the rerefineries in Germany and Denmark will be in Peachtree City for two years to supervise construction, delivery, operations and training for the rerefinery there.

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