Buffalo’s Phoenix: Niagara Lubricants


Niagara Lubricants hopes to break ground this fall on a new facility in Buffalo, N.Y., to replace its factory that burned down in July 2011.

A four-alarm fire devastated Niagara Lubricants factory on July 13, 2011. The 40,000 square foot building contained various products, including additives, base oils, greases and waxes. The company has continued to operate from leased space.

Were going to have a brand new, 60,000 square foot, state-of-the-art manufacturing, compounding and grease making facility, company President Leon Smith III told Lube Report. Were replacing what burned to the ground, which is everything – production, lab, offices, warehousing, it will be all brand new. Itll be amongst the safest buildings in the world for our kind of products, thats for sure.

The Erie County Industrial Development Agency recently approved an incentives package for the project that includes tax credits and loan guarantees. Smith noted that New York State, Erie County and the city of Buffalo are all involved in the project. Im anticipating when its all said and done, between me and them, itll be about a $3 million project, he said.

According to Smith, the new facility will be built on the same two-acre site as the old one, and includes some additional land acquired by the company. The project should be totally complete within a year, he noted. Hopefully were going to break ground within the next 60 days so we can get a lot of it done before winter comes to Buffalo.

He estimated Niagara Lubricants has about 30 employees. Smith said the company hopes to gradually add employees after moving into the new facility, growing to 40 in a year and to more than 50 in two years.

According to its web site, Niagara Lubricant manufactures and packages lubricating oils, greases, industrial oils and tire care products, and has been in business since 1923. The company said its products are used across the United States and Canada, as well as in Europe, South America, Africa and the Middle East.

In the 1980s, the company purchased the former Quaker State grease facility on Chandler Street in Buffalos Black Rock section. After some modifications, Niagara Lubricant consolidated all its operations at the Chandler Street plant.

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