Prista Expands Grease Plant

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Bulgarian lubricants maker Prista Oil significantly expanded grease production at its plant near the nations capital, the company told Lube Report.

The 1.5 million (U.S. $1.9 million) project added 6,000 metric tons to the plants current capacity of 8,000 tons per year, according to the company. The plant is operated by Verila Lubricants, part of Prista Oil Holding EAD.

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With this investment we increased our grease production and implemented a more flexible production process, a Prista official, who asked not to be identified, told Lube Report on Monday. Entire modernization of the projects technologies has been developed by a Verila and Prista team of dedicated professionals, who have designed and engineered all our production facilities and terminals.

The plant is located in Verila industrial park near Bulgarias capital of Sofia on a plot of 1.2 hectares. The production facility was expanded to 5,500 square meters, while the plants base oil storage capacity is 550 tons. The feedstock is delivered by rail. The plants filling line is semi-automated, while its grease reactors are fully automated.

The Prista and Verila-branded finished products are packed in variety of forms, from 400-gram cartridges to 15-kilogram tin pails, to 50-kg metal drums and 180-kg open-head drums. We also focus on private label [toll] production, and we are flexible to offer different packaging solutions in certain cases, where such an approach is economically viable, the official noted.

Verila uses standard soap thickeners such as lithium and calcium (both hydrated and anhydrous), and higher-performing aluminum complex and lithium complex soaps. It also employs functional thickeners including calcium sulfonate and calcium sulfonate complex. Bentonite [clay-thickened] greases are also part of our portfolio. Not long ago we developed a special application grease based on lithium complex/calcium thickener.

Established in 1945, Verila is one of the oldest chemical facilities in Bulgaria. Privatization of the company started during the 1990s. By the end of 2007 Prista Oil acquired 75 percent of the company shares and established a new company, Verila Lubricants, specializing in production of lubricating materials.

Besides greases, the company also makes coolants, windshield washer fluids, detergents for both household and industry, antifoam agents and deicers. The companys main markets are Bulgaria and the neighboring countries of Macedonia, Serbia, Romania and Turkey.

Based in the Danube River port city Ruse, Bulgaria, Prista Oil is the biggest lube marketer in the country. Its main business is lubricants production and the manufacture of car batteries. The company has production facilities in Bulgaria, Turkey and Hungary. It also owns a blending plant in Uzbekistan, in a joint venture with the Uzbek state oil major Uzbekneftegaz. The company is active in 20 countries in Central and Eastern Europe as well as in Central Asia.