ExMo Chem Sheds Additives Business


Indias Dorf Ketal, an additives and process chemicals supplier, has acquired ExxonMobil Chemicals component additives business, hoping to capitalize on the long-term potential for growth in the specialty chemicals market. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Effective today, ExxonMobil Chemical will begin to transfer its sales, marketing and product representation, manufacturing, inventory ownership and replenishment, customer service and order fulfillment and technical support for the component additives business to Dorf Ketal. The companies formed a business transition team, and will implement the transition in stages over several months.

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We will provide some manufacturing start-up support, and we will help them get the necessary product approvals, Sue Berniard, spokeswoman for ExxonMobil Chemical, explained to Lube Report. We will continue to manufacture them. They are actually made at our plant in Edison, New Jersey, and we will continue to make them there until Dorf Ketal has successfully demonstrated its own manufacturing.

Berniard said ExxonMobil Chemical saw the sale of the business as a way to streamline its product slate to enable it to focus more on its main area of expertise. These are very specialized products, and our specialty is really innovations in synthetic base stocks, she said. We remain committed to this industry as the premier supplier and marketer of synthetic lubricant base stocks. We continue to invest in our business to add new innovations that formulators need.

She said the specialty component additives typically serve certain specific functions in a lube, such as a rust inhibitor or anti-foamant. Its a highly specialized niche business and it fits in well with Dorf Ketals specialties, she added.

Mumbai-based Dorf Ketal says it is Indias largest manufacturer of process chemicals and additives in the niche product segment of hydrocarbons used in refineries and petrochemical plants. It has subsidiary offices in the United States, Brazil, China and Singapore. Its research and development facility, located near its plant at Taloja, India, focuses on refinery process chemicals, petrochemicals and lubricants.

P.N. Ramaswamy, technical director for Dorf Ketal, told Lube Report the company has had a positive working relationship with ExxonMobil Chemical in other product areas. We supplied some additives to some of their plants, and we have supplied some antioxidants for some of their brands, Ramaswamy said.

He said that Dorf Ketal is early in the process of understanding the technology involved in the component additives. The technology is good, he said. Its been absolutely wonderful working with ExxonMobil.

Subodh Menon, president and chief executive officer of Dorf Ketal, said, this transaction will significantly enhance Dorf Ketals product portfolio, giving customers more opportunities from a single window. Menon said the company expects to learn from manufacturing the specialized industrial lube oil product lines in India, and then apply what it learns to Dorfs product offerings in process chemicals and fuel additives.

Ahkilesh Bhargava, head of plant operations at Dorf Ketals Taloja factory, said he expected a quick transfer of the product lines. Dorf already has the necessary expertise and experience in similar unit operations and unit processes, he said. We also expect to optimize the production costs.

Dorf Ketal was founded 12 years ago. In 2001, it acquired UOPs Refining Chemicals and Plastics Additive Business.

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