Universal Lubricants Vows New Life for Used Oil


Lubricant manufacturer Universal Lubricants LLC announced yesterday that it will expand its environmental services division by adding a major lubricants recycling facility to its property in north Wichita, Kan.

The company expects to begin construction on the five-acre site in August, with completion scheduled for late 2008 or early 2009. According to yesterdays announcement, the new facility will recycle millions of gallons of used oil each year.

Universal said the facility will use a proprietary process that recycles used oil that is suitable for recycling and returns it to new oil quality standards so that it can be used several times over. The facility initially will focus on industrial and commercial use.

Ultimately, our goal is to offer a green product line that you can buy at your local retail center,Mike Maloney, chief executive officer of Universal Lubricants, said.In its announcement, the company saidthat, after processing at the facility, it plans for the recycled used oilto go into reusable containersto be sold at local stores.

Pegasus Capital Advisors recently invested in Universal Lubricants to allow the lubricant manufacturer and marketer to expand in the areas of branded oil distribution and used oil collection, the two companies announced May 2.

According to Universal, a 2006 U.S. Department of Energy study concluded that, of 945 million gallons of used oil collected each year, only 17 percent was recycled, while the remainder was burned for energy. With the rising cost of crude oil and the necessity of finding ways to reduce waste, the time is right for building a facility that will help us reuse a natural resource that is finite,Maloney said. A complement to our industrial fuel oil business, this new facility will produce a product that will rival the most technologically advanced lubricants derived from imported crude oil.

The company currently recovers used oil and reprocesses it for resale as an industrial fuel oil. It also picks up used oil filters and used solvent for further processing.

The companyclaims Witchita residents will also benefit from the new oil recycling facility. Universal plans to establish collection sites for used oil throughout the city in 2008.Universal said it has assembled a team of local companies to design the facility. The company has briefed local officials about the project, and permitting processes are underway.

The company estimated it will hire 37 industry professionals at an average annual salary of $50,000 to operate the facility. A study conducted by Wichita State Universitys Center for Economic Development and Research estimated the projects economic impact to the community at $40 million, according to Universal.

Founded in 1929 to compound and package petroleum products, Universal operates one manufacturing facility in Wichita and has distribution centers in Kansas City and Dodge City, Kan.; Carthage, Mo.; Gretna, Neb.; and in Dallas and Brenham, Texas. Some of the companys customer markets include agriculture, construction, long-haul trucking, mining, manufacturing and mass transit.

Universal is an authorized distributor for Pennzoil-Quaker State Products, Shell Lubricants and Castrol Industrial North America. It also blends and sells its ownbranded products.

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