ADM Dips Toe in Lubes


Agricultural processing giant Archer Daniels Midland has entered the lubricants business, gaining a minority share position with its investment in Houston-based BioBlend Renewable Resources.

Janet Mann, general manager for industrial chemicals at ADM in Decatur, Ill., declined to identify the size of ADMs investment or its percentage of ownership, saying only that we are a major investor in BioBlend. Mann, who headed Chemturas petroleum additives business before joining ADM, now leads a new ADM division that will develop and sell biobased industrial products.

BioBlend offers ADM the opportunity to add value to our existing products and, as we grow our product portfolio, to use BioBlends unique distribution and marketing platform to the expanding renewable lubricant market, Mann said.

In addition to its financial investment, Mann said ADM is providing technical support to BioBlend and helping them understand the vegetable oil market. Mann has joined the BioBlend board of directors. Asked if ADM plans other lube industry ventures, Mann said, Wed like to use BioBlend as our base. I dont see ADM buying [other lubricant] companies in the future, but well support BioBlend to buy them.

BioBlend spokesman Gary Bevers said the company, founded in 2007, relies on toll blenders and does some of its own lubricant blending at a facility in Joliet, Ill. BioBlends goal is to expand its distribution network, to create and supply a national network of distributors carrying vegetable-based industrial lubricants.

We intend to add 50 new distributors in the next two years and create a nationwide renewable lubricant distribution and marketing platform, said BioBlend President Sam Burkett.

Were happy, said Bevers, of ADMs funding. We can now aggressively build the distribution network, and we need to be able to support them.

BioBlends board is chaired by company founder Jeff Hart, who founded in 1999, sold it to FuelQuest in 2000, and now heads Mid-Town Petroleum; and, in addition to Janet Mann, includes Douglas Haugh, FuelQuest cofounder, who is now an executive with Mansfield Oil Co.

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