Additives J.V. Starts Producing


BRB International announced Monday start-up of manufacturing at its joint venture with SWD Lubricants GmbH – a Duisburg, Germany, plant that will dissolve BRB viscosity modifiers into base oil diluent.

BRB, a chemical supplier based in Ittervoort, Netherlands, said the new plant should help it grow by expanding its ability to supply ready-to-use viscosity modifiers. The joint venture operates as Viscotech GmbH.

BRB chose to enter this joint venture with SWD because of the superb infrastructure that SWD can provide to demanding customers within Europe, Business Development Manager Hamadi Ettarfass said. The infrastructure features that he referred to include available storage capacity for base oils and finished materials plus a site fronting the Rhein River. Duisburg is Europes largest inland port.

SWD is also based in Duisburg and describes itself as a medium-sized independent producer of automotive and industrial lubricants and chemical specialties. It was created out of a site formerly operated by Fina, which is now part of French energy giant Total.

BRB supplies lubricant additives, silicones and other chemicals plus a selection of finished lubricants. The company did not disclose the size or cost of the new plant, which will dissolve polymers produced by DSM Elastomers into API Group I, Group III and Group IV base stocks. The resulting viscosity modifiers will be marketed under the Viscotech brand name. The parent companies own equal stakes in the joint venture, which was originally announced in November. At that time, the partners said it would have 10,000 metric tons per year of capacity.

BRB officials said they expect the new plant to allow the company to increase its share of viscosity modifier supply to Europes lubricant market.

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