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SK Nudging Output in Ulsan

This month, a maintenance turnaround will get under way at the Ulsan, South Korea, plant of SK Corp., the worlds biggest Group III base oil producer. Overall capacity of the plant, which has two lube oil units, is expected to reach a total of 19,700 Group II and III barrels per day, a gain of 2,100 b/d. The plant undergoing the expansion is the newer of the two within the giant Ulsan refinery, and opened just 20 months ago. The company said it was designed and built to accommodate expansion when needed. This is a good time, since our supply is desperately short, said Y.S. Yoon, general manager of SKs Base Oils Business Team.

About three-fourths of the gain will be Group III barrels, which are in strong demand, and the rest will be Group II, the company added. The maintenance work originally was scheduled for June, but SK is moving faster because of operational issues which caused a drop in yields.

Uniqema on the Block

ICI Group says it will try to sell Uniqema, its oleochemical subsidiary. Based in Gouda, Netherlands, Uniqema makes synthetic base stocks and specialty products such as compressor oils and refrigerator lubricants sold under the Emkarate brand. Uniqema operates seven ester plants (two of them in the United States), and three that produce polyalkylene glycols. It also makes lube additives, including surfactants and emulsifiers used in metalworking fluids, and friction modifiers used in automotive lubes.

ICI stressed it is pleased with Uniqemas performance – the subsidiary had 2005 sales of 631 British pounds ($1.1 billion) and earnings of 47 million pounds – but that it would rather focus capital spending in other areas with greater financial returns. As a result, it will divest Uniqema if it finds a buyer willing to pay what the company is worth.

Coolant Control Sells Additive Lines

Additives International Inc. LLC has purchased the metalworking additives business of Coolant Control. The announcement was made by Greg Jorjorian, president of Additives International, and Jorge Costa, chairman of Coolant Control. The additives product lines being acquired include the Counter Rust line of water and oil soluble corrosion inhibitors; Coolsurf amides and surfactants; Lubristay water and oil soluble lubricity additives; and EZ Mulz primary emulsifiers and soluble bases. Also included are the Cuprisan, Oxcedot and SDT odor-control copper complexes, used in concentrate and tankside, plus the Kathon 886 and 893 metalworking biocides and fungicides. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Faces in the News

Satish Kulkarni has relocated from Mumbai, India, to Freehold, N.J., where he will be general manager of VVF Ltd.s U.S. operation. In the coming months, he will focus on developing market channels, storage and logistic systems for the oleochemical companys growth in the U.S. Market.

Specialty chemical company Dow Corning Corp. has named Brian Chermside as global industry director for its Expertise-based Industry Group, the company division which includes Molykote lubricants. He joined Dow Corning in 1985, and takes over from Jeremy Burks, who has been named global industry executive director for the companys paper and process industries group.

Lubrizol said it is combining its metalworking, hydraulics, industrial gear and grease businesses into a focused industrial additives group, and tapped Jeff Lettrich as its global business manager. Lettrich, who joined Lubrizol in 2000 when it acquired Alox, has 25 years of chemical industry experience. The company also named Karen Allen global business manager, hydraulic, industrial gear and grease, and Dave Pristic global business manager, metalworking. Allen joined Lubrizol in 1991; Pristic joined it in 2002.

Effective next month, Charlie Santangelo assumes the title of vice president of operations at D.A. Stuart Co., replacing Gene Carline, who is retiring. Santangelo joined the industrial lube company in 1979, and most recently was vice president, corporate development.

Hugh Y. Luo has joined Uniqema as sales director, China, where he will drive sales of surfactants, functional products, oleochemicals and derivatives. Luo is based in Shanghai, and has worked at Sinopec, RohMax and NCM Hersbit Chemical Co.

Petroferm Inc., parent company of specialty chemical maker Lambent Technologies, has promoted Mark Peebles to executive vice president. Peebles, a 20-plus year veteran of the company, will continue to serve as its vice president and general manager, industrial products. Also, Lambent Technologies, based in Gurnee,

Ill., has hired Stefanie Petracek as marketing representative, and Elizabeth Baratta as senior technical sales representative.

ORourke Petroleum, the Houston-based lube and fuel distributor, has promoted Tony Garcia to general manager of specialty fueling services and lubricants, and Mark Graham as technical services manager.

Harbour Buys Alemite

Alemite LLC, a leading supplier of lubrication and fluid handling equipment, is now part of Harbour Group, which acquired it early this year. Harbour already owned Lincoln Industrial Corp., which also makes and sells lubrication equipment. The two have been made part of their parents Lubricating Systems Group, and will maintain differentiated product lines and continue selling through both the Alemite and Lincoln distribution channels. Cost of the acquisition was not disclosed.

Castrol Industrial Reworks Channels

Castrol Industrial North America said it is reorganizing its U.S. and Canadian industrial lubricants and services business, with an eye to growth in key industries. The company will focus its direct sales on certain markets – automotive, metals, machinery manufacture and aerospace, plus severe lubrication applications such as the mining, cement and engineered wood industries. Meanwhile, distributors will serve all other customers.

The BP subsidiary said it has already identified the distributors it will use, and will invest to help grow the indirect channel business. Also, the Complete CMS business – its chemical management services – will remain under the direct control and operation of Castrol Industrial. The company said these changes are expected to reduce complexity, improve customer focus, and assure long-term business sustainability.

Alliances Inked

Valley Forge, Pa.-based Houghton International has agreed to market the line of automotive OEM-approved forming fluids made by Rock Valley Oil & Chemical Co., of Rockford, Ill. The agreement means Houghtons global network of sales and technical support will distribute Rock Valleys oil and water based blank washes, stamping fluids, and heavy-duty drawing, stamping and forming, and hydroforming compounds to automotive metals processing facilities. The agreement includes U.S. and Canadian markets only, but the companies said they anticipate expanding the agreement to take in Europe and Asia as well.

American Oil & Supply has entered a worldwide exclusive agreement for The Crosby Group to distribute its Vitalife brand of wire-rope lubricants. The Crosby Group, based in Tulsa, Okla., manufactures and markets accessories for the lifting industry. We felt the most efficient way to have our products represented worldwide was through a global partnership, said Chuck Decker, president of AOSI.

Chemcentral Corp. has reached an agreement to become Infineums exclusive distributor of branded additives for the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf Coast states, and Canada. The agreement covers crankcase and industrial additive packages, pour point depressants, viscosity modifiers and fuel additives, all of which Infineum previously sold directly. Chemcentral said the deal with Infineum represents a new strategy to focus on lube additives; previously it primarily serviced the coatings and adhesives markets.

Coming in June: International Lube Conference

Lubrication management, technologies, products and testing are all on the agenda at LubMat 2006, an international conference coming 14-16 June to the University of Central Lancashire, Preston, U.K. The event, organized by the Jost Institute for Tribotechnology in the U.K., and Spains Fundacion Tekniker, is aimed at plant engineers, industrial engineers and lubrication experts, the organizers say. Keynote addresses will be heard from Richard Atkinson of Kluber Lubrication UK, Bob Cutler of Alcontrol Robertson Testing Laboratory, The Univ. of Leeds Prof. Martin Priest, and Ramon Gallifa of Fuchs Lubricantes S.A. in Spain. The day prior to the conference also offers a tribology training day.

For details or to register for the Lubrication Management & Technology Conference, contact the conference secretariat at Web:

Wolf Lake in Soybean Venture

Wolf Lake Terminals in Hammond, Ind., is dipping a toe into the biodiesel arena. The companys integrated liquid storage and distribution facility will be home to the states first biodiesel plant, to be built and operated by Evergreen Renewables LLC. The total facility will cost approximately $10 million and will have initial capacity to produce 5 million gallons of biodiesel per year – all made exclusively from soybean oil. Wolf Lakes facility is well situated to source soybean oil from a number of Indiana processors, Evergreen noted, which is key as it intends to expand production of the plant to 30 million gallons per year.

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