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McCollister & Co. Sold

After 76 years of blending and selling heavy-duty lubricants for agriculture and industry, the family-owned McCollister & Co. in late July was sold to Growmark Inc. of Bloomington, Ill. Growmark is a large regional cooperative that provides agriculture-related products and services across the Midwest. It has annual sales of more than $3 billion and is seeking to expand in the lubricants market. It currently markets lubricants under the FS brand.

The acquisition includes the Archer and United product lines, and McCollisters headquarters and plant in Council Bluffs, Iowa. That plant will become the new home for Growmark Lubricants, under the direction of Growmarks Craig Stout.

McCollister & Co. was founded in 1929 by John M. McCollister, grandfather of John S. and Stephen McCollister, the brothers who until the sale held posts of president and executive vice president, respectively. John S. McCollister said the family decided to sell in part because he and his brother are contemplating retirement, and had no clear succession plan in place. The two will remain on as consultants to the business for an undetermined time.

Grease Production Ticks Up

Worldwide grease production in 2005 topped 1.9 billion pounds (862 million kilograms), up 1.5 percent from 2004, according to the latest grease production survey from NLGI. Reported production rose smartly in China, Japan, India and the Americas, while it declined in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

NLGIs annual production survey also shows that the worldwide trend toward higher-quality greases continues. In 2005, more than 73 percent of all greases manufactured were lithium soap greases, up from 70 percent in 2002, and polyurea greases inched up to nearly 5 percent of total production last year.

Total reported grease production in North America in 2005 was 544 million pounds. On a comparative basis – that is, only including volumes produced by companies that provided data for each of the past four years – production rose 3 percent over 2004, and a healthy 9.5 percent over 2002.

Copies of the report were sent to NLGI members in July. To order, visit the NLGI Store at, then download and print the publications order form.

Solutia Fires Up New Plant

Solutia Inc. last month announced it has started up production at a new state-of-the-art manufacturing plant at Anniston, Ala. The plant, which began construction in 2005, produces Skydrol brand aviation hydraulic fluids, which are based on phosphate esters, and SkyKleen aviation cleaning solvents. The Skydrol brand has served commercial aviation for more than 57 years, and its hydraulic fluids are approved by airframe manufacturers specifying fire-resistant hydraulic fluids. They formerly were made at Solutias St. Louis, Mo., plant.

In addition to being certified to ISO 9001:2000, the new Anniston plant is AS-9100 compliant, and meets quality requirements for aerospace industry suppliers as certified by the International Aerospace Quality Group.

China Stays Hot

A new study from consultants Kline & Co. says Chinese demand for on-highway commercial automotive lubricants is growing 10 percent annually and will continue to do so for the next five years. The firm, based in Little Falls, N.J., also predicts a shift toward higher-performance products.

As the economy continues to grow, so does the need to move goods and people, said Frans van Antwerpen, project manager for Klines Petroleum and Energy practice. More trucks and buses will be put on the road, all of which will require heavy-duty motor oil.

Klines study, Business Opportunities in the Chinese Lubricant Market, 2004-2009, pegs current demand for on-highway commercial lubricants at 927,000 metric tons, valued at $1.1 billion. Currently, domestic oil companies dominate the commercial segment. Sinopec is the market leader, supplying 32 percent of the segments volume. PetroChina and Tongyi Beijing Petroleum Chemical Co. follow with 13 percent and 10 percent, respectively.

Afton Boosts Detergent Capacity

Afton Chemical Corp. has completed the first part of a two-phase expansion of its Sauget, Ill., factory. The expansion, which is scheduled to be completed during the first quarter of 2007, will increase capacity for detergent additives by 20 percent. Officials said the chemical additive supplier undertook the project to accommodate growing demand from existing customers. Although the market remains tight, we are committed to supporting and growing with our current customers, President Warren Huang.

Afton, based in Richmond, Va., did not disclose the cost of the project. The Sauget plant is the only Afton facility that makes detergents. It makes detergent additives for a range of lubricant applications, but the expansion is targeted to the engine oil market.

Ciba Partners with Monson

Ciba Specialty Chemicals has appointed Monson Companies of Leominster, Mass., as a U.S. distributor of its lubricant additives sold into the transportation and industrial markets. Monson will distribute Cibas lubricant additives line sold under the Irganox, Irgacor, Irgamet, Irgafos, Sarkosyl and Amine trade names, said Cibas Michael McHenry. Cibas U.S. operations are based in Tarrytown, N.Y.

Pall to Market Des-Case Breathers

Des-Case Corp., based in White House, Tenn., has inked a new distribution agreement with Pall Corp., converting the Asia region. Pall Corp.s network in the region will supply the full line of Des-Case products, which include contamination control products such as breathers that prevent damaging water and particulate from entering hydraulic reservoirs, gearboxes, and storage or process tanks.

Pall Corp. is the worlds largest filtration, separations and purifications company, with annual sales of $1.9 billion. The privately held Des-Case Corp. holds a leading position in the breather market for industrial lubricants.

Acheson Adds Distributor

European chemical distributor C.H. Erbsloeh KG, whose materials include EP and antiwear additives for lubricants, greases and metalworking fluids, is now handling dispersions made by Acheson Industries. Included are Achesons colloidal forms of solid lubricants such as graphite, molybdenum disulfide and PTFE, as well as new boron nitride components which are registered with NSF as H1X ingredients for food-grade lubricants. Acheson is a subsidiary of ICIs National Starch.

Hercules, Uniqema Renew Deal

Hercules Inc. and Uniqema have agreed to extend their long-standing synthetic lubricants manufacturing agreement. Hercules will expand its Louisiana, Mo., plant to accommodate the agreement, the companies announced July 31.

The agreement covers production of the Emkarate RL synthetic polyol esters that Uniqema sells as lubricants for refrigeration and air conditioning applications in the compressor market. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

The capacity expansion should be completed by second-quarter 2007, said Paul Raymond, president of Hercules Paper Technologies and Ventures of Wilmington, Del. Uniqema and Hercules have had a manufacturing agreement since the mid-1990s.

Headquartered in Gouda, Netherlands, Uniqema supplies surfactants, functional ingredients and oleochemicals, including esters and polyalkylene glycols used as synthetic lubricant base stocks and additives. Its parent company, ICI Group, agreed in late June to sell the company to Britains Croda International Plc for $758 million in cash and assumption of debt. The sale is expected to be completed during the third quarter of this year.

Roper/PAC Buy Analytical Controls

Roper Industries and PAC (Petroleum Analyzer Corporation) announced the acquisition of AC Analytical Controls, a provider of chromatographic analyzers based in Rotterdam, Netherlands. AC Analytical Controls will operate as one of the PAC companies within the Energy Systems & Controls Segment of Roper Industries (USA). Its products, which serve the petroleum, petrochemical and natural gas markets, are seen as an important and complementary addition to the product portfolio PAC has to offer worldwide, the company said. AC Analytical Controls will continue to operate in Rotterdam with its current management and employees, and from other existing locations worldwide.

Faces in the News

Robert P. Cellura and Stephen B. King have been named to the board of directors of Cincinnati-based Pilot Chemical Co., a leading North American producer of synthetic sulfonate lubricant additives. Cellura has been responsible for business development at Pilot since 2000, and prior to that was its senior vice president of sales. Until April 1, King was owner, chairman and CEO of specialty surfactants producer Tomah Products, having led the buy-out of that company from Exxon Chemical in 1994.

Mike Lewis has been named regional commercial manager for the United States and Canada, for Angus Chemical Co., a subsidiary of Dow Chemical, and Dow Biocides. A certified Six Sigma Black Belt, he is responsible for coordinating all business efforts in the region and providing administrative and business leadership. Lewis joined Dow in 1990, and Angus in 2001.

All-Pak Inc. has named Cheryl Brockman customer care representative at its global supply division. The Pittsburgh, Pa., based packaging supplier also named Patty Zivkovic as a customer care representative for the division.

Industry veteran Thomas E. Ferguson has been elected president of the Hydraulic Institute for 2006-2007. Ferguson is a vice president of Flowserve Corp. and president of Flowserve Pumps. He has been with Flowserve more than 15 years.

Coming Events

Sept. 17-19. Petroleum Packaging Council Fall Meeting & Trade Show, Cheyenne Mountain Resort, Colorado Springs, Colo. The petroleum packaging industry tackles packaging trends, strategic sourcing, vision sensors, spill control issues, regulatory concerns, and more. The trade show, held every other year, is the only one devoted specifically to petroleum packaging concerns. Web:

Sept. 21. Your Full Measure, a half-day seminar focusing on lubricant testing, targeted to professionals and beginners alike. Hosted by the STLE Philadelphia Section at Ponzios Restaurant in Bellmawr, N.J., the events featured speakers include Joe Brawner of Koehler Instrument Co., Dave Bradley of ASTM, Mike Anderson of Falex, and Pat Kilbane of Staveley Inc. Contact: George Arbocus, 205 Bergen Ave., Bellmawr, NJ 08031. Phone (856) 931-4063.

Sept. 26-28. 35th Turbomachinery Symposium, sponsored by the Turbomachinery Laboratory at Texas A&M University, at the George R. Brown Convention Center, Houston. Technical presentations, training, plus exhibitions by leading suppliers of equipment and services. For information about the program, exhibiting companies and registration, visit

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