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FL Selenia Allies with Petronas

Malaysias international oil giant Petronas and FL Selenia SpA, Italys largest independent producer of lubricants, have signed a strategic alliance to market and distribute each others lubricants in specified markets, beginning this year. Under the agreement, FL Selenia will market Petronas Syntium synthetic automotive lubricants in several European markets, while Petronas will provide FL Selenias lubricants to certain OEMs in China and later to other Asia-Pacific markets.

The agreement also allows Turin-based FL Selenia and Kuala Lumpur-headquartered Petronas to pursue other joint activities, such as research and technology transfer.

Hot Market: Packaging

Global demand for packaging machinery is projected to expand 4.9 percent per year through 2010 to top $33 billion, says a new study from The Freedonia Group. The best sales opportunities for this equipment will be found in developing parts of the world, led by China; it is forecast to surpass Japan to become the second-largest packaging market in the world after the United States. Other hot markets identified in the study World Packaging Machinery are India, Russia, Mexico and South Korea. After a period of relatively sluggish gains, markets in the United States, Japan and Western Europe are also expected to show renewed strength, says the market research firm.

By far the largest single market for packaging equipment will continue to be the food industry, with more than 40 percent of all product sales in 2010, the study indicates. The fastest-growing area for packaging machinery, however, will come from pharmaceutical and personal-care products.

World Packaging Machinery, 364 pages, is available for $5,400 from The Freedonia Group. Phone: (440) 684-9600. Web: www.freedoniagroup.com

Shell, Bharat Call it Off

Shell Overseas Investment BV of the Netherlands and Bharat Petroleum Corp. Ltd. are untying their Indian lubricant marketing joint venture, with the former acquiring the latters 49 percent share of Bharat Shell Ltd. The joint venture dated to 1994 and marketed Shell brand products it blended at a plant in Taloja, near Mumbai. Shell said the venture was successful, but each company believes its time to focus on their own lube brands, independent of each other.

This is a great opportunity for enhanced growth in Shells lubricants business in this emerging and dynamic market, said Vikram Sing Mehta, chairman of Shell Companies in India. Shell and Pennzoil branded lubricants are both established in the India market, and we intend to continue to maintain and invest in both brands in the country.

The transaction is subject to regulatory and government approvals in India; terms were not disclosed. However, according to Bharat Petroleum, Bharat Shell is capitalized at $56.5 million (Rupee 2.5 billion), and had profits of $1.1 million in fiscal 2005.

General Oil Earns GM Thanks

General Oil Co. received the GM Environmental Excellence Award at the North American International Automobile Show, Jan. 11. Beth Lowery, GMs vice president of energy & environment, said, Last year alone, General Oil processed over six million gallons of GMs used oil and returned well over three-quarters of a million gallons of recycled product. In addition to the environmental and energy benefits, this activity resulted in a savings for GM of over one and a half million dollars. General Oil has recycled used industrial oil from GM plants for over 30 years, turning it into lubricating and machining oils.

Rerefinery Set to Reopen

Whelan Refining Ltd. plans to reopen a base oil rerefinery next month in northwest England, with capacity to make about 35,000 metric tons annually of Group I base oils for sale to lube manufacturers. The feed for the plant, according to Managing Director John Whelan, will be purchased from small- to medium-size waste oil collectors. Such waste oil mostly has been burned as fuel in the past, but environmental legislation in the United Kingdom is making that practice more difficult.

The plant is located about halfway between Birmingham and Manchester, and was originally built 10 years ago but has been mothballed for the past five. Whelan Refining says it is investing about $3.9 million to refurbish and restart it. If successful, further investment may be made to upgrade the processes to produce Group II-quality base stocks, John Whelan added. About 25 people will be employed at the rerefinery.

Royal Purple Expanding

Synthetic lubricant producer Royal Purple in January completed an expansion of its Porter, Texas, lube blending facility, adding a 10-tank, 300,000-gallon tank farm for bulk raw materials. The expansion comes four years after completion of the companys new automated blending facility, and will enable the company to more than double its production.

We initially built the plant in anticipation of moderate, steady growth, said Mark McFann, the companys marketing vice president. Were growing faster than anticipated, and were expanding to ensure that customers continue to receive the on-time fill rate theyve grown accustomed to.

McFann told Lube Report newsletter that the tank farm has room for further growth, with the site set up to someday hold nearly a million gallons of bulk liquids in 32 tanks.

Cognis Lauds Emgard Team

Chemical specialty supplier Cognis singled out its Emgard team for its Innovation Award 2006, citing development of a new generation of synthetic transmission lubricants. The Synlubes team developed the first commercial truck manual transmission fluid that meets Eatons latest specification; the new lube enabled Eaton to offer a five-year/750,000-mile warranty. Cogniss Jim Casey, a member of the winning team, pointed out that since its introduction in April 2006, every major truck builder in North America has adopted the new technology. The products also are widely rebranded by major lubricant suppliers.

Haas Enlarges Its Stable

West Chester, Pa., based Haas TCM has acquired Kemfast Aerospace, a U.K.-headquartered supplier of aerospace chemicals and chemical management services. The deal includes Kemfast Aerospace businesses in Great Britain, Ireland and the United States. The acquisition broadens Haass offerings for chemical management services, while also adding logistics and stocking locations in Europe. Thaddeus Fortin, Haas CEO, said that the two companies fit together well. Our service offerings are similar, yet we have little overlap in customers.

He added that Kemfast Managing Directors Howard Bunn and Christopher Wright will continue to run the business, and all 53 employees of the newly acquired company will be joining Haas. Haas has 300 employees, and had 2006 revenue of approximately $186 million.

Prizewinners Take a Bow

Stefan Korcek, retired senior scientist with Ford Motor and a leading expert in the lubrication of automotive powertrains, will receive SAE Internationals Edward N. Cole Award for automotive engineering innovation. In his 31 years with Ford, he was noted for his work in lubricants and tribology. Korceks research helped to improve fuel economy, extend oil change intervals, increase engine life and reduce exhaust emissions. He also was a prime mover in the development of the ILSAC oil specification and APIs Engine Oil Licensing & Certification System.

The 2006 Tribology Gold Medal has been awarded to Prof. Roberto Bassani of the University of Pisa, Italy. Chairman of the Engineering faculty there, he is known for his work on high-speed bearing lubrication, and his research into elastohydrodynamic lubrication and optimization of equipment performance.

Rene D. Wiebe, fleet sales manager for Wynns/ITW, Azusa, Calif., was presented with the Daniel H. Green Award by ASTM Committee D15 on Engine Coolants, honoring his many years of service and participation. Wiebe has been an ASTM member since 1992, and serves on many other committees and subcommittees.

Faces in the News

Wayne Mackwood has joined Kinectrics as a senior scientist for the Toronto-based analytical services company. He formerly was with Chemtura.

Jim MacNeil was named vice president of research and development at EMTA Holdings Inc. Hell be based in Durant, Okla., where the companys Synergen subsidiary makes XenTx aftermarket additives. MacNeil formerly was general manager of Dover Chemicals Hammond, Ind., facility.

Stephen Mitchell is the new sales/applications engineer at Etna-Bechem Lubricants Ltd. He brings more than eight years of automotive industry experience to the Chagrin Falls, Ohio, company, including with DaimlerChrysler and American Axle & Manufacturing. He recently was with Magna Closures/KTM Locks.

Des-Case Corp. has named Jim Kelly as its new sales manager, working to develop key accounts and serve larger distributors. A Certified Lubrication Specialist, he has extensive experience in industrial lubrication, including with Chevron. Also, Donna Johnson has joined the company as a private-label specialist for its contamination-control products.

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