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Fords Unveils Mercon

LV Ford Motor Co. has launched a new automatic transmission fluid specification. Mercon LV (for low viscosi-ty) is intended to be a fill-for-life fluid for the automakers newest genera-tion of step-type transmissions, said

Ford Mercon Committee Chairman Chintan Ved in Livonia, Mich. He called it a more robust fluid designed to deliver key benefits for 2008 models and beyond, including stable frictional performance, potential fuel economy benefits, improved anti-shudder, anti-foaming and anti-aeration performance, and greater oxidation stability.

Licensing for Mercon LV begins July 1, in time to service the 2008 models arriving in showrooms this fall. Going for-ward, it is intended to coexist with Mercon V and Mercon SP, the other principal ATF prod-ucts Ford licenses. However, these fluids are not inter-changeable, Ved emphasized, due to differing frictional and viscosity parameters. (Meanwhile, Fords plain-vanil-la Mercon specification has been withdrawn and all licenses for that product expire June 31.)

Only one additive package, made by Afton Chemical, has been approved for Mercon LV so far. Three companies – Afton, Infineum and Lubrizol – have approvals for making Mercon V, the fluid Ford wants used in all 2007 and earlier models. Veds Mercon Committee has approval authority for all Ford ATFs, while licensing and paperwork for the Ford Mercon pro-gram are handled through the programcoordinator, Southwest Research Institute. For information, e-mail

Lubes Growth Forecast

Global demand for lubricants will grow 2.3 percent a year and total nearly 42 million metric tons in 2010, versus 37.2 million metric tons in 2005, says a new study from the Cleveland-based market research firm The Freedonia Group. According to World Lubricants, the Asia-Pacific region led by China will set the hottest pace, at 4.2 percent average annual growth, despite some drag from Japans highly mature lubricants indus-try. North America and Europe will be less zippy, with 1.0 and 0.3 percent average annual growth, respectively.

Although engine oils will continue to comprise nearly half of all lubri-cant demand, fastest growth is expected for process oils, added Freedonia. Another bright spot will be hydraulic fluids, the study pre-dicts, pushed by growing mining activity and oil and gas production and by the increasing mechanization of agricultural and construction industries in developing nations.

World Lubricants (397 pages, $5,400) also forecasts lubricants will be a $47.2 billion market worldwide in 2010, versus $35.7 billion in 2005. For information or to order:

Dow Ups PAG Capacity

Dow Chemical is adding capacity in Tarragona, Spain, to make an addi-tional 7 million pounds per year of its Ucon polyalkylene glycol base fluids – one in a series of moves aimed at meeting global demand for synthetic base fluids and industrial lubricants, says the companys Peter Pendergast.

Well be turning on the spigot at Tarragona in the third quarter of this year, said Pendergast, Ucon senior marketing manager in Midland, Mich. We need this new capacity because were seeing significant growth in PAG demand in Europe, India and China. In addition to that expansion, we have a joint venture in Malaysia, between Dow and Petronas, that produces Ucon base fluids, and were expanding our portfolio of products made there, too, adding water glycols, industrial lubricants and quenchants.

Dow is the worlds largest produc-er of PAG, with global capacity of more than 246,000 metric tons per year, LubesnGreases estimates. Other notable PAG producers on the world stage include BASF, Chemtura, Clariant, Cognis, Croda, Huntsman and Pan Asia Chemical, but Dow has more than triple the capacity of its nearest competitor.

Dow also has expanded production of rotary screw compressor lubri-cants at Freeport, Texas, and its old-est PAG plant, in South Charleston, W.Va., has completed a make-over to its manufacturing control equipment which yielded a 30 percent gain in capacity, said Steven Stanley, Dow business director for performance fluids and specialty chemicals.

CHS Buys Nor-Lakes, Farm-Oyl

CHS Inc. has acquired the liquid lubricants business of Nor-Lakes Services Midwest, of Hugo, Minn., and the Farm-Oyl Co., of St. Paul, Minn., for an undisclosed amount. Nor-Lakes is a private-label lubricant and grease manufacturer founded in 1988. Products it makes include the Farm-Oyl brand, which has been a fixture on the market since 1929. Not included in the sale was Nor-Lakes NL Grease, which will continue to make and distribute lubricating greases from its plant in Kansas City.

CHS, an energy, grains and food company, produces Cenex brand and other lubricants at three plants in Minnesota, Ohio and Texas, and already markets a large line of lubri-cants for the agricultural, commercial and industrial markets.

Arkema Sells Amines Business

Chemical manufacturer Arkema, launched in 2004 from Totals Atofina segment, last month sold its specialty amines business in Riverview, Mich., to Belgiums Taminco for an undisclosed amount. Included with the manufacturing facility were alkanolamine products and Synergex additives used in met-alworking fluids and lubricants.

Taminco, which was spun off in 2003 from UCB, is already one of the largest producers of amines, and this move will bolster its industrial facili-ties in the United States. Amines are used in metalworking fluids as a neutralized acid, to buffer the pH, deter bacter-ial growth, and inhibit cor-rosion. The largest amines producers are Dow and Huntsman.

Briefly Noted

Anderol Inc. has opened a new warehouse in the Free Trade Zone city of Guangzou, China, aiming to serve the market with the companys synthetic and specialty industrial lubri-cants as well as Royco brand aviation lubes. The site includes customs clear-ance facilities and a char-tered wharf, and will allow Anderol (a subsidiary of Chemtura) to cut its delivery times in the region from two to three months to less than 15 days.

Richmond, Va.-based Afton Chemical has signed MultiChem Inc. as distribu-tor in Canada for its TecGard brand metalwork-ing fluid additives, which include extreme pressure agents, corrosion inhibitors and emulsifiers. MultiChem has offices in Quebec, Ontario and Alberta, and warehouses located across the country.

Champion Brands, Clinton, Mo., opened a new brake fluid blending and packaging division, making it the largest exporter of brake fluid in the Unites States, the com-pany boasts. The new ven-ture added high-volume brake fluid blending, as well as packaging lines, and it now dedicates approximately 500,000 gal-lons of storage to its brake fluid division.

Faces in the News

Paul Waterman has been promoted to chief executive for BP Lubricants Americas with full responsi-bility for the Wayne, N.J.-based com-panys lubri-cant busi-ness, includ-ing the Castrol brand, across North and South America. Waterman, who first joined Castrol in 1994 and most recently served as general manager, succeeds Peter Meola, who retired May 1 after leading the company for six years.

Eriko Sakurai has been named global industry executive director for Dow Corning Expertise-Based Industry Group, which includes Molykote brand lubricants, plus the companys industrial maintenance sealants and mold-making products. Most recently she was global industry marketing director for the companys Life Sciences business. Sakurai takes over from Brian Chermside, who is now Dow Cornings chief marketing officer.

Scott Schwindaman is now president of Lubrication Engineers Inc., following the retirement of Randall Kressler. The Ft. Worth, Texas, company also named Jeff Turner to fill Schwindamans prior post of execu-tive vice president.

Citgo Petroleum has tapped Karin Dallas to be brand manager for Mystik lubricants, over-seeing the brands prod-ucts and packaging, dis-tribution, market posi-tioning, online marketing, trade shows and con-sumer education.

Marc Oosterlinck is now new prod-uct manager for lubricating greases at Chemtool Inc., North Americas largest grease manufacturer. He previ-ously was with Kluber Lubrication N.A. and Chem-Trend, and has extensive industry expe-rience, both nationally and internationally.

Fluid-monitoring company GasTOPS Inc. has selected Karen Cassidy, Ph.D., as president. She also will head its new Application Develop-ment Center in Pensacola, Fla., and work to develop new methods for equipment health monitoring and machinery fluid sensing and analysis.

Karin Kay has been named site leader for Angus Chemicals manufac-turing plant in Sterlington, La. – the site where she began her career as a process engineer in 1985. Kay also has become business manufacturing leader for both Angus and Dow Biocides, taking over from Billy Duncan who moved to a new role at Dow Chemical headquarters in Midland, Mich. Mike Albano, Sterlingtons site maintenance and construction leader since 2003, also was made global improvement leader for Angus and Dow Biocides.

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