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Grease Output Grows 17%

Global appetite for lubricating greases was strong in 2006, with 2.1 billion pounds of output, according to the Annual Production Survey conducted by NLGI International. The survey, the only one of its kind in the world, shows grease production by product type and by region for the past four years.

About 74 percent of the 2006 production was lithium and lithium complex greases, the new survey shows, with calcium soap greases the next-largest category at 11 percent of the worldwide total. By region, North America continued to lead the world in grease output, with 545 million pounds reported for 2006, closely followed by China (510 million pounds). European companies reported producing 414 million pounds for the year, Japan 184 million pounds, and India 182 million pounds.

In addition to total reported data, the survey also provides some comparative data, including only companies which supplied production figures for each of the past four years. These companies indicated their overall production for 2006 rose nearly 17 percent over 2005.

The exclusive report, which includes data from 2003 through 2006, was produced by J & A Consultants, Cypress, Texas. Copies have been sent to member companies of NLGI International; others may order copies by visting

Shell Beefs Up in China

Shell (China) Ltd. in late June broke ground on a world-scale lubricants blending plant in the south China city of Zhuhai, in Guangdong Province. This will be its sixth plant in China (and one of Shells three largest worldwide), with initial capacity of 200 million liters per year, and eventually 400 million liters/year. It will begin operating in 2009, and will supply consumer, transport, industrial and marine lubricants.

China is the fastest-growing lubricants market in the world and our second-largest market by volume after the U.S., pointed out David Pirret, executive vice president of Shell Lubricants. By investing now in new, world-scale production capacity, we are well positioned to meet the future lubricants needs of customers in this thriving region.

Shell also is undertaking a series of expansions at existing lubricant plants, such as doubling capacity at its blending plant in Hong Kong to 120 million liters/year, and doubling employee numbers there. Other expansions will add 20 percent capacity to plants in Beijing and Shanghai.

Nippon Oil Allies with Chrysan

Chrysan Industries of Plymouth, Mich., has been tapped by Nippon Oil USA to serve as master distributor for the Eneos brand of fully synthetic motor oils, now being introduced to the Eastern U.S. aftermarket. Under the agreement, Chrysan will serve as the Midwest distribution center and will also develop a distribution network for Eneos in Eastern states. Chrysan will open a warehouse in Alabama later this year, which according to a company spokesman, will help with the Eneos distribution and also support other business customers

Business Briefs

ExxonMobil Chemical increased its capacity for its Synesstic brand alkylated naphthalene base stocks by almost 40 percent with a debottlenecking at its plant in Edison, N.J. Alkylated naphthalenes are API Group V synthetic fluids with improved hydrolytic and thermo-oxidative stability, used in applications ranging from automotive engines oils and compressor lubes to hydraulic fluids and high-temperature greases.

Petrobras has sold its share of the Petrobras Bolivia Refinacion S.A. venture for $112 million to former partner YPFB (Yacimientos Petroliferos Fiscales Bolivianos), the state-owned oil company of Bolivia. The sale includes a 540 b/d Group I base oil plant in Cochabamba, Bolivia. With the June 26 sale, the Brazilian national oil company also said it would withdraw its Lubrax brand lubricants from Bolivia.

Lubrizol has renamed its wholly owned Noveon and Noveon Canada subsidiaries as Lubrizol Advanced Materials Inc. and Lubrizol Advanced Materials Canada Inc. The changes reflect the Wickliffe, Ohio, companys decision to discontinue the use of Noveon in favor of Lubrizol Advanced Materials around the world.

South Koreas SK Corp. has been split into SK Holdings Co. Ltd. and SK Energy Co. Ltd. SK Holdings will focus on investments in affiliates and the life sciences sector, while SK Energy will concentrate on energy, chemicals and refining operations. The latter includes its Ulsan, South Korea, base oil plant, with Group II capacity of 5,000 b/d and Group III capacity of 16,000 b/d.

Faces in the News

Minneapolis-based Graco Inc. has named Patrick J. McHale as president and CEO. Previously vice president and general manager of its lubrication equipment division, he has been with Graco for 17 years.

Anderol Inc., East Hanover, N.J., has tapped Gary Babic as senior account manager for its North American business. Babic joined Anderol in 2005 as manager of South Asian sales, based in Bangkok, Thailand, after a career with ChevronTexaco.

Ruiming Ray Zhang has been appointed by OMGs advanced organics group as R&D manager for lube and fuel additives. In his new position, he will develop OMGs novel Calciplex grease technology based on overbased calcium carboxylates. He previously worked for Infineum and Mohawk Labs/NCH Corp.

Kim Bott has been appointed to the top executive position at NLGI International, the Kansas City, Mo., based grease industry trade association she joined in 2003. Bott takes over as general manager from Chuck Hitchcock, who retired after nearly a decade with the group.

Ian Moncrieff is now vice president of Kline & Co.s oil and gas division based in Little Falls, N.J., providing market analysis assistance to oil companies around the world and working closely with the companys new Houston office. Moncrieff has more than 30 years of experience, including 27 with Arthur D. Little.

Thomas W. Ryan III of Southwest Research Institute has been nominated as 2008 president of SAE International; his term begins in January. Ryan is an institute engineer at the laboratorys Engine, Emissions and Vehicle Research Division in San Antonio.

The National Petrochemical & Refiners Association (NPRA) has added Catherine Sulzer to its Washington, D.C., advocacy team as senior director of government relations. She joins the association from the U.S. EPA, where she served as deputy associate administrator for congressional affairs.

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