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Shell to Sell Base Oil Plant

Royal Dutch Shell plans to sell its refinery in Petit Couronne, France – which includes its biggest base oil plant in Europe – to Switzerlands Petroplus Holdings AG, the continents largest independent refiner. Petit Couronne has capacity to make 7,300 barrels a day, including 6,300 b/d of Group I and 1,000 b/d of Group III.

The sales effect on the base oil market may be negligible, however, as the agreement calls for Petroplus to sell back to Shell the base oil produced there. This includes Shells XHVI-brand base oils, which are Group III-plus quality and critical to a number of Shells top-tier lubricants, according to industry consultant Stephen Ames, of SBA Consulting in Pepper Pike, Ohio.

As part of the deal, Petroplus also will buy a Shell refinery in Reichstett, France. Both companies expect the sale to close during the second quarter of 2008, with a pricetag of $875 million.

Best Bet for Castings: Specialties, Nonferrous

U.S. demand for industrial castings is projected to increase 1.1 percent annually to $35 billion in 2011, according to a new study from the Freedonia Group. The highest prospects for castings will be in some of the smaller casting markets including aerospace applications and electrical and electronic equipment. The study also says shipments of industrial castings are expected to rise 1.1 percent per annum in value through 2011, mirroring demand. Ferrous castings are expected to continue to lose share to nonferrous, both in value and tonnage, according to the Cleveland-based market research firm. Cost of the 170-page report, Industrial Castings, is $4,400. For information:

Condat Buys Henkel Wire Drawing

French lubricant producer Condat has acquired Henkels wire-drawing lubricants business for an undisclosed amount. Condat already sells products in that market and stated that the acquisition will strengthen its position as world leader in the supply of wire-drawing soap lubricants. The deal gives Condat several new brand names – Steelskin, Galvasmooth, Stearlube and Steagel – to supplement its own Vicafil brand. The company, which is based in Chassesur-Rhone, near Lyon, said it also acquired production equipment and a pellets technology that makes soaps without generating dust.

Chemtura Slims Down

As part of a restructuring announced in April, Chemtura is slimming down in Canada. The company will not renew its lease on an underused grease plant in Oakville, Ontario, said Chairman and CEO Robert L. Wood. Instead, the lithium and aluminum grease production from that plant will shift to East Hanover, N.J., home of Anderol, which Chemtura acquired in January. Meanwhile, production of sulfonic acids from Chemturas Scarborough, Ontario, facility will be moved to West Hill, Ontario. The West Hill plant uses the sulfonic acids to make lube oil additives. Surplus land and office buildings also will be sold.

Together, the Oakville and Scarborough facilities employ 35 people.

Wanted: Grease Mavens

Technical, manufacturing and marketing papers on lubricating grease are sought for the 75th NLGI Annual Meeting, to be held June 7 to 10, 2008, in Williamsburg, Va. Other suggested topics include new additive chemistries, grease testing, environmental and regulatory issues, applications and industry trends.

With 300 member companies worldwide, NLGI is the leading organization in the field of lubricating grease. Its annual meeting provides a major forum for researchers, manufacturers and suppliers to address this industry, pointed out Rob Kress of Lubricating Specialties Co., who chairs the NLGI Technical Sessions.

To submit a paper for consideration, authors must provide their names, contact details and paper subjects by Dec. 10; abstracts are due Jan. 11, 2008. For information, e-mail Kress at rkress@ or NLGI at

Hoover Expands in Houston

Intermediate bulk container manufacturer Hoover Materials Handling Group has opened a new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Houston that can produce over 1,000 units per month. The 220,000-sq.ft. complex implements the latest robotic technology in the manufacture of IBCs, their spare parts and accessories. The facility also uses air testing and tank testing methods for new and current products, and provides office space for 50 corporate employees. This automated facility joins Hoovers older manufacturing plant in Beatrice, Neb., and a dry products division in Nixa, Mo. The companys current Houston office and warehouse will merge with the new site.

Business Briefs

RohMax Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd. has tapped Jacobs Engineering Group for engineering, procurement and construction of its new Singapore plant, due to stream in 2008. It will make Viscoplex lube additives using a two-stage batch process involving esterification and polymerization, and include tank farms, production units, blending vessels, truck racks and an administrative building.

BASF JCIC Neopentyl-glycol Co. Ltd., a 60/40 joint venture of BASF and Jilin Chemical Industrial Co., is boosting its capacity for neopentylglycol, a building block chemical for synthetic lubes. The Jilin, China, plant will gain 10,000 metric tons per year. With another 10,000 mt/y of capacity being added in Ludwigshafen, Germany, this will bring BASFs global total capacity to 165,000 mt/y by year end.

Lubrizol is opening a new manufacturing facility in Seremban, Malaysia, to make Estane engineered polymers. The new plant will be operated by Lubrizol Advanced Materials, the former Noveon business, and marks another step in Lubrizols expansion in the region.

Third Coast Chemicals Inc., Pearland, Texas, bought Lyondell Chemicals brake fluid business for an undisclosed amount. No employees or manufacturing facilities were conveyed in the transaction, only the product line. A two-month transition period was to follow the July 1 deal, which includes a longterm contract for supply of raw materials from Lyondell subsidiary Equistar Chemicals.

Tri-iso Adds Products, Owners

Tri-iso, a Claremont, Calif.-based chemical distributor, now represents Rhein Chemie Lubricant Oil Additives in 11 western U.S. states, has opened a new regional warehouse in the Pacific Northwest, and promoted Jason Scott to general manager and Kevin Dostal to general sales manager. Their promotions enabled both to become equity participants in the firm. President Ed Lysek and CFO Deborah Lysek continue to have ownership as well.

Rhein Chemie tapped Tri-iso as its western distributor for products including EP agents, antiwear additives, antioxidants, corrosion protectives, and other components used in lubricants, greases and metalworking fluids. Tri-Isos new Portland, Ore., warehouse will stock the entire product line.

Carton Companies Merge

Motor oil carton supplier Altivity Packaging LLC and paperboard supplier Graphic Packaging Corp. are merging to form a new company, to be called Graphic Packaging Holding Co. and worth an estimated $4.4 billion. Based in Marietta, Ga., the partnership will bring together 86 manufacturing and converting facilities and about 15,600 people on five continents.

Altivity is the successor to Smurfit-Stone Containers consumer packaging business, which was acquired by TPG Capital a year ago. In addition to motor oil packaging, it supplies heat transfer labels, folding cartons and other packaging. The deal is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter.

Faces in the News

James Shannon has been named private label OEM & retail account manager for American Refining Group, the Bradford, Pa., refiner and lubricant blender. He has worked at ARG since 1998, after 15 years of experience with Witco. Also, Charles B. Armstrong has joined the company as senior technical service representative, supporting customers and the sales team. He brings over 20 years of experience with Delta Petroleum and Pennzoil. Kristina Luzzi has been named to handle public relations and to be administrative assistant for Harvey L. Golubock, ARG president and chief operating officer.

Jamil Khan is now vice president for North American business at Lianda Corp., responsible for sales, marketing and strategic planning for the Hudson, Ohio, chemical company. He comes to Lianda from EniChem/Polimeri.

Sam Kratzer, a 29-year chemical industry veteran, has joined Archway Sales Inc. as a principal manager.

Bob Slaughter, president of the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association, is retiring after nine years of service. He has been the Washington, D.C.-based trade groups president since 2002, and garnered praise for his steady leadership. While a new executive search is under way, Executive Vice President Charles Drevna heads the organization.

Locus Technologies, an environmental data services firm, announced that Peter Stonebraker has joined the company to help customers deal with global chemical regulations, such as REACH. Stonebraker retired from Chevron Corp., where he managed product stewardship and health, environmental and safety issues.


Cortec Corp., known for corrosion control solutions, was awarded the prestigious Worldstar Innovation Award from the World Packaging Association, in recognition of its innovative EcoCorr ESD Film, a fully biodegradable, corrosion-inhibiting film.

The Industrial Supply Association gave Mantua, N.J.-based Hangsterfers Laboratories and its distributor, Major Tool Co. of Knoxville, Tenn., the American Eagle Value-Added Partner Award, which recognizes the efforts of a manufacturer and distributor working together to add value to the end user.

Shell Lubricants received the Bosch Groups Supplier Award for its work in supplying products and services. Shell has been a major supplier of oils and greases to Bosch in over 30 countries since 1999.

The Lantern Award, given by Louisiana Economic Development and the Louisiana Industrial Development Executives Association, has gone to Angus Chemicals Sterlington, La., manufacturing site. The award spotlights Louisiana businesses that demonstrate excellence in manufacturing and community involvement.

Archway Sales, St. Louis, Mo., was presented the 2006 Dome Award by Cognis Functional Products, for excellence in distribution performance as it relates to sales growth.

Houghton International has won Eaton Corp.s Premier Supply Award for delivering performance and productivity. The Valley Forge, Pa., based specialty chemical, oil and lubricants maker has provided chemicals and fluid management services for 79 Eaton plants around the world since 2000.

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