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New Owners at Lambent

Petroferm Inc., including its Lambent Technologies division, has been acquired by private equity firm H.I.G. Chemicals Holdings. H.I.G. most recently was in the news in May, when it bought Uniqemas North American oleochemicals business. Included in this latest buy are Petroferms Gurnee, Ill., and Fernandina Beach, Fla., operations. Terms of the purchase were not disclosed.

Lambent manufactures a variety of materials, including alkoxylates, esters used as lubricity additives, food-grade lubricant ingredients, antifoams and emulsifiers, as well as vegetable base oils.

H.I.G. said it plans to maintain Lambent as a separate operation from Uniqema Americas, which makes fatty acids and glycerine used in lubricants, but expects to find market overlaps that will help both grow. Together, the two will have combined sales in excess of $300 million.

Safety-Kleen Grows

Safety-Kleen Inc. has launched a $15 million expansion of its East Chicago, Ind., rerefinery, which is expected to add some 650 barrels per day to its current API Group I base oil capacity of 3,500 b/d. The expansion is said to be nearly complete, and involved new construction, equipment changes, additional land and expansion of storage tank capacity. Safety-Kleen is the largest North American rerefiner of used oils, and its East Chicago facility has recycled 1.6 billion gallons of used lubricants since April 1991.

Crude Buy for ARG

American Refining Group has acquired crude oil broker and trucking firm Clinton Petroleum Co., for an undisclosed amount. ARG said it will continue to run the business from Clintons current base in Randolph, Ohio, where it purchases and hauls crude from over 100 producers. The acquisition adds eight employees and nine crude oil trucks to ARGs Ohio operations. The crude will supply its Bradford, Pa., refinery, where it runs 100 percent Pennsylvania Grade crude oil and recently upgraded its hydrotreating units.

Study Eyes Tool Demand in China

Machine tool demand in China is projected to increase 13 percent a year, to reach $88.6 billion in 2012, a new study says. Will that also fuel demand for metalworking fluids?

The study, Machine Tools in China to 2012, from the market research firm Freedonia, says demand for metal-cutting tools – lathes, milling machines, machining centers, grinding and polishing machines and others – will outpace that for other machine tool products, and grow 13.7 percent a year. In 2007, these items accounted for 38 percent of Chinese tool demand.

Tools for metal forming and nonmetal production will see growth surge 11.6 percent and 10.8 percent a year, respectively, over the study period.

Metalworking fluids will also see good growth, albeit not at these same rates, Freedonia said. It expects China to embrace new manufacturing techniques that reduce fluid consumption, as well as to adopt recycling and better fluid management. It foresees metalworking fluid demand to increase 1.8 percent a year, to 2.3 million metric tons, from 2007 to 2010.

Freedonias 210-page study is available now for $5,100. For details, see www.fredoniagroup.com.

Riverside Wins DuBois Chemicals

Specialty chemical company DuBois Chemicals, which makes industrial lubricants and metalworking fluids among other products, has been acquired in an auction-type sale by the private-equity firm Riverside. The seller was Johnson Diversey Inc. Based in Sharonville, Ohio, DuBois serves a wide range of industries, and its lubricant offerings include synthetic greases and oils, cutting and grinding fluids, and more. With a sales force of more than 200 people, it also markets metalworking fluids made by Milacron.

DuBois has about 350 employees in all, who should not be affected by the ownership change, the company said. Price of the transaction was not disclosed.

Briefly Noted

Smurfit-Stone Container has opened a new high-volume facility to manufacture corrugated containers, in New Lenox, Ill. Targeted industries include lubricants and pizza …

Dorf Ketal has picked Palmer Holland as its distributor in the U.S. Midwest, Atlantic Coast and Northeast, handling its PX line of additive components used in industrial lubes and metalworking fluids. The product line was acquired in 2007 from ExxonMobil Chemical, and is now made in Mumbai, India. However, Dorf Ketal said it is seeking to add a manufacturing facility in the United States …

Donaldson Co. has purchased Western Filter Corp., which designs and manufactures filters for hydraulic oil, lube oil and coolant systems used in commercial and military aircraft, military ground vehicles, and shipboard systems. Westerns 2008 sales are estimated at $28 million; terms of the deal were not disclosed …

Japans giant Nippon Oil has acquired a controlling 55 percent stake in ItalSing Petroleum, a joint venture lubricant manufacturing firm based in Singapore. Sellers include Italys ENI and Singapore Petroleum, who continue to hold equal shares in the remaining portion. The companys name will incorporate Nippons best-known brand, becoming Eneos ItalSing …

Emirates National Oil Co. is building a lubricant and grease manufacturing plant in Fujairah, UAE, with annual capacity of 105,000 metric tons. Targeting the high-growth marine lubes sector as well as private-label business, the plant is due to open in mid-year 2009.

Faces in the News

Lubrizol Corp. recently announced a number of promotions. Greg Lewis, a 24-year veteran of the Wickliffe, Ohio, chemical company, was named corporate vice president, global risk management, and chief ethics officer. Hell oversee loss prevention activities, health, safety, environmental and security functions, and corporate ethics.

In the Lubrizol Additives segment, Mark Pringle was named vice president, sales, for the Americas. He joined Lubrizol in 1991 and most recently was general manager, sales, for North America. Also, John Pilley is now vice president, sales, for Europe and Asia Pacific. He joined the company in 1984, and in 2003 became general manager for the divisions Europe and Africa sales regions.

Tim Brown, Richard Glady and William F. Murray have risen to vice president positions at base oil and lube manufacturer American Refining Group. Brown has been named vice president of refinery product sales and marketing, responsible for all refinery product sales. Glady, who helped grow the Brad Penn and Gulf brands for the company, is now vice president of blended lubricant sales and marketing. And Murray has been appointed vice president of crude oil acquisition for the Bradford, Pa., refiner.

Anoop Kumar in October became the new director of R&D at Royal Manufacturing Co., responsible for formulating, expanding and promoting the Tulsa, Okla., companys line of industrial greases. A PhD chemist with numerous patents and publications to his credit, he formerly was with Indian Oil Corp.

St. Louis, Mo.-based Walsh & Associates has named Darin Barrow sales representative for the Houston sales region. He brings 15 years of chemical industry experience, including sales and management positions at Acme-Hardesty, Chemical Associates of Illinois, and Southwest Solvents & Chemicals.

Dan Reinders has joined Ideal Manufacturing & Sales Corp., Madison, Wis., as technical sales engineer, in support of the packaging equipment makers sales team.

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