Market Topics



Petrobras Plucks Chile from Chevron

On Nov. 4, Petroleo Brasileiros acquired Chevron Chile, which makes and markets Texaco lubricants in Chile. The $12 million acquisition included a lubricant blending plant in Santiago with annual production capacity of about 15.9 million liters (14,000 metric tons). Chevron Chile held a 6 percent share of Chiles finished lubricants market, which Petrobras said it aims to capture through conversion to its own Lubrax brand.

Court OKs Lyondell-Calumet Deal

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court gave the green light on Nov. 4 to a deal between LyondellBasell and Calumet Specialty Products Partners, allowing Calumet to take over as the exclusive marketer of white oils and naphthenic base oils produced by Lyondells Houston Refining Co. The two partners which had previously marketed those products – Shumann-Steier Inc. and Nynas AB, respectively – urged the court to stop the deal, but were turned down. LyondellBasell argued that its Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings permitted it to terminate the original contracts and enter the more-attractive agreement with Calumet.

Houston Refining has capacity to make 3,600 barrels a day of naphthenic base oil, plus about 800 b/d of white mineral oils.

Forgelube Opens in Mexico

Forgelube, an independent manufacturer of process and forging lubricants, has opened its doors in Monterrey, Mexico. Managing directors and 50/50 owners are lube industry veterans Oscar Lozano Butzmann and Gustavo G. Schiuma. The company already is blending its own products, sold under the Lubrika and Rollfor brands. Forgelube is poised to gain market share because of proven formulas and products that will be offered at unmatched conditions of logistics, pricing and technical assistance, stated Schiuma. Plus, he added, there is a perceived weakness of current competition in the market.

Ohio Lube Plant Grows

Quaker Chemical is wrapping up a 16- month expansion at its Middletown, Ohio, facility, including a new state-of-the- art plant to make hydraulic and metalworking fluids. As this issue goes to press, the company expected to begin production of the first batches of ester-based hydraulic fluids, rolling oils and some metalworking fluids there. This represents the third major investment at the Ohio location since Quaker Chemical acquired it from United Lubricants in 2002. When fully running, the Middletown plant will add 40 positions, mainly in the production area.

BASF Calls Force Majeure

Under threat of a strike by workers protesting its plans to close a maleic anhydride plant in Feluy, Belgium, at the end of this year, BASF in October declared force majeure for the chemical. MA is a building block used to make dispersant additives, among other products. The action could be felt in numerous applications, industry observers said.

Wallover Buys Larson

Wallover Oil Co., a Strongsville, Ohiobased manufacturer of industrial lubricants and cleaners, has purchased the assets of Larson Chemical Co., based in Greendale, Wis. Larson has made metalworking fluids since 1970, and its line of machining and grinding coolants, rust preventives and drawing compounds complement Wallovers own offerings, as well as expand its presence in the Midwest, said William Pearcy of Wallover

Briefly Noted

United Color Manufacturing, based in Newtown, Pa., has selected Cheshire, U.K.-based Multisol as the European distributor for its dyes and markers…

Safety-Kleen signed Madison, Wis.-based Perkins Oil to market EcoPower recycled motor oil in portions of Wisconsin and Illinois…

Oldcastle Materials picked Polaris Laboratories as sole provider of fluid analysis services, to perform oil and coolant testing, analysis and data management to more than 300 Oldcastle operations. Indianapolis-based Polaris has facilities there and in Houston, Salt Lake City and Edmonton, Alberta. Oldcastle is a leading U.S. supplier of aggregates, asphalt, ready-mix concrete and paving services…

Total Lubricants Canada recently appointed M&R Environmental Ltd. as its distributor in British Columbia. This is a new area for his company, said George Mate, president of the Burnaby, B.C.-based M&R. It joins Totals other retail distributors as part of the Uni-Select Pacific network…

Lithium Price Slashed

Hoping to spur demand, global lithium supplier SQM, based in Santiago, Chile, announced a 20 percent price cut on lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide, effective Oct. 1; its also expanding capacity to 40,000 metric tons per year to assure supply. Lithium and lithium complex greases are big users of lithium hydroxide, but long-term growth is pinned to the market for lithium batteries, analysts say.

Brenntag Runs at DEF Market

Brenntag North America is taking aim at the market for Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF), which could boom next year as U.S. diesel manufacturers adopt Selective Catalytic Reduction to meet federal emissions mandates. The company is investing in a dedicated DEF sales and marketing team, certification for area representatives, and promotion efforts for the TerraCair brand of DEF from Terra Industries. Brenntag claims it already is the worlds largest marketer of DEF, having gained experience with AdBlue in Europe, where similar emissions directives have been in place since 2005.

Faces in the News

Ryan Eberly in September was promoted to director, sales & marketing, for San Joaquin Refining Co. Eberly, who started at the company in 2000, takes over the position from his father, Jack Eberly, who will work parttime as technical director for the Bakersfield, Calif.- based naphthenic base oil supplier starting in January. San Joaquin Refining also tapped Jennifer Sage-Bundy as its new sales representative. She joined the company as rail transportation coordinator in 2001.

Soltex Inc. announced the promotion of Gabrielle Massoud to business development manager, responsible for growing existing products while incorporating new ones into the Houston specialty chemical companys portfolio. An STLE Certified Lubrication Specialist, Massoud has a bachelors in chemical engineering.

Whitmore Manufacturing elected Jeff Peterson as president and CEO, beginning Nov. 30. Peterson is vice president of Capital Southwest Corp., Whitmores principal shareholder, and holds an MBA from Cornell. He replaces Ray Schwertner, who has become vice president, operations, at Capital Southwest.

Kleber Lins is now marine lubricants manager for Petrobras Distribuidora, distribution arm of the Brazilian oil giant. Lins joined Petrobras 11 years ago as a product engineer at the blending plant in Rio de Janeiro, and has held positions of increasing responsibility there. He most recently provided technical support for the internationalization of its lubricant products.

Related Topics

Market Topics