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Northland Goes South

Northland Products is investing $2.5 million in a new lubricant and engine coolant manufacturing and distribution center in Temple, Texas. Temples location, northwest of Houston and slightly northeast of Austin, brings the Waterloo, Iowa-based company close to some desirable markets – without the risks of being directly on the Gulf Coast, where weather-related disruptions are more likely, said the companys executive vice president, Eric Petersen.

The new plant will include at least 20,000 square feet on a 10.5 acre site, with room for expansion. When open in the second or third quarter of the year, it will make motor oil, engine coolants, industrial lubricants and other products. Northlands principle markets are original equipment manufacturers, industrial manufacturers, on- and off-highway fleets, and automotive service suppliers.

Angus Celebrates Opening

Angus Chemical Co. has opened a new market development facility, located at the companys Sterlington, La., manufacturing site. The new facility, which represents an investment of $10 million, will be used to validate new molecules that Angus is developing though a unique nitration process.

This new facility allows for process optimization of our existing nitroparaffins, as well as the flexibility and creativity to create new products from various feed-stocks, said Mark Henning, president and CEO of the Dow Chemical subsidiary.

Western Pardner for Eneos

Nippon Oil U.S.A. Ltd. has selected Orange Line Oil Co. as lead distributor for Eneos brand synthetic motor oils throughout the western United States. Orange Line, which has worked with Nippon Oil for several years, operates a 21,000 sq.ft. warehouse and 47 bulk oil storage tanks with total capacity of more than 350,000 gallons at its two-acre location in Pomona, Calif. It will partner with other distributors in California, Oregon and Washington to market the Eneos lineup of products.

Polartech Picks U.S. Distributor

Westlake, Ohio-based Sea-Land Chemical Co. will distribute Polar-techs Actrachem brand of specialty chemical additives in the United States, including lubricant polymers for metalworking applications and lubricant additives for metal process fluids.

Sea-Land President Joe Clayton said his company has been distributing Polartech additives out of the United Kingdom for a number of years. It already represents the companys Polartech and Petromix brands, and now will add products from the Actrachem facility in Illinois, which Polartech acquired from Georgia-Pacific in 2007. The Actrachem product lines include lubricant polymers and additives, sulfated oils, phosphate esters, amides, emulsifier packages and corrosion inhibitors.

Afton Adds R&D Sites

Richmond, Va.-headquartered additive company Afton Chemical will open two new research locations in 2009 to serve markets in the Asia Pacific region. One, in Shanghai, China, is located in the Zizhu Science Industrial Park, and when completed will have over 1,000 square meters of space including laboratories for analytical testing. The second, outside Tokyo in Tsukuba, Japan, already has commenced operations. This expanded center has over 3,300 sq. meters of space, and employs eight managers, technologists, formulators and technicians.

Second Plant for Summit

Summit Lubricants Inc. has acquired a second facility for manufacturing and distribution, in its hometown of Batavia, N.Y. The new site holds a modern 50,000 sq. ft. steel building on 5.5 acres served by rail, said company President Ron Krol. Manufacturing equipment, including 40,000-pound-batch grease kettles, will be installed over the next five months, more than doubling the companys current capacity. Technical staff will move to a new R&D center there, and most corporate administration will relocate to the site as well.

Overall, the expansion represents a $3 million investment, Krol said. In addition, this will satisfy requirements for continuing operations in the event of a shutdown caused by fire or some other disaster. Formed in 1991, the company makes specialty greases and oils, including industrial and food-grade lubes and mil-spec and aerospace greases.

Arkema Teams with Vanderbilt

Arkema has signed up R.T. Vanderbilt Co. as exclusive U.S. distributor of its sulfurized extreme-pressure additives, including TPS (tertiary alkyl polysulfides), VPS clear sulfurized products, and SPS 10LS, a new water-soluble polysulfide. All are used as EP, antiwear and lubricity additives in industrial and metalworking lubricants.

The Arkema lineup is a good fit with R.T. Vanderbilts own Vanlube additives, said Steven Donnelly, global business manager at R.T. Vanderbilt in Norwalk, Conn. To support them all, he added, we have made a significant investment in upgrading our application laboratory in Norwalk, and we will continue to devote resources to expand our capabilities.

Beaumonts Back

ExxonMobil Chemical restarted its 82,000-ton-per-year Beaumont, Texas, polyalphaolefin plant the week of Dec. 7, good news for lube blenders that were already coping with a tight PAO market before the plant shut down in preparation for Hurricane Ike in September. With the storm damage now repaired, Beaumonts PAO unit is producing on-specification, low- and high-viscosity grades of PAO, ExxonMobil Chemical spokesman Jeff Neu said.

In a separate announcement, the chemical giant said a custom manufacturing arrangement will enable it to increase availability of high-vis SpectraSyn 40 and SpectraSyn 100 PAO by 30 percent before the end of 2009.

Total Signs with Canusa

Total Lubricants Canada has signed a five-year distribution agreement for Canusa Automotive Warehousing to distribute Total automotive lubricants and coolants in Ontario. The companies also signed a five-year sponsorship agreement, under which the Canusa Motorsports team will compete at various tracks in Ontario and northern U.S. states under the Total colors.

Canada Attracts Polaris

Polaris Laboratories, one of the three largest fluid analysis laboratories in the United States, has expanded into Canada with the opening of a testing lab in Edmonton, Alberta. The 4,000-sq.ft. facility is the companys fourth, joining ones in Indianapolis, Houston and Salt Lake City. Like those, it will test and analyze oils, fuels, coolants and water-based industrial fluids for equipment reliability. The new location brings proximity to Canadas oil and gas, mining, construction and transportation industries, said the companys Bryan Debshaw.

Metalworking Know-how Offered

The Chicago section of STLE is offering a two-day education program, March 18-19, at Argonne Laboratories (near Chicago). The training is aimed at individuals involved in formulating and selling finished fluids, additives and metalworking fluids. Taught by industry leaders, course topics include formulating tips, testing equipment and methods, timetables, case studies and more. For an agenda or registration form, contact Selim Erhan by phone at (708) 458-8450, or e-mail

Hanoi Beckons

Officials from Petro-China, the Asian Development Bank, Toyota, ExxonMobil Chemical, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Indias Ministry of Heavy Industry, Volvo, Shell and others will speak at 15th Annual Fuels & Lubes Asia Conference, March 4 to 6 in Hanoi, Vietnam. Supported by global industry players and known for its technical program, the conference is expected to draw 350 executives from oil and additive companies, automakers and other industries worldwide. Topics include biofuels, engine oil developments, additive chemistries, base oil demand, government mandates, and the economic outlook. The meeting venue is the InterContinental Hanoi Westlake, overlooking the citys largest lake. Website: /hanoi

Faces in the News

Richard Van Sleet has rejoined RohMax Oil Additives, where he worked from 1996 to 2004, to head up its global business and strategic marketing group. Based in Darmstadt, Germany, he succeeds Jean-Luc Herbeaux, who now leads the companys Pharma Polymers business line.

ExxonMobils John P. Doner has received NLGIs prestigious Award for Achievement, honoring his many contributions to the institute and to the field of lubricating grease. Doner holds nearly 20 patents related to grease, has numerous publishing credits, and for many years chaired the NLGI Technical Committee.

The 2008 Tribology Gold Medal was awarded to Prof. Stathis Ioannides, a professor at Imperial College London and product research and development director of SKF Group. Among his lauded achievements are developments in rolling bearing design and his theories of rolling contact fatigue, which have become standards worldwide.

John Pannucci was named CEO of Pressure Chemical Co. He brings the Pittsburgh-based custom chemical producer over 25 years of business management and marketing experience, including with Chemtura, Anderol and Rhodia.

The Alexandria, Va.-based Independent Lubricant Manufacturers Association has hired Jessica Clary to serve in the newly created position of Communications Coordinator, providing support for its various publications and website.

Kleentek announced the appointment of Eric Levitt as sales engineer, responsible for sales of the companys electrostatic oil conditioning systems in Tennessee, the Carolinas, Florida and Georgia. With over 20 years of sales and management experience, he comes to Kleentek from COT-Puritech.

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