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Marine Oil Sails Out

The National Marine Manufacturers Association has a new oil specification, this one for servicing catalyzed four-stroke marine outboard engines. It features tough formulation and testing requirements and aims to limit catalyst poisoning. The new specification, approved on May 5 by the groups board of directors, is called FC-W Catalyst Compatible, and joins NMMAs other well-known specs, TC-W3 for two-stroke and FC-W for four-stroke marine engines.

Targeted roll-out date for the new spec is Sept. 1, NMMAs Tom Marhevko told Lube Report. With the advent of the recent catalyst requirement for marine engines, the OEMs realize that the oils that we have may not be the best oils for a catalyzed engine, even though theyre excellent for the straight, non-catalyst marine engines, he said. Typical marine four-stroke engine oils have an additive package similar to an API SG oil, he said, but in the catalyst oil, its an SM heritage. He said NMMA worked with additive companies Chevron Oronite, Infineum and Lubrizol to develop suitable formulations for the new oil category.

In addition to tougher test limits than regular FC-W, FC-W Catalyst Compatible also includes chemical limits, most notably on phosphorus. Fees for the new designation will be the same: an annual fee of $1,500 per license and $2,000 for each formulation. Documentation and manuals for the new specification should be available in August.

$175M Bid for Milacron

Plastics-processing, metalworking fluid and industrial lubricants supplier Milacron, in Chapter 11 bankruptcy since March, has agreed to sell its assets for an estimated $175 million to a group consisting primarily of current investors. The prospective buyer is a company formed by Avenue Capital Group, DDJ Capital Management, and other entities that hold Milacrons senior secured notes. This is a significant milestone in our restructuring process, said Dave Lawrence, Milacron president and CEO. Since we began this reorganization process on March 10, we have experienced a great outpouring of support from across the industry.

The final agreement is still subject to bankruptcy court approval and possibly competing bids from other parties. If no other bids are received and other conditions fulfilled, Cincinnati-based Milacron says it will ask the bankruptcy court to approve of the sale on June 26.

Ambitions at Nynas

Nynas plans to roughly double the capacity of its 7,800 b/d facility in Nynashamn, Sweden, company executives announced in late April. Land is prepared already for a new hydrogen production unit and construction of a new hydrotreater is set to begin.

Jean Marie Toullat, marketing director of naphthenics, said the project awaits only a final thumbs-up from shareholders. Nynas Group is owned equally by Petroleos de Venezuela S.A. and Finlands Neste Oil.

Per Dahlstedt, the companys head of naphthenics, said capacity at Nynashamn is currently 400,000 metric tons per year. If approved, the expansion will add another 300,000 to 350,000 tons. Nynashamn is home now to three base oil hydrotreating units, and the expansion will add another, plus give the refinery the potential to produce more bright stock.

Long-term, Toullat said, the company wants to double its business every five years. At present it claims 20 to 30 percent market share in tire, marine, transformer oil and lubricant applications for naphthenics.

Heartland Starts Up

Heartland Petroleum successfully started up its new base oil rerefinery in March, reports company President Bill Snedegar. The plant, in Columbus, Ohio, originally was expected on stream in the third quarter of 2008.

It took longer than we expected, and were disappointed not to have come on stream last year, when base oil prices were so strong, Snedegar told LubesnGreases. But on the other hand, our feed-stock costs are down and natural gas prices are down too, which is good because we fire the units with natural gas. Using Heartlands own trucks, the company gathers its feedstock from quick-lube operations and Wal-Marts in the region.

Initially, the plant operated at a rate of 900 barrels per day. We are producing that now and ramping up to make more, to reach our full 1,500 b/d capacity, he said. The company is also working to achieve API read-across for its 165 Neutral base oil, which Snedegar said is of Group II+ quality.

Diesels to Decelerate

World demand for diesel engines will expand 3.5 percent per year and reach $153 billion in 2012, says a new study from The Freedonia Group. This represents a considerable deceleration from the 5.9 percent average annual growth enjoyed during the 2002-2007 period, and is largely due to slackening production and moderation in metal prices. Nevertheless, substantial gains in value are foreseen for every segment of the diesel market, finds World Diesel Engines.

The Cleveland-based research firm says demand for diesel engines in the stationary power segment will expand at the fastest rate, but this application will still play only a small role in the global diesel market. The motor vehicle segment is where the action will be, with 3.7 percent annual growth. Off-highway uses will perform slightly below the market average.

Demand in the Asia-Pacific market, which led in global sales for the past five years, will remain good, the study predicts. Asia-Pacific diesel engine demand is forecast to grow 4 percent a year through 2012, and China alone will be generate over 18 percent of total new global demand between 2007 and 2012. North American demand growth will ease back to 4.5 percent a year through 2012, and will benefit from higher levels of heavy vehicle output and increased use of diesel engines in light vehicle production.

World Diesel Engines (331 pages) is available for $5,700 from The Freedonia Group. Web: www.freedoniagroup.com

Petronas Weighs Anchor

Vowing that self-reliance is the best course, Malaysian base oil refiner Petronas has begun shipping product in its own tankers. An 8,500 metric ton cargo of its Etro Group III base oil left Melaka in late March aboard the parcel tanker Bunga Melati 3, bound for Antwerp, Belgium. Although other shipments have gone to Belgium since the base oil plant opened last year, this was the first on a tanker operated by Petronas subsidiary Malaysian International Shipping Corp.

Weve been in operation for only a few months and have now put all the pieces together to deliver our oil from wellhead to customers in Europe, said Joe Rousmaniere, CEO of Petronas Base Oil. He told LubesnGreases that he believes Petronas is the only base oil producer with its own fleet of parcel tankers to deliver its oil. He also noted that MISC is building new ships in coming years, and suggested that additional routes may be added, possibly including New Orleans and Brazil.

Meritor Extends Lube Intervals

Extended service intervals have reached another lubricants strong-hold: ArvinMeritor has introduced a series of greaseable drivelines with 100,000-mile lubrication intervals and a three-year, 300,000-mile warranty in linehaul service. Called the MXL, for Meritor Extended Lubrication, the driveline enters production this summer and will be available on new trucks or for retrofit.

The impetus behind the new design is to reduce maintenance costs and increase truck operators uptime. At 100,000 miles, the MXLs lubrication interval is twice as long as other conventional, greaseable drivelines. It also aligns with the recommended lubrication intervals of many other chassis components, the company noted. ArvinMeritor also offers permanently lubricated drivelines.

Tri-County Buys Loos & Dilworth

Lubricant distributor Tri-County Petroleum Inc., based in Riddlesburg, Pa., has acquired the 116-year-old Loos & Dilworth companies from shareholders Rick Campbell and Gregg Draper. Tri-County has been focusing on acquiring well-run lubricant distributors, said its president, Robert Black, and this purchase fits that strategy.

Loos & Dilworth has strategic locations near Philadelphia and Baltimore, and supplies passenger car motor oils in that region. Tri-County also plans to service new commercial and industrial lubricant customers from Loos & Dilworths two facilities in Bristol, Pa., and Laurel, Md.

Campbell, CEO of Loos & Dilworth, and Draper, general manager of the Maryland operation, will continue to hold these positions and will become shareholders of Tri-County.

Briefly Noted

Dorf Ketal Chemicals has selected Bossco Industries, a regional agent and distributor of chemical raw materials, as a top distributor for its lubricant and plastic additives. Bossco will distribute PX brand lubricant additives for the industrial and metalworking fluid markets. Both companies are headquartered in Houston. Dorf Ketals products are manufactured in Mumbai, India…

Coastal Blending & Packaging has received the Canadian Food Inspection Agencys general N1 food approvals for several of its Irving branded lubricant products, including a range of gear oils, hydraulic oils and synthetic products. The CFIA N1 general approval is defined General for use where contact with food will not occur, and applies to non-incidental contact of food below conveyor belts. Coastal Blending is owned by Irving Oil Ltd. and manufactures its products in Saint John, New Brunswick…

The National Petrochemical & Refiners Association has recognized refining and petrochemical plant operators for outstanding achievements in safe operations for calendar year 2008, including ExxonMobil Chemicals Baton Rouge polyolefins plant, which received the highest accolade, the Distinguished Safety Award, for an unprecedented seventh consecutive year.

Faces in the News

Mark Henning has been named general manager of Dow Microbial Control, a new business unit of Dow Chemical that combines Dow Biocides and Rohm and Haas Biocides. Henning, who joined Dow in 1983 as an electrical engineer, most recently was general manager of Dow Biocides and president and CEO of its sister company, Angus Chemical.

As part of the Suncor and Petro-Canada merger, Boris Jackman will become executive vice president of refining and marketing, continuing a role he has held with Petro-Canada since 1998.

Lubrizol elected Brian Valentine treasurer, reporting to senior vice president and CFO Charles Cooley. Valentine has been with the company since 1998, most recently as assistant treasurer.

David Bullock has been appointed chief financial officer at Graham Packaging. Holding an MBA from Cornell, he previously held executive positions with UAP Holding Corp. and FMC Corp.

Custom Printed Products has named Doug Johnson as operations manager. He brings extensive experience in manufacturing and operation management to the specialty label company, including with General Motors. Johnson will work with both CPP plant operations, in Bossier City, La., and Edinburg, Va.

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