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Base Oil Output Zooms

U.S. base oil refiners pressed firmly on the accelerator to generate 29.2 million barrels through the end of June, according to data from the Energy Information Administration. Thats a marked improvement (17 percent) over the 25 million barrels produced in the first half of 2009. While falling short of the muscular levels seen in 2006, 2007 and 2008 – when first-half base oil production shot past 32 million barrels – each month from January to June was well ahead of last year, and the pace quickened as the months passed.

On the paraffinic side, production from January to June 2010 hit 24.1 million barrels, almost 15 percent above the 21 million paraffinic barrels refined in the same period of 2009. Naphthenic refiners displayed even more oomph, attaining 5.1 million barrelsof production in 2010s first half. Thats a gain of 26.6 percent from first-half 2009.

Big Plans at Amalie

Pending completion of a new lease agreement with the Port of Tampa, Amalie Oil is planning to launch an expansion to add both production capacity and staff at its Florida blending and packaging plant. The facility now has 400,000 square feet of space, and the company would like to add another 100,000 sq.ft., provided it can lease adjacent property for the growth. Because Amalies export business is growing, the expansion would likely increase traffic of shipping containers through the port.

Currently Amalie has about 184 employees at the Tampa location, and would add hourly workers, managers, technical staff and supervisors if the construction goes ahead. We anticipate adding 100 to 150 new jobs once everything is in place, said Denny Madden, Amalies senior vice president of global sales and marketing.

ICIS Launches Awards Program

Think you know the industrys top leaders, most innovative products and best practices? Nominate them for the ICIS Base Oils and Lubricants Award, to be presented at a gala event early next year. Deadline for entries is Oct. 29, and there is no fee to nominate entrants. An independent panel of judges will make the awards in 10 categories. Winners will be announced at a dinner on Feb. 23 in London, in conjunction with the ICIS Global Base Oils & Lubricants Conference. For entry forms and other details, visit www.icis.com/base oilsawards.

Smittys Adds Lab, Grease

Smittys Supply has opened a new laboratory at its plant in Roseland, La., equipped to test incoming base oils and additives as well as blends for production, finished lubricants and new formulations. The lab involves well over a dozen employees, including three full-time lab employees and other support staff, a company spokesman said. We have so much more production and so much more sampling going on, just to be able to do the amount of work that has to be done required a lot more space, he added.

Smittys products include motor oils, gear oils, hydraulic and transmission fluids, and others. The company added that it also has started manufacturing grease in Roseland.

Berenfield Starts to Rebuild

Bouncing back from a fire which last year damaged its factory in nearby Clarendon, Berenfield Containers has purchased a 112,000 sq.ft. facility in Warren, Pa., to produce new steel drums for lubricants and chemicals. The primary appeal of the new facility was the location, size and configuration of its building, as well as it being readily available, said Len Berenfield, CEO and president. He said the former Rexnord facility will get a multi-million-dollar refurbishing, including new loading docks, a new roadway to serve the steel storage bay, and extensive driveway and dock paving. Inside this facility, all styles of 55-gallon steel drums will be produced on a new, highly automated production line that includes a state-of-the-art painting and lining system, he added.

Berenfield Containers had manufactured steel drums in Clarendon, Pa., since 1947 but fire destroyed the main portion of that plant in July 2009.

Kroff Enters MWF Field

Water treatment supplier Kroff has launched a new player in metalworking fluids: Kroff Process Technologies will supply fluids to the primary metals, automotive and durable goods industries. The Pittsburgh-based KPT plans to compete nationally with a full line of fluids, it says, serving the market from fabrication through finishing.

According to David Sunderlik, Midwest area business manager for both Kroff and KPT, Kroff is a classic water treatment company in primary metals. Its customers regularly asked Kroff to screen the metalworking fluids coming into their plants, which led to the new venture. It will use toll blenders to make its formulations, and may offer chemical management services as well.

Despite the recession, Sunderlik said, in metalworking fluids we saw great opportunities. With so much consolidation, sometimes customers suffered, especially with levels of service and product availability.

BASF Again Signs Monson

BASF has selected Monson Companies to distribute its polyalkylene glycols in the U.S. lubricants market, covering more than 50 products. The products encompass their whole PAG line for synthetic lubricants, and that includes their PAG base stocks, what they call thickeners, concentrates and their finished lubricant product line, said Doug Hiple, Monsons industry man-ager for lubricants and metalworking.

This broadens an existing relationship between Leominster, Mass.-based Monson and Germanys BASF. Monson also distributes lubricant additives from Ciba, which became part of BASF in 2009.

New Look for Citgo Stores

Citgo is refreshing its street image for lubricant marketers and retailers. The company said the new design features a fresh contemporary look, while buffing up its famous red trimark.

For Citgo branded locations, the redesign covers the canopy, pumps and buildings. The new design was unveiled last month, and will be established across all 6,500 locally owned gasoline stations, plus 200 fast-lube stations, beginning Jan. 1. Citgo aims to roll out the design to all locations over a few years, providing support to marketers and retailers to cover the cost of materials and installations.

Graham Buys Liquid Container

York, Pa.-based Graham Packaging Co. has agreed to buy Liquid Container L.P., which operates 14 U.S. blowmolded plastic container plants, for $568 million. Graham is a leading supplier of plastic containers to the lubricants industry, with customers including Castrol, Chevron, Valvoline, Shell, 76 Lubricants, Petrobras and Petro-Canada. Liquid Container, based in the Chicago area, supplies motor oil bottles to lubricant and automotive chemical marketers; however, close to 80 percent of its unit sales go to customers in the food industry.

Palmer Holland Acquires Triad

Extending its footprint into the lubricant and metalworking fluid markets of the southern United States, specialty chemical distributor Palmer Holland Inc. has acquired Triad Lubrication Components LLC, a distributor of lubricant raw materials.

Triads current sales and administrative management will take up similar positions within Palmer Holland, and Ralph Beard, Triads former president, has become vice president, lubricants, at Palmer Holland as well. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Emerald Enlists Sea-Land

Sea-Land Chemical is now the U.S. distributor for Emerald Performance Materials, and will supply Emeralds Foam Blast defoamers to the metalworking, industrial and other markets. The defoamers are used in a wide range of fluids, including soluble oils, synthetics, water-based hydraulic fluids and aqueous cleaners. An international supplier of specialty chemicals, Westlake, Ohio-based Sea-Land has over 30 years of experience in supplying metalworking fluid manufacturers.

Briefly Noted

As it prepares to commission the new joint-venture Q-Chem II olefins plant in Qatar, Chevron Phillips Chemical is launching a marketing effort for normal alphaolefins under the trademark AlphaPlus NAO. The broad range of NAOs include fractions used to make polyalphaolefins for synthetic engine oils and other lubricants, additives and other specialties.

Specialty chemical supplier Schumann Steier has acquired Chusei Oils Pasadena, Texas, polyethylene wax and custom processing facility, and now operates it as SSI Chusei.

Kimes Technologies International has moved to a new home in Gibsonia, Pa., allowing it to expand its business. The larger facility includes a laboratory as well as more office space, the specialty chemical company said.

The National Ag-Based Lubricants Center received a $370,000 grant from the U.S. Dept. of Transportation to test biobased rail lubes and greases. The center will perform side-by-side tests of biobased rail curve grease and hydraulic oils versus mineral oil versions of the same.

Faces in the News

Ray Romaszewski, developer of the Romaszewski Oil Bench Oxidation test – best known as ROBO – retired last month fromEvonik RohMax. The polymer scientist was with Rohm and Haas and Evonik RohMax for 42 years, and made notable contributions to both companies. Accepted as part of the new ILSAC GF-5 engine oil specification, the ROBO test has been hailed as offering a much-needed alternative to a costly engine sequence test.

Assuming the leadership role now at RohMax for the ROBO test is Justin Mills, who has joined the companys North American Technical Services Group. Mills, a chemical engineer, is a graduate of Drexel University.

Dave Croghan has joined Maxum Petroleum as vice president and general manager, blending solutions, responsible for managing all blending operations at its plants in Rancho Dominguez, Calif., where hell be based, and in Buena Vista Colon, Panama. Croghan also will be involved in strategic planning for products, sales and marketing, and supply chain. With over 10 years of industry experience, he previously was at Lubricating Specialties.

Koehler Instrument Co. has appointed Amy Wold as sales representative in the Gulf Coast region, based in Conroe, Texas. A graduate of the Univ. of Texas, she brings sales-related experience to the Bohemia, N.Y.-based manufacturer of laboratory and test equipment.

Bill Underwood has become Western U.S. sales manager for Houston-based Hoover Materials Handling Group. Previously, Underwood was West Coast and Midwest sales manager for Mauser, and also has served as president of the Northwest Chemical Association. He stepped down from his position in Mauser in 2008 to join a private venture in the container industry.

Lubrication equipment and fluid supplier Unist appointed Tim Walker as vice president of business development. He is an engineer and electronics marketer with over 20 years of experience, ranging from software development to senior corporate management.

Filtration systems producer Donaldson Inc. named Dan Memmen as national sales director for the engine aftermarket, succeeding Rick Kasmerick who retired after 26 years. Memmen began his career at the Minneapolis company in 2007 as director of John Deere sales.

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