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Sarnia Says Sayonara to Base Oils

Canadas Imperial Oil, which is 70 percent owned by Exxon Mobil, will stop making base oils, process oils and waxes at its Sarnia, Ontario, refinery, to favor production of high-demand fuels such as ultra-low-sulfur diesels. Its base oil unit has 2,800 barrels a day of API Group I and 3,800 b/d of Group II capacity. The companys February announcement said the move is in response to market conditions, which support full-time fuels manufacturing.

This was the second Canadian base oil plant in as many months to announce it was closing. Shell in early January said it will convert its entire Montreal East refinery into a terminal, including its 2,700 b/d Group I base oil unit. Together, the Montreal and Sarnia operations represent about one-third of Canadas base oil capacity.

An Imperial Oil spokesman said the move to fuels-only refining will be complete by mid-2011. Sarnias lubricant blending and packaging plant will continue to operate, he added, using base stocks from other sources.

Used Oil Used as Art

Going to London? Theres still time to visit the Saatchi Gallerys exhibit of 20:50, Richard Wilsons site-specific art installation at the Duke of Yorks HQ until May 10. The piece, originally executed in 1987, consists of a steel walkway suspended through a room filled waist-high with recycled engine oil, which reflects the exposed architecture of the room. Visitor Laura Hughes said gallery attendants only allow individuals to enter the exhibit for short times because of the effect the sump oil has on the air; guards change shifts frequently for the same reason. She remarked that the black oil appears to almost pour over where it meets the top of the walkway walls. For variations, check out the Saatchi Gallerys permanent 20:50 exhibits at County Hall (installed 2003) and Boundary Road (1991). Now whos going to clean all this up!?

BASF Digests Ciba

Cibas lubricant additive products and manufacturing sites are continuing on, following its acquisition by Germanys BASF, but the Ciba name itself has been phased out. After a strategic review of the Ciba assets, BASF decided that none of the former Ciba sites that manufacture products for lubricant additives were or will be affected, according to Douglas Brown, global head of BASFs lubricants additives business.

Brown added that none of Cibas well-known brands, such as Irganox, Irgamet, Irgalube, Irgacor, Irgaflo and others, will change or go away. They are all now registered trademarks of BASF SE, he told Lube Report. The products complement BASFs own line of synthetic lubricants and base stocks, which include polyalkylene glycols and other chemistries for lubricants, additives and metalworking fluids.

Doug Hiple of Monson Companies in Leominster, Mass., which has distributed the former Ciba additives since 2006 and continues to do so, said the transition to BASF has been pretty clean and seamless.

Lubrizols 10-year Plan

Mapping out a path for growth, Lubrizol says it will spend $1 billion over the next decade to upgrade operations and increase global additive capacity. A large chunk of that budget, $200 million, will go to build a wholly owned plant in southern China, scheduled to break ground this year.

Lubrizol put its original 10-year plan on hold last year due to the global recession, but it said worldwide additive demand recovered significantly in the second half. The Wickliffe, Ohio, company now believes demand could return to normal yearly growth of 1 to 2 percent by 2011 or 2012.

The new manufacturing plant in the Zhuhai Gaolan Port Economic Zone eventually will make driveline, industrial and fuel additives. It will join an existing joint-venture plant that Lubrizol has in China with partner PetroChina. Other funds will go to debottleneckings and infrastructure improvements at plants in Texas and France; process and automation improvements; and advances in health, safety, environmental and security. No plant closings or rationalizations are included in the plan.

Huntsman Partners with Colonial Specialty

Huntsman Chemical has tapped Colonial Specialty Chemical to distribute a range of Huntsman surfactant products for the metalworking industry in North America. The Tabernacle, N.J.-based Colonial will handle Huntsmans Jeffox functional fluids, Pogol polyethylene glycols, and Surfonic brand surfactants and specialty metalworking additives.

Scot Set to Expand

Scot Lubricants will renovate and move into a $2.6 million, 202,000-square-foot facility in North Hampton, Pa., greatly expanding its blending, terminaling and packaging operations. The privately held lube manufacturer, best-known for its Macmillan Ring-Free products, will move by the middle of the year from its existing 57,000-sq.ft. plant in Allentown, Pa., said Tim Fritz, president and owner.

Were going to be diversifying dramatically, he told Lube Report. One new area the company will target: transloading and terminaling services, including moving customers products from rail to storage or tank trailers for local distribution in the Northeast.

Central Penn Bulks Up

Lubricants distributor Central Penn Oil is expanding its location in Elmira Heights, N.Y., adding bulk storage in a 33,000-sq.ft. warehouse. The impetus for the expansion, said location manager David Clark, was to enlarge the reach of Chevron and Texaco products it distributes in the region. Besides the renovation, Clark said the company plans to hire two more drivers and two more sales people for the site.

CePenCo distributes lubricants including motor oils, greases, industrial fluids, cutting oils and antifreeze. It is a subsidiary of Automotive Services Inc., of Redding, Pa.

Bioscience Firm Starts Up

Based in the Chicago area, Situ Bioscience LLC is a new microbial services company that focuses on formulation and testing of antimicrobials, as well as regulatory compliance, competitive issues and sustainability of customers products. The start-up ( is led by Don Satchell, Ph.D., an industrial bio-chemist and microbiologist with over 18 years experience in the field. Satchell said Situ Biosciences aims to go beyond standardized microbial testing services, and to help industrial and consumer product companies to improve product performance, meet regulatory requirements, boost biodegradability, and remain competitive in U.S. and global markets.

International Briefs

Fuchs Petrolub has opened a lubricant blending and packaging plant in Khartoum, Sudan, which is operated by Fuchs licensee Petrobash Multiactivities Co. The plant has capacity to make 36,000 metric tons of lubricants per year,and opened late last year. Petrobash, which is based in Khartoum, was serving as Fuchs distributor in the African country when the two agreed to expand into manufacturing…

Castrol is developing a dedicated lubricant technology center in Shanghai, China, scheduled to be fully running at year end. The center will develop products for the automotive industry, as well as Castrols aviation, marine and industrial business units. Located in Jinquiao science Park, the center will have laboratories plus training and conference facilities, and initially will employ 20 scientists and engineers…

Italys Eni is buying the operations of Mobil Oil Austria and Esso Austria, including their retail networks, branded service stations, industrial and wholesale, and aviation fuels businesses – but lubricants and specialties were specifically excluded from the deal and will remain with ExxonMobil. The acquired assets will become part of Enis Agip Austria affiliate.

Faces in the News

The retirement of Shaun Kennedy, Infineums long-time vice president of technology who left in late January after 32 years with Exxon and Infineum, has led to new assignments in the companys executive suite. Mark Struglinski, until recently vice president of sales and marketing, took over Kennedys post as technology vice president on Feb. 1. He continues to be based in Linden, N.J. Trevor Russell, in Abingdon, U.K., took over as vice president sales & marketing, and also serves as chief strategy officer.

Additionally, Sara Lefcourt, Infineums former crankcase global business manager, was promoted to vice president supply, the position vacated by Russell. Also based in Linden, Lefcourt now has responsibility for manufacturing; health, safety and environment; process technology; supply chain; and supply planning.

Meanwhile, Jose Blanco, another recent Infineum retiree, has brought his 34 years of industry experience to Pico Rivera, Calif.- based Lubricating Specialties Company, one of the largest independent lubricant blenders in the United States. Based in Houston, Blanco now represents the West Coast companys blending, grease manufacturing and packaging services for customers east of the Rockies.

RohMax continues to revamp its management following the year-end retirements of some key execs, and has split the supply-chain function into two roles: the manufacturing side now is led by Guido Zamponi, and supply-chain management by Dave Siwinski. In the customer relations area, RohMax named Waldemar Bartoschik to lead its key account management team, focusing on global OEMs, while Rich VanSleet was named to head marketing and regional sales.

Additionally, RohMax promoted two regional managers to its management team: Eric Fillod, with responsibility for Asia Pacific, and Doug Placek, who handles North America. Placek succeeded Greg Bialy (who retired in December), and also shoulders responsibility now for business development and business intelligence.

International Petroleum Products & Additives (IPAC) in January promoted Daniel Stage to technical service manager. Based in Spring, Texas, his career prior to joining IPAC included roles with Shell Global Marine, Soltex and Chevron Oronite.

IPAC also named Jody Henderson as national accounts manager, responsible for sales and technical support in the South and Southeastern U.S. He brings skills in marketing and sales of finished lubricants and petroleum additives, and has been with Pennzoil-Quaker State, Lubrizol and most recently Citgo.

Laurent Lenoir has succeeded Pol Vanderhaeghen as CEO at Taminco, the alkylamine and derivatives producer. Previously, Lenoir had been the Belgian companys vice president for methylamines. Vanderhaeghen, with Taminco since its start in 2003, remains as chairman.

Fluitec International, which provides condition-monitoring services and products including the RULER, recently named Frank Magnotti as president and CEO. Magnotti has held leadership positions with AT&T Bell Labs and Lucent Technologies, and most recently founded Comverge, a company he took public in 2007. Fluitec now is in the process of relocating its headquarters from Belgium to Summit, N.J.

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