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Colas Acquires Dunkerque

With a goal of securing upstream supplies of bitumen for its construction business, the French company Colas Group has finalized its purchase of Societe de la Raffinerie de Dunkerque (SRD), a specialty refinery in Dunkerque, France, from owners ExxonMobil and Total. The facility has capacity to produce 5,100 barrels per day of API Group I and 1,500 b/d of Group III base oils, as well as wax. Colas did not disclose the price, but earlier news reports put it at $26 million.

The deal includes agreements for ExxonMobil, which had operated the refinery, to provide Colas with technical assistance for a three-year period, and for Total to continue to supply feedstocks and take a portion of the plants production. Remaining base stock from the plant will be sold on the open market, Colas officials said.

Vanderbilt Expands in Kentucky

Specialty additives maker R.T. Vanderbilt Co. will invest $20 million to expand chemical manufacturing at its Murray, Ky., facility, and also plans to build a laboratory in China.

Steve Donnelly, global business manager for the companys petroleum department in Norwalk, Conn., noted that the expansion will help meet growing demand for products such as antiwear agents containing boron and tungsten, new molybdenum friction reducers, and other additives. Many of these are needed for the next-generation ILSAC GF-5 passenger car engine oils.

Construction at Murray will begin early next year, and bring 16 new jobs to the site. Meanwhile, Vanderbilt also has formed Vanderbilt (Beijing) Trading Ltd. to provide technical and research services through a new applications laboratory to be built in Beijing. The lab is expected to serve as a platform for growth in the Asia region.

Infineum Builds in Singapore

Infineum Singapore plans to build a new salicylate plant at its site in Jurong Island, Singapore, with commissioning expected in 2013. Salicylate is a detergent used in automotive, heavy-duty and marine engine oil formulations, especially for low SAPS (sulphated ash, phosphorus, sulfur) products.

While the salicylate plants Singapore location will help the company to grow in Asia, Sara Lefcourt of Infineum told Lube Report that products from there and from its existing plant in Berre, France, will be available to serve customers on a global basis.

Group II for Brazil

One of the few countries where used oil rerefining is mandated by law – Brazil – is also getting a facility capable of making Group II base oils. LWART Group, Brazils leading used oil collector and rerefiner, has signed Chemical Engineering Partners to build a Group II rerefinery at a site in Lencois Paulista, Brazil. This will be LWARTs third rerefinery, and it is expected to be the largest in South America as well as the regions first facility producing Group II base stocks.

Although the size, timeline and cost of the project were not disclosed, Mark Williams of CEP indicated that the time from design to completion averages 24 months. The technology design phase for LWARTs facility is already under way.

CEP is an affiliate of Evergreen Oil, which operates a rerefinery in Newark, Calif. Last year, CEP commissioned three new rerefineries in the United States and Europe.

Plastic Makes its Case

Plastic drums have significantly reduced their environmental footprint, making them a more sustainable option for industrial shippers, says a new life-cycle management report from the Plastic Drum Institute. Created in collaboration with RIPA, the Reusable Industrial Packaging Association, the report notes that plastic drums now weigh about 30 percent less than they did 40 years ago, and over 50 percent of new plastic drum volumes each year are reconditioned and put back into service. Those not reconditioned typically are shredded and remolded into a variety of new products.

Compared to consumer plastic goods, which are recycled at a rate of only 25 to 28 percent, at least 50 percent of these industrial bulk containers are recycled or reused, the study shows. Visit www.plastic-drum.org for a copy of the report.

NLGI Resets Dates

NLGI International, the worlds leading trade association for the lubricating grease industry, will hold its 2011 annual meeting June 11 to 14, at the Marriott Desert Springs in Palm Desert, Calif. Originally planned for later that month, the group rescheduled to avoid conflicts with the ASTM Committee D-2 meeting, thereby enabling attendance at both. Details and agenda for the 2011 meeting will be coming later this year. www.nlgi.org

Chemtura Opens China Center

Specialty chemical company Chemtura Corp. has opened an application development center in Chinas Nanjing Economic & Technological Development Zone, to serve the Asia-Pacific region. The center, headed by Charles Guo, comprises a group of laboratories supporting Chemturas businesses in the region, including petroleum additives, urethanes, antioxidants and other products.

In separate news, the company in June filed a plan of reorganization, and said it is negotiating with bondholders to permit it to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the coming months. In 2009, Chemtura had global sales of $2.5 billion.

Briefly Noted.

Used oil collector Heritage-Crystal Clean has selected Indianapolis for the site of its planned $40 million rerefinery, and will build in the Speedway section of the city. With expected capacity to make 2,000 b/d of API Group II base stocks, the plant has a targeted start-up date of mid-2012, company officials said.

Infineum was recognized as the Responsible Care Company of the Year by the American Chemistry Council. The award followed an independent review of both quantitative and qualitative measures of the additive companys safety performance over time.

Kuwait Petroleum International Lubricants (also known as Q8 Oils) has installed 24 new storage tanks at its blending plant in Antwerp, part of a five-year upgrade and expansion that aims to create one of the largest lubricant plants in Europe. The upgrade began in 2008, and also has included a new loading jetty and robotic filling equipment. Next up will be a completely new blending section. When complete, the facility will be able to make 250 million liters a year.

Faces in the News

Belinda Foxworth has joined Maxum Petroleum as senior vice president and general counsel, reporting to CEO E. Perot Bissell. Foxworth has over 25 years of experience in the energy sector, including with CMS Energy and most recently with U.S. Power Generating Co. She will be based at the Maxums headquarters in Greenwich, Conn.

Brookfield Engineering Laboratories has named Thomas Babington to the position of senior product development engineer, responsible for manufacturing processes, lead times and product consistency. A mechanical engineer, he has worked on everything from toys and power tools to automotive sensors in his 25-year career. Brookfield also appointed Joe Murray, also a mechanical engineer, as regional sales manager for process instrumentation. In his new position, he will be developing applications and products for specific markets, based on client inquiries.

Dean Freeman has joined Hoover Materials Handling Group, the supplier of stainless steel and plastic intermediate bulk containers, as business development manager for the Latin American region. He will be responsible for growth and customer service in Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Venezuela.

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