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Pascagoulas Light Is Green

Chevron on Jan. 31 made official what company executives have been mapping out for two years: Chevron Lubricants will build a $1.4 billion base oil plant at the companys Pascagoula, Miss., refinery. The plant will generate 1,000 construction jobs over the next two years, and then about 20 permanent positions once its fully operating. Foundation work has begun, and construction is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2013.

Capacity at the Pascagoula plant will be 25,000 barrels per day of API Group II stocks. It will use Chevrons high-yielding Isodewaxing technology. Output of the new plant will serve North and South America, Europe, and probably Africa.

Pascagoula will be Chevrons third Group II/III plant. The others are in Richmond, Calif., and with the joint-venture GS Caltex in Yeosu, South Korea.

Shell to Harburg: Goodbye

Having failed to find a buyer for the site, Royal Dutch Shell said it will cease refining at its Harburg, Germany, facility and convert it to a storage facility. Harburg includes a base oil plant with capacity to make 3,300 barrels per day of API Group I and 3,000 b/d of naphthenics. A Shell spokesman said the base oil unit is still for sale and will continue operating until sold or the refinerys closure in the second quarter of 2012.

Shell also said it would keep and continue to operate another refinery with a Group I base oil plant it had been trying to sell, in Stanlow, U.K., even if it fails to find a buyer. The Stanlow plant has been on the block since 2009.

Axel Woos, Wins Jesco

Swedens Axel Christiernsson, Europes biggest supplier of private-label lubricating greases, has fulfilled its ambition of having a U.S. manufacturing base by purchasing Jesco Resources, a family-owned lubricants and grease company based in Missouri. Price of the transaction was not disclosed.

Owned by the investment firm Fairford Holdings Scandinavia AB, Axel has production sites in Sweden, Netherlands and France. It boasts annual grease output of more than 20,000 metric tons.

Jesco, which has 41 employees and plants in North Kansas City, Mo., and Rosedale, Miss., is now Axel Americas LLC. However, the Jesco brand name will be carried forward on products, assured Johan Stureson, CEO of the Axel Group. Stureson was named president of the company, while Jescos previous owner and president, Richard Howell, will remain as executive vice president. With Jesco now a part of the Axel Group, we anticipate continued growth and innovation, Howell said.

Flexitank Makers Merge

Big Red Flexitank manufacturer Environmental Packaging Technologies has acquired rival firm Global Flexi Systems, one of the top five flexitank companies in the world. Both companies are based in Houston, and together will have access to new markets and an expanded customer base, says Nancy Wendrock, EPT president. The companies now have 15 regional offices and a network of over 120 agents and depots, she added.

D-A Lubricants Dons Hard-hat

D-A Lubricants will say goodbye to its long-time home in Indianapolis and build a new rail-served lubricants blending, processing and distribution facility in Lebanon, Ind. Groundbreaking is slated for this month, with a targeted December completion. We have no room to expand, a company spokesperson told Lube Report. Were experiencing a wonderful growth right now and were land-boxed. So thats one of the primary reasons to relocate.

At its new 25-acre site, D-A will construct a 225,000 square foot plant, with blending and packaging, laboratory and offices, plus rail facilities.

Logo Promotes Biobased Products

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has unveiled a scheme and logo to encourage purchases of ag-based products including lubricants. The BioPreferred Program will soon offer a voluntary label for approved products, showing USDA Certified Biobased and the biobased content. Among the lubricants that are eligible to apply to use the label are biobased multipurpose lubes, turbine drip oils, hydraulic fluids, transformer fluid, penetrating lubricants, 2-cycle engine oils, greases and others. Minimum biobased content for each of these products already has been established.

The final rule regarding the proposed logo can be seen at www.biopreferred.gov/files/BP_Label_Final_Rule_01_20_11.pdf. A standardized application form and instructions for candidate products are available at www.biopreferred.gov.

Linde to Push Pulsair

Pulsair, the Bellevue, Wash.-based technology company that harnesses air, nitrogen and other gases to perform liquid blending operations, has signed an agreement with Linde Gases to expand its reach into new markets. Lindes sales force will now offer Pulsairs pulsed-air technologies to lubricant and additive companies worldwide, as well as other industries.

This important partnership with Pulsair now allows us to extend our gas technology expertise to significantly shorten the time to mix liquid products in tanks, said Shivan Ahamparam of Linde. Instead of paddles or agitators, the energy-efficient Pulsair process uses measured injections of atmospheric or inert gases to circulate liquids inside tanks and blending vessels. Among other uses, it blends lubricants, mixes base stock and additives, and thins heavy emulsions.

Linde provides compressed, bulk and specialty gases worldwide.

Schepise Opens for Business

Schepise Chemical Sales LLC has been launched to serve the oil-field chemicals and lubricants industries. Led by Linda Schepise, the Bristol, Pa., company provides sales service for fine specialty chemicals, and will serve as a manufacturers rep for products that include dimer and trimer acids and green absorbent materials. Schepise has specialized in lubricants, resins and polymer sales for over 22 years, and says her company aims to bridge the gap between chemical suppliers and their customers who need a high level of technical service. The website is www.SchepiseChemical Sales.com

Catch the Trend

Lubricant industry participants have several opportunities next month to see Infineum Trends 2011, the additive companys annual overview of vehicles and industry trends. The mixed-media presentation focuses on shifts in engine oils and fuels, and includes video interviews with experts in powertrain technology, engine design and engine oils. Presentations, which run about 75 minutes, are set for April 2 at the ILMA Management Forum; April 7 in Southfield, Mich.; April 12 in Houston; and May 22 in Wichita, Kans. Seating is limited, and reservations required. Email: laura.thomson@infineum.com

ACC Begins 2011 Audit

Companies participating in the American Chemistry Councils annual audit of its ACC Code of Practice are reminded that their Letters of Intent are due to ACC by March 31. The required follow-up audits must be completed between April 1 and June 30, and other requirements must be fulfilled by July 1 as well.

ACCs Doug Anderson points out that the Code is integral to APIs Engine Oil Licensing & Certification System. The Code is a set of guidelines that helps ensure that licensed engine oils meet the performance specifications through the use of specified engine tests, procedures and record-keeping. Participation in the Code is voluntary and open to ACC non-members. For information, email Doug_anderson@american chemistry.com

Briefly Noted

To accommodate growth in its lubricants division, regional co-op Growmark will spend $3.5 million on its lube manufacturing facility in Council Bluffs, Iowa, which it acquired in 2006 from McCollister & Co. The renovation will boost bulk oil and engine coolant storage, increase warehouse space, and add equipment for solubilizing viscosity index improvers…

The Hercules subsidiary of Ashland Corp. is selling its pentaerythritol business to Perstorp Polyols, for an undisclosed amount. Pentaerythritol is used to make esters for synthetic lubricants and additives, where it helps ensure hydrolytic stability and viscosity control. Hercules plant in Louisiana, Mo., will continue to make synthetic lubes, but will stop producing the polyalcohol compound; it instead will buy penta from Perstorp, which has production elsewhere…

Lubricant manufacturer Bel-Ray Co., based in Farmingdale, N.J., has signed a strategic partnership with GCR, part of Bridgestone, for North American distribution of Bel-Rays mining and industrial products and services. The deal means that Bel-Ray products will be found at 300+ Bridgestone company-owned operations and tire centers in the United States and Canada.

Faces in the News

Jennifer Straumins on Jan. 1 became president of Calumet GP, the general partner of independent refiner Calumet Specialty Products Partners, succeeding William Grube. Formerly executive vice president, she continues as the companys chief operating officer as well. Grube remains as CEO, and also became vice chairman of the companys board.

Apu Gosalia has been named to the newly created position of chief sustainability officer (CSO) at Fuchs Petrolub Group, responsible for advising on sustainable economic activities at the German company and its global subsidiaries. He continues as head of global strategic marketing for Fuchs, the worlds largest independent lubricant manufacturer. A prolific author and presenter, Gosalia joined Fuchs in 1999 and holds a Diplom-Kaufmann from the University of Mannheim and an MBA from Western Illinois University.

Lub-Line Corp., based in The Woodlands, Texas, has tapped William J. Wahl to be business development director, responsible for developing new revenue streams through market and product extensions. Wahl has over 30 years of lubricants industry experience, in both formulating and sales, and previously managed distributor sales at Soltex. He will be based in Chagrin Falls, Ohio.

R.T. Vanderbilt has promoted Gaston Aguilar, Ph.D., to research director, leading additive synthesis and new product development. Aguilar joined the Norwalk, Conn., company in 2000 from Conoco, and since has held various technical and marketing positions in petroleum sales. Also, Ruiming Ray Zhang, Ph.D., has been named global grease and industrial oil technical manager at R.T. Vanderbilt. Previously with OMGroup, Infineum and Mohawk Labs/NCH, he will develop additive packages and also serve as liaison with customers, OEMs and industry groups.

IPACs Richmond, Va., technical center has added David Radford and Kevin Kashurba to its staff. Radford will focus on organic synthesis of key IPAC additive components, develop new components, and expand the companys integration into key raw materials. Kashurba, coming from Schneider Laboratories, joins IPAC as laboratory chemist.

Dave Millin is the new global additives business manager at Elco Corp., which he joined in 1996 and until recently served as technical director. The appointment followed the retirement of Mike Andre at the end of 2010. Millin also will continue as technical director of the chemical division of Detrex, Elcos parent company. Taking over as Elcos technical director is Jim Vence, who has been with the Cleveland company since 1998 and has extensive experience with its ZDDPs and light-colored sulfurized additives. Vence will also work on Detrexs hydrochloric acid product line, in addition to Elcos lubricants additives.

Heritage-Crystal Clean, which plans to build an API Group II rerefinery in Indianapolis next year, has picked Cary Palulis to be its vice president of lubricant base oil sales. Palulis, who joins the company from Chem -lube, has over 30 years of industry experience, including with Exxon, Mobil and Valero, and also worked at Safety-Kleen developing markets for rerefined oil.

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