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Stanlow Finds a Buyer

Essar Energy has offered $350 million to buy Shells refinery in Stanlow, U.K., including its 5,000 barrel per day API Group I base oil plant. The Indian conglomerate will make a separate payment (estimated at $780 million) for Stanlows stocks of crude oil, refined products and other inventory at the time of closing, expected in the second half of 2011.

Essar spokesman Andrew Turpin said the plants base oil will be sold back to Shell for an unspecified period of time. Essar also will operate Stanlows higher olefins plant, alcohols unit and ethylene pipeline, all of which are to be retained by Shell. The deal does not include Stanlows lubricant blending plant, a Shell official pointed out, adding, The UK is a very important market, and Shell Lubricants products will continue to be marketed in the United Kingdom.

Luberef to Upgrade Yanbu

Saudi Aramco Lubricating Oil Refining Co., also known as Luberef, will spend an estimated $1 billion to double its API Group I bright stock capacity and add about 700,000 metric tons per year of Group II capacity at its Yanbual Bahr refinery by 2015. Yanbual Bahr currently has capacity for 280,000 t/y of Group I.

Lubrefs plan includes new lube hydrocrackers and dewaxers to allow production of Group II; a new sulfur complex; and expanding the propane deasphalter that makes bright stock, which will be Yanbus only Group I output once the work is complete.

CP Chem Beefs Up PAO

Aiming to relieve chronic tightness in the market, Chevron Phillips Chemical has expanded production of heavyweight polyalphaolefins, using its own proprietary metallocene catalyst technology. The company expects to have evaluation and drum quantities of the new molecules ready to ship in this quarter, and bulk volumes are slated to be available in the second half of the year. Produced in two weights (40 cSt and 100 cSt), the new mPAO grades will be sold under Chevron Phillips Synfluid brand name.

High molecular weight PAOs are used in a variety of automotive and industrial applications. The viscosity index for the 40 cSt product is 173, while the 100 cSt has a V.I. of 191, said Jim Herman, PAO global business manager for the company.

CP Chem makes PAO at its Cedar Bayou, Texas, chemical plant, but these new molecules are being custom-synthesized elsewhere at present. Herman declined to disclose the name of the toll manufacturer, citing confidentiality, but said this supplier did not previously make PAO.

Most PAO is made from 1-decene (C10), but the new mPAOs are made from non-decene alpha olefin feedstocks, he emphasized. Not being dependent on decene could prove important as the company ramps up its heavy mPAO production, since there is little to no spare decene capacity at present. It also means the new products wont cut into the decene available for making other PAO grades, Herman added.

Idemitsu Maps Expansion

Idemitsu Lubricants America plans to expand manufacturing capabilities and add 28 jobs at its 30-acre Jeffersonville, Ind., facility, says local economic development agency One Southern Indiana. The lubricant blender could invest over $20 million in the expansion over the next four years, the agency said.

Tammi Walts, ILAs senior vice president of manufacturing, stated, The support of the City of Jeffersonville, Indiana Economic Development Corporation and One Southern Indiana has been invaluable. Their assistance in obtaining tax abatements and incentives for these projects will help ILA to make our expansion plans a reality. ILA, a subsidiary of Japans Idemitsu Kosan, makes automotive engine oils and transmission fluids, industrial lubes and metalworking fluids.

Faces in the News

Now at full operations at its rerefinery, Universal Lubricants has promoted its chief financial officer, Randall Wilson, to senior vice president and CFO; he has been with the Wichita, Kans., company for four years. Also, Gene Bowden, a 29-year employee, was named vice president of operations for the company.

N. Mohan Reddy, Ph.D., has joined Lubrizols board of directors, expanding it to 11 members. Reddy is a dean and professor at Case Western Reserves Weatherhead School of Management. His interests are focused in the areas of new product development, distribution channel management and social enterprise.

Chemical distributor Walsh & Associates named Candice Hallum sales representative for its Houston sales region. She brings several years of chemical industry experience, including with Univar and Chemcentral, which Univar acquired.

British Gems for Sale

BP is seeking buyers for its Duckhams and Veedol brands, which date back to the early 20th century. Duckhams dates to the invention of the combustion engine and led to Europes first multi-grade engine oil. Veedol, says BP, was the motor oil chosen by Henry Ford for his Model T, and also lubricated Germanys Graf Zeppelin airship in the 1930s.

The buyer will get global rights to a portfolio of registered trademarks, sub-brands and iconic logos, but no sales or customer lists, product formulation or supply commitment. BP Group spokeswoman Sheila Williams said the brands product formulations would be retired. Were utilizing our technology to continue to make lubricant brands to a higher spec, so were not Continued from page 48 continuing the spec of Veedol or Duckhams, Williams told Lube Report. BP hopes for a deal by year end.

Evonik Picks Distributor

The lubricant additives business of Evonik has picked Palmer Holland to represent its products in the Eastern United States, including Viscoplex, Iscoplex and Viscobase additives and Tego lubricant defoamers. Palmer Holland, a privately held distribution company, also supplies products for other Evonik businesses.

Holly, Frontier to Merge

Independent refiners Holly Corp. and Frontier Oil in February announced a $7 billion merger to form HollyFrontier. Holly operates several refineries, including one in Tulsa, Okla., which has capacity to make 9,500 barrels/day of API Group I base oil.

IPIC Targets Spains Cepsa

International Petroleum Investment Co. is buying all shares of Cepsa, including Totals 49 percent stake, in a $5.5 billion deal. IPIC, an investment arm of Abu Dhabis government, already owns 47 percent of the Spanish refiner and lubricants marketer.

Madrid-based Cepsa has a base oil plant in San Roque, near Gibralter, with 4,000 barrels per day of API Group I capacity. It is Iberias second-largest finished lubricants supplier, after Spains Repsol YPF, according to Kline & Co.

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