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Korea Cranking Up Group III

SK Innovation and JX Nippon Oil & Energy are launching a joint venture to invest 350 billion South Korean won (U.S. $325 million) to build an API Group III base oil plant at SKs Ulsan, South Korea, complex. Commercial production is expected by July 2012. Initial annual production will comprise 550,000 metric tons (11,000 b/d) of Group III base oil and 580,000 metric tons of other base oils; after 2013, only Group III products will be produced. The partners did not disclose how theyll share this output.

SK Lubricants refinery in Ulsan already has 4,000 b/d of Group II and 17,000 b/d of Group III capacity. Tokyo-based JX Nippon Oil has three base oil plants in Japan, with a combined output of 11,900 b/d of Group I and 400 b/d of Group III.

Oronite Doubles Down in Singapore

Chevron Oronite plans to double the original capacity of its additives plant on Jurong Island in Singapore by 2014. Our Singapore plant, already the largest additives plant in the Asia-Pacific region, was built to support the growing Asia-Pacific market, said Andy Tugendhat, vice president of sales. The proposed project will help us meet the anticipated volume growth in the region.

The expansion will add more component manufacturing, blending and shipping capacity, and grow the plants infrastructure to increase supply capability. The plant occupies a 49-acre site on Jurongs chemical hub, which is a source of feedstock and utilities. It features an advanced distributed control system and a laboratory to monitor the quality of raw materials and finished products. The plant also has a private jetty to accommodate vessels of up to 40,000 dead-weight tonnage.

Niagara Vows to Rebuild

A four-alarm fire destroyed Niagara Lubricants factory in Buffalo, N.Y., on July 13, but competitors and suppliers stepped in to help the company get back up and running. Were working with some competitors, who are basically letting us move in, so well be taking care of customers almost immediately, President Leon Smith III said. Damage from the fire was estimated at $4 million to $8 million. The building that was destroyed covered 40,000 square feet of space and produced additives, base oils, greases and waxes. Two other buildings were saved, one housing grease and oil production, the other offices.

Chemtura: More PAO Coming

Chemtura has begun engineering work to produce high-viscosity polyalphaolefin in the Netherlands by 2013. The company will produce its Synton 40 and Synton 100 brands at its facility in Ankerweg, Amsterdam. Chemtura said it is making the investment to meet the increasing global demand for these products and locate production capacity in a region of significant demand growth.

High-vis PAOs are used as high-performance base stocks and viscosity index improvers in synthetic lubricant formulations such as gear oils and engine oils. Earlier in 2011, Chemtura announced expanded production capacity for the same two products at its Elmira, Ontario, facility.

Singapore Step-out for Sinopec

Sinopec Lubricant Co. is investing RMB 580 million (U.S. $90 million) to build a 100,000 metric ton per year lubricants blending plant in Singapore. The plant is expected to be completed and fully equipped by September 2012. Located in Tuas in southwestern Singapore, this will be Sinopecs first lubricant plant outside China, and an avowed first step toward global expansion in the refining and marketing sector.

Sinopec said the Singapore plant will function as its Asia-Pacific regional hub for production, servicing and logistics, reaching customers in Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand. The Chinese oil major said it will explore Asian and Pacific markets, construct overseas plants, and establish a global sales and service network.

New Life for Polish Refinery

Hudson Oil of Oakville, Ontario, is developing a restart plan for the Glimar refinery complex in Gorlice, Poland, which it anticipates completing within 10 months. The complex includes an API Group III-capable base oil plant, equipped with hydroprocessing technology licensed from Chevron Lummus Global.

Production capacity is expected to be 50,000 metric tons per year of Group III base oils or 40,000 to 60,000 t/y of Group II. If it produces Group III oils, it would be the only such plant in Poland. The company stated that Poland will be the main market for the plants production, but neighboring markets such as Germany will not be exclud ed if there is opportunity.

Lubrizol Adds Lab in China

Lubrizol is adding a new technical services laboratory for additives, initially to be on the campus of Jilin University in Zhuhai, Guandong, China. Construction is under way, and the additives lab should begin functioning in this quarter. By being based at the university, not only will this modern, high-tech lab bring valuable services to our customers in China, but we will be able to build relationships with talented local students who may serve as Lubrizol interns and possibly as future Lubrizol employees, pointed out Tsung-Fei Tang, vice president, Lubrizol Additives, China.

Last year the company began building a new lubricant additive production facility in the Zhuhai Gaolan Port Economic Zone, not far from the Jilin campus. While our plans include the eventual transition of our laboratory testing capabilities to our new plant, added Tang, we look forward to a lasting relationship with the university in areas such as technical collaboration and employee recruiting.

Wind Energy Expert to Speak

Mike Robinson, deputy director of the National Renewable Energy Laboratorys National Wind Technology Center, will give the keynote address to next months International Joint Tribology Conference. Coming to Los Angeles Oct. 24-26, the IJTC is cosponsored by ASME and STLE, and draws tribology researchers from around the world to hear about new technologies and cutting-edge research. Wind energy is just one of 13 tracks on the agenda; others include nanotribology, biotribology, boundary and fluid film lubrication, contact mechanics, engineered surfaces and more. Visit for details, and register by Sept. 26 to receive a $100 discount on the meeting fee.

Briefly Noted

Solvay will invest $21.6 million to increase output of specialty perfluoropolyethers (PFPE) at is Spinetta Marengo, Italy, facility by the end of 2012. The expansion involves the purchase of new equipment rather than debottlenecking.

ConocoPhillips will separate its upstream and downstream businesses into two distinct, publicly-traded corporations. Refining and marketing, including base oil and lubricants businesses, will be spun off to shareholders.

Castrol India closed an older, inefficient lubricants blending plant in Indias south in late July. The company holds an estimated 10 percent of Indias lubricants market.

Heartland Automotive Services, the countrys largest Jiffy Lube franchisee, acquired Carpenter Lube Centers in Minneapolis, Fish Enterprises in Seattle and three Wisconsin Car Care stores in Chicago.

Rock Island Lubricants of Rock Island, Ill., has completed an 11,700-sq.-ft. warehouse, creating 10 new jobs; its one of Shells largest North American distributors.

Custom Metalcraft Inc. has entered into an exclusive agreement with Buschutz Engineering Pty Ltd., under which the latter will be licensed to manufacture CMCs range of IBCs and Grease Bins in Australia. The CMC TranStore intermediate bulk container will be marketed in Australia under the trademark BEST-Vessel.

In July, Infineum Singapore Pte. Ltd. received the Singapore Ministry of Manpowers Workplace Safety and Health Excellence Award. It marked the 13th consecutive year (starting in 1999) that the additive manufacturer has been honored with the accolade.

Faces in the News

Steve Phillips is the new president of Omaha, Neb.-based distributor Allied Oil & Supply, responsible for growth and profitability as well sales, marketing, business development, production, distribution and financial activities. Phillips holds an MBA from Rockhurst University and joins Allied from Exide Technologies. Allieds CEO and company founder, Conrad Heinson, also announced that his daughters, former President Tamara Heinson-Fowler and former Executive Vice President Debra Heinson-Thiesfeld, have transitioned to the companys board of directors, and his grandson, Kyle Fowler, has joined the family business as chief financial officer.

Mauricio Galvez has been hired as account manager for Sea-Land Chemical Canada Ltd., to help further its global expansion efforts. He brings 14 years of chemical industry experience to the company, including valuable sales experience, and is a past chairman of STLEs Toronto section.

Metalworking fluid manufacturer QualiChem Inc. has hired Robert Austin as senior technical support chemist, to provide field and laboratory support for customers. Austin is a Certified Metalworking Fluid Specialist and a member of the STLE board of directors with more than 30 years of experience in the metalworking industry, including with Master Chemical.

Fluid Life has added Jim Morrison, MBA, MSc., as senior reliability specialist to serve customers in Canada and North America. He joins the company after 35 years with Petro-Canada Lubricants, where he supplied technical support to lubricant customers throughout western Canada.


RALPH W. KELLY, 77, who had a notable career with Cincinnati Milacron, died July 11 due to complications after a brief illness. After obtaining a chemistry degree, serving in the Army Medical Corps and receiving a masters in microbiology, Kelly in 1962 joined Cincinnati Milacron (now Cimcool Industrial Products); by his retirement almost 40 years later, he had risen to be engineering and development manager. His work resulted in over 15 patents, 12 professional journal publications, and over a hundred lectures. From the early 1990s, he was active in ILMAs efforts to address metalworking health and safety issues. Ralph was a respected member of the metalworking fluid community and will be missed by everyone, said Greg Foltz of Cimcool. Jeff Leiter, ILMA generalcounsel, said, Ralph was responsible, had a tremendous sense of the right thing and was a man of integrity, adding, Ralphs truly lasting legacy is his three children. They have gone on themselves to respected careers in medicine and real estate. He leaves behind his wife of 54 years, Jean Roslyn Kelly; three children; a sister, niece and nephew.

JAMES B. BAYLOR, 78, a retired Valvoline executive and Army Reserve officer, died July 26 of brain cancer. Baylor earned a bachelors degree in business management and then spent 40 years at Valvoline, working his way up from sales representative to the executive suite. He was senior vice president when he retired in 1996, and active with industry groups including API, ILMA, NLGI and NPRA. Simultane ously, Baylor built a military career that started with the ROTC program at Marshall University and lasted until his retirement, also in 1996, as major general and commander of 99th Army Reserve Command. Remembered as a kind and giving person, Baylor was predeceased by his wife Rebecca in February, and is survived by four children and their families.

RUSSELL L. TRACY SR., 61, director of operations and finance for Rosemead Oil Products, died June 16 of a heart attack. A California native, he studied at San Diego State University, worked for the city of Whittier, and then joined Rosemead. He went on to devote a 31-year career to the Santa Fe Springs company, where he rose to general manager. In addition to being active in ILMA, Tracys enthusiasms included motorcross, baseball, camping with his family and other active pursuits. He had a wry sense of humor and most of the family referred to him as, Mr. Cool, his mother Pauline told a local newspaper. Survivors include his wife Sue, children Russell Jr. and Katie, and three grandchildren.

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