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Big Plans for Harburg Refinery

Nynas will take over a Shell plant in Harburg, Germany, that makes both naphthenic and paraffinic base stocks. Price of the deal, which requires European Commission approval, was not disclosed.

The deal, announced Dec. 14, calls for Stockholm-based Nynas to lease the base oil plant for 25 years and includes a two-phase plan to turn it into a stand-alone facility. The base oil plant is part of a fuels refinery which Shell originally put on the block in 2009; the main part of the refinery provides feed-stock to the base oil plant, which is located on the opposite side of the River Elbe at Hamburg.

Harburgs current capacity is 3,000 barrels per day of naphthenic and 3,300 b/d of API Group I paraffinic base oil, and Nynas plans to maintain those operations, at least initially. In the first phase, Nynas will take control of the base oil plant and related facilities on the south side of the river.

The second phase, to be completed in 2014, will make changes on the rivers north side to allow the base oil plant to operate independently. Nynas also plans to expand capacity and possibly convert some of the paraffinic capacity to naphthenic, but a Nynas spokesman said it has not yet decided whether to continue some paraffinic production.

New Owners for Windward

G.H. Berlin Oil and Windward executive Stephen Eldred acquired distributor Windward Petroleum on Nov. 22, bringing several major lubricant brands under one marketing umbrella. Terms were not disclosed. Eldred, formerly Windwards vice president and CFO, is now president and CEO of Manchester, N.H.-based Windward, which has about 165 employees.

David Waltz, president of Booth Waltz Enterprises in East Hartford, Conn., which does business as G.H. Berlin, noted the company has made 18 or 19 acquisitions over the past 17 years, though all were considerably smaller. Waltz said that about a year ago private-equity firm Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. begin divesting itself of Windward Petroleum, and sold off its Southeast and Southwest operations. Eldred and Waltz then joined forces to buy Windwards remaining operations in the U.S. Northeast, he said.

Certainly brand diversity was one of the key focal points of the deal, Waltz told Lube Report. Windward is a distributor for Exxon Mobil, Chevron and Castrol while G.H. Berlin is a large ConocoPhillips and Valvoline distributor, and also markets brands such as Motorcraft and Petro-Canada. One of our challenges is going to be how to manage the brands, and use the strengths in the areas of the marketplace that best suit those brands strengths, said Waltz

HCC Buys Used Oil Collector

Heritage-Crystal Clean last month acquired the used oil collection business of Crystal Flash L.P. of Michigan, which it will use to feed its new 2,000 barrel per day API Group II rerefinery. Terms were not disclosed. Heritage expected the acquisition to add 20 employees and used oil volumes of about 3.5 million gallons per year, primarily from Michigan.

We expect this acquisition to add approximately $6 million to $7 million of annual revenue, based on current market prices and historical performance, Heritage President and CEO Joseph Chalhoub stated. Furthermore, once our rerefinery is complete, we plan to upgrade the value of the collected used oil by converting it to lube base stock.

Crystal Flash picks up used oil, primarily from automotive sources in Michigan, which HCC will process at its rerefinery in Indianapolis. At this writing, the plants front end is operating and makes material sold as vacuum gas oil. The company said it hoped to see base oil production begin at the end of December or during this month.

Lubrizol Signs with Sea-Land

Wickliffe, Ohio-based Lubrizol Additives last month announced a distribution agreement with Sea-Land Chemical Co., of Westlake, Ohio. Effective Jan. 1, Sea-Land will represent the additive companys metalworking and other industrial additives to a select number of customers in North America. Lubrizol said it chose the fellow northeast Ohio company because of their excellent reputation, technical expertise, years of experience and knowledge of the industrial lubricants market.

Phillips 66 is Reborn

Oil major Conoco-Phillips will hang a familiar name on the downstream company to be spun off in its strategic repositioning: Phillips 66 will have leading positions in refining, marketing, mid-stream and chemicals, and will own lubricants brands such as Kendall, Conoco, Phillips 66 and Union 76. It will also have Conoco -Phillips base oils business (including a share of the Excel Paralubes refinery), and 50 percent of Chevron Phillips Chemicals. Headquarters will be a Houston location to be announced later.

Phillips 66 has strong brand recognition and value and it provides a link between our rich history and our exciting future, said Greg Garland, designated chairman and CEO of Phillips 66. The split should be completed in second-quarter 2012.

Delfin Marks Growth

Delfin Group has completed a series of improvements to its blending and packaging facility on the Cooper River in Charleston, S.C. The former Texaco facility was acquired by Markos Bagdasarian and his partners in late 2007, and is now in full production with the companys line of Spectrol and Ultimate lubricants. Recently installed equipment includes state-of-the-art blowmolders for quart, liter and gallon HDPE bottles, and injection molders to turn out caps for containers filled with engine oils, gear oils, brake fluids, engine oil treatment, antifreeze and industrial oils.

Four new packaging lines were installed in the last year to augment the plants existing Ocme quart-fillers and gallon line, Delfin USAs John Gordon said, and high-speed labelers can apply labels produced by Delfins new in-house labeling and printing department. In the blending area, a solubilizer is in full production for supplying V.I. improver, and plans are under way to add more capacity for diesel exhaust fluid and windshield washer fluid, he added. The 42-acre site now boasts a 14-million-gallon tank farm, multi-bay bulk truck racks, 14 rail sidings and 500,000 square feet of warehouse storage, as well as a deep-water pier, and research and quality control laboratories.

Shell Picks Key Canadian Distributor

Philippe Gosselin & Associates (PGA), one of the largest independent distributors of Shell products in Canada, has joined the Shell Lubricants Alliance Distributor Program and will distribute the oil majors branded lubricants throughout its home province of Quebec. The products include automotive, transport, aviation and industrial lubricants sold under the Shell Rotella, Pennzoil and Quaker State brands. Headquartered in Ste-Marie-de-Beauce, PGAs relationship with Shell in Canada dates back to 1956. As a Shell Lubricants Alliance Distributor, it now will distribute products to Shells associate distributors, warehouse distributors, buying groups and independent workshop customers.

Symposium Focuses on VOCs

Its not too late to offer a paper for a symposium in March on Metalworking Fluids & VOC: Today and Tomorrow, jointly hosted by ILMA and Californias South Coast Air Quality Management District. To be held March 8 in Diamond Bar, Calif., the event will describe new rules and best practices for reducing VOCs in metalworking operations. Case studies, formulating options, measurement techniques and manufacturing impacts are among the suggested topics. We invite submission of papers describing innovative low-VOC metalworking fluid technologies, post-process effects, waste treatment, recovery and reclaimability, and analytical challenges of low-VOC metalworking fluids, urged Houghton Internationals John Burke, on ILMAs behalf. We are especially looking for case studies where a new technology was submitted for lower VOC emissions.

For details or to offer a paper, e-mail Mike Morris of SCAQMD at mmorris@aqmd.gov or phone (909) 396-3282.

Arizona Picks Partners

Arizona Chemical has appointed two distributors for its chemical intermediates and fatty acids, including Sylfat tall oil fatty acids, Sylvatal distilled tall oil, Unidyme dimer acids, and Century brand monomer acids, stearic acids and isostearic acids. Sea-Land Chemical was named to distribute the products in the U.S. Midwest, and L.V. Thomas Ltd. for Canada.

Ship Brokers Unite

U.S.-based Soundtanker Chartering and Singapores Panasia Marine have united as SPI Marine, offering ship brokering services for bulk liquid chemicals, lube oils and edible oils under spot, contract and time-charter arrangements. The two firms have been close associates since 1998, said Jeff Mavelli, president of Soundtanker, and in recent years had aligned their systems, processes and service offerings. The SPI Marine banner confirms the common identify and message, he added.

Michael Kardel, managing director of Panasia Marine, said SPI Marine will offer safe, reliable and cost-effective bulk shipping and logistics. The combined company says it handles 12.5 million tons annually of products, and has 75 employees and representatives in key locations including Singapore, China, Korea, Oman and the United States.

Business Briefs

Shell Lubricants on Nov. 23 hailed the arrival in Houston of its first shipment of gas-to-liquid API Group III base oil, the first cargo from the Qatar-based Pearl GTL plant to reach the Americas. Once Pearl reaches full capacity, Shell boasts it will be the only oil major able to meet all of its Group III base oil needs from internal sources.

Nov. 29 was marked by inauguration ceremonies at the new Group III base oil plant in Sitra, Bahrain, by partners Neste Oil, Bahrain Petroleum and Nogaholding. Commercial production at the 400,000-metric-ton-per-year facility began in October. The event welcomed Bahrains prime minister, Prince Khalifa Bin Salman Al-Khalifa, as well as other dignitaries and executives.

Chevron Phillips Chemical closed on its acquisition of Neste Oils polyalphaolefins plant in Beringen, Belgium, on Nov. 30. The addition of this plant to our existing production capabilities enables us to better service the growing demand for PAOs that are used in high performance lubri-cants and other applications, said Dennis Holtermann, general manager of alpha olefins and PAO for CP Chemical.

H.E. (Ernie) Henderson last month completed the relocation of K&E Petroleum Consulting from Minnesota to Oklahoma City, Okla. The refining and lubricants industry consultancy specializes in base oils, finished product development and supply chain management.

RelaDyne has acquired Hill Oil and affiliate PetroClean Solutions, of Farmerville, La., expanding its distribution presence in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and east Texas, as well as its network of goods and services in all markets.

Bulgarian lubes marketer Prista Oil bought Chevrons controlling stake in Uz-Texaco in Uzbekistan and started producing lubricants there, as part of its expansion into Central Asia and the Middle East. Terms were not disclosed.

Petromins new lubricants blending plant, which has 250,000 metric tons per year of capacity, is now on stream in Saudi Arabia.

Specialty chemicals firm IMCD Group acquired Infineum Australia Pty Ltd (IAPL) and became Infineums appointed distributor in Australia and New Zealand. Other IMCD-Infineum relationships cover Iberia and North Africa. Netherlands-based IMCD also opened a regional headquarters in Singapore, and named Albert Stevens its vice president for Asia.

SK Lubricants and Repsol on Nov. 18 formalized their agreement to build Europes largest Group III base stock manufacturing plant, and to split the ventures ownership 70/30, respectively. Located next to Repsols refinery in Cartagena, Spain, it will have capacity to make 630,000 metric tons per year and is due to stream in 2014.

Faces in the News

Infineum International last month tapped Somchai Kornkanitnan as Asia Pacific sales director, replacing Yuji Uchiyama, who retired after more than 40 years with Infineum and Exxon Chemical. Kornkanitnan joined Exxon Chemical in 1980 and has spent more than 20 years in the additives industry. He lately served as global account executive, based in the United Kingdom, and global fuels sales manager, a position he continues to fill.

Chris Birdsall on Jan. 1 became vice president of ExxonMobil Chemicals global synthetic fluids business, which includes its PAOs, esters and alkylated naphthalenes. He takes the reins from Habib Quazi, who was named marketing manager for the companys global aromatics business. Birdsall joined ExxonMobil in 1996 and has served in technical and management positions in polymers, basic chemicals, and synthetics; most recently, he was global supply and planning man-ager for the synthetics business.

J. Graham Craig has joined Houghton International as director of its Global Offshore division, with plans to grow its business in oil and gas exploration and production, and manage both organic growth and acquisitions in the energy services arena. Based in Houston, Craig has more than 20 years of oilfield industry experience, including with GE Oil & Gas and Baker Hughes. He holds masters and doctorate degrees in chemical engineering (corrosion engineering) from the Univ. of Manchester, U.K., as well as an MBA.

Additives supplier IPAC has added Phil Roberts to its headquarters team in Dublin, Calif., as director of purchasing, operations and new business development. Hell be responsible for supply chain performance, partnering agreements, and develop ing business flexibility, markets and strategies. Roberts has a masters degree in chemical engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology, and has served in management roles at both Arco and Chevron.

Rockwall, Texas-based Whitmore Manufacturing has hired Don Lima as industrial sales manager, anticipating a major push to expand into industrial specialty lubricant markets. Lima brings more than 30 years of experience, including management and technical positions with Shell, Tribol, Union Oil and Pennzoil.

Hydrodec Group plc, a rerefiner serving the transformer oil and industrial oil markets, named Ian Smale as its chief executive officer designate. Hell succeed Mark McNamara, who will remain with Hydrodec as senior executive director. Smale comes to the London company after 30 years with BP, where his roles included group head of strategy and policy, leading mergers and acquisition, and as president and CEO of BP North Africa. Robert (Robbie) J. Monlezun Jr. has joined Hoover Materials Handling Group as regional operations manager for its Louisiana Service Center in Broussard, La. With over 25 years experience in the oil and gas industry, hell direct sales, operations and customer service as well as the expansion of Hoovers facility there.

Emerald Performance Materials has named Robert L. Culp Jr. its new vice president of procurement, responsible for global purchasing and logistics operations across the companys four business groups. Culp started his career in the 1980s with BFGoodrich (one of Emeralds predecessor companies) and most recently was with Omnova Solutions.

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