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Clean Harbors to Buy Safety-Kleen

Clean Harbors has agreed to acquire used oil collector and rerefiner Safety-Kleen in an all-cash transaction valued at $1.25 billion. Richardson, Texas-based Safety-Kleen is owned by a group of investors, including Highland Capital Management. Pending regulatory approval and other conditions, the deal is expected to close by the end of 2012.

Clean Harbors provides environmental, energy and industrial services including waste recycling. It said it would maintain the Safety-Kleen brand going forward and operate it as a subsidiary. It also would be supportive of Safety-Kleens plans to add more base oil rerefining capacity, Clean Harbors Chairman and CEO Alan McKim indicated.

Safety-Kleens East Chicago, Ind., rerefinery has 5,000 barrels per day of API Group I and II capacity. The company also has a rerefinery in Breslau, Canada, with base oil capacities of 1,900 b/d. In July, the company began blending finished lubricants at a new $15 million E. Chicago facility.

Prior to the purchase announcement, Safety-Kleen had filed for an IPO, in part to fund the building of a third rerefinery somewhere in the U.S. South. Safety-Kleen has about 4,200 employees and collects about 200 million gallons of used oil annually. It generated revenues of $1.3 billion in 2011.

Clean Harbors has more than 200 locations, including more than 50 waste management facilities in North America, and last year had revenues of $2 billion.

API Settles Suit vs. Tailor Made

The American Petroleum Institute announced on Oct. 15 it has settled its lawsuit against blender and distributor Tailor Made Oil of Indiana over counterfeiting of API engine oil quality certification marks. A year earlier API had sued seven companies and individuals associated with Tailor Made Oil, including company co-defendants Tailor Made Oil Co. LLC, TM Oil LLC, Circle Town Oil (all related Indiana companies), and New York-based distributor Jafarikal Corp. Individual co-defendants named were Lincoln R. Schneider and Tailor Mades owners, William R. and Rebecca Selkirk.

The lawsuit alleged that Tailor Made Oil and its owners had falsely claimed that their oil was API licensed in order to use APIs engine oil quality certification trademarks. Rather than go to trial, the defendants admitted they counterfeited the marks and made false performance claims for engine oil sold to consumers and branches of the military including the U.S. Army and Navy.

To settle the suit, the Selkirks agreed to a 10-year ban on bottling or marketing any engine oil for diesel engines and for use in gasoline engines in cars, vans, trucks and motorcycles. They also agreed to a 10-year ban on selling to the U.S. government. Financial damages also were part of the settlement, API spokesman Bill Bush noted, but the details were not made public.

Heritages Oil Sales Climb

Heritage-Crystal Cleans oil business, including oil collection and rerefining, posted $29.9 million in sales in its third quarter, compared to $9.6 million in the year-earlier quarter. That gain reflects base oil sales from its new rerefinery in Indianapolis, which was not yet producing base oil in 2011s third quarter. Its nameplate capacity is about 2,000 barrels per day of API Group II.

During the quarter we fed 10 million gallons of used oil into the rerefinery and we increased our base oil production rate to 89 percent of nameplate capacity, up from 69 percent in the previous quarter, Heritage-Crystal Clean President and CEO Joe Chalhoub said. We continue to work through the logistical and operational challenges which are typical with a new rerefinery, but we are pleased with our overall progress.

Heritage Chief Financial Officer Mark DeVita observed that while the company continues to grow its oil business revenue, its margins in the segment remain under pressure. The company doesnt break out net income for its oil business segment.

Smittys Investing $10M

Smittys Supply Inc. is spending $10 million on a Louisiana expansion that includes new warehouse and corporate office buildings. The lubricants blender, packager and distributor held a mid-October groundbreaking ceremony at the 23-acre site in Arcola, La., north of Roseland, where Smittys is headquartered.

Ed Smith, owner, president and CEO, said the 165,000-sq.ft. warehouse will be in operation by the end of the first quarter of 2013, and the corporate offices around the third quarter. He added that the project will result in about 100 jobs during construction, and then about 50 permanent new jobs for Smittys, which currently has 400 employees.

Smittys manufactures a broad range of lubricants at its Roseland location which are sold under its own and private labels, including motor oils, gear oils, hydraulic oils, greases, transmission fluids, power steering fluids, cleaners and degreasers.

Spectrum Expands

Spectrum Corp. will invest $1.8 million to expand its Selmer, Tenn., facility, adding warehouse space and creating 26 new full-time jobs. We acquired 10.4 acres and 55,500 square feet of warehouse space where we intend to install additional packaging lines, Spectrum President and CEO Kent Farmer told the online newsletter Lube Report. Its adjacent to our current property, which is fantastic because we can run pipes next door. So were very excited about it. The company currently has 200 employees.

Spectrum is an independent blender and packager of specialty lubricants including two-cycle engine, bar and chain, small engine and hydraulic oils. The company serves the outdoor power equipment, lawn and garden and agricultural markets, and the marine and automotive aftermarkets.

AOCA Elects and Moves

The Automotive Oil Change Association has moved its headquarters from Richardson, Texas, to Chicago, and replaced its management staff with association management firm SmithBucklin. Founded in 1987, AOCA is a non-profit trade organization representing the fast-lube industry, with over 1,200 member companies. It noted that the management fees charged by SmithBucklin are lower than the associations current cost of operation, and enable more dollars to be spent on developing value for members.

At its 2012 annual meeting on Oct. 29 in Las Vegas, the group also elected its board of directors and officers. Patricia Wirth of Potomac Falls Express Lube was re-elected president, and Express Lubes Harold Smith vice president. Also, Randy Groover of Pro Oil Shop was named treasurer, and Fast Lubes Jim Grant secretary.

Dalla Giovanna Leads UEIL

Fabio Dalla Giovanna of Italian rerefiner Viscolube in October succeeded Jos Jong of VSN as president of UEIL, Europes union of lubricant manufacturers. Dalla Giovanna has been active in UEIL for many years and serves on its board, and also led the European rerefining industry association, GEIR. As director of technology and business development at Viscolube, which he joined in 1991, he is closely involved in new rerefining and base oil plants being licensed and constructed abroad including the NexLube facility in Tampa, Fla. A registered engineer, he also co-authored the patent for Viscolubes rerefining process.

Wanted: Grease Experts

Its not too late to offer a technical, manufacturing or marketing presentation for the NLGI 80th Annual Meeting, in Tucson, Ariz., June 16 to 18. Experts are invited to share their knowledge on any aspect of grease technology at this once-a-year event, the leading global forum for the grease industry. Suggested topics include grease manufacturing, testing, packaging and market outlook; advances in grease thickeners and components; environmental and regulatory issues; and sustainable applications in vehicles, energy generation, food-processing, steel and other industries. Accepted papers also may be published in the peer-reviewed NLGI Spokesman.

Interested authors should submit their name, address, proposed title of paper and brief abstract to the NLGI headquarters no later than Jan. 11. For authors guidelines or information, email

Petroyag Builds Blend Plant

Turkish lubricant marketer Petroyag is building a second blending plant, this one in Gebze, Turkey, with 50,000 tons annual capacity. The company, which is headquartered in Kosekoy, Turkey, offers a wide variety of industrial lubricants, some under its own brands, others distributed on behalf of others. The company has previously said it has a goal to supply 20 percent of the industrial lubricants consumed in Turkey.

Formed in 1993, Petroyag currently operates a 30,000 t/y blending and filling plant in Golcuk, Turkey, on the southern shore of the east end of the Sea of Marmara. Gebze is on the seas northern shore, 45 kilometers east of Istanbul. Petroyag said it will close the Golcuk facility once the new one begins operating.

Turkey has a large and growing industrial base, which observers see as spurring lubricant sales. It is also one of the regions largest lubricant exporters, as domestic producers send products to the Middle East, Africa, Russia and Central Asia.

Trico Expands Lab Services

Lubrication management firm Trico will add a new oil analysis laboratory at its Pewaukee, Wis., facility that is expected to employ 15 people initially when it is completed before year end. The lab will perform tests, develop oil analysis reports and provide technical expertise to customers. It also will emphasize analytical ferrography, a cornerstone of the companys current oil analysis laboratory.

It will provide our customers choices ranging from product placement to oil analysis service capabilities and leverage our entire network of industry knowledge, stated Robert Jung, CEO and owner of Trico. He said the lab will add state-of-the-art equipment to expand its core test offerings and transmit data seamlessly to customers. Trico anticipates adding up to 27 more people as the business grows in the next three years, and said it will start hiring immediately.

… And So Does Spectro

Spectro Inc., which specializes in analytical instrumentation and software for machine condition monitoring, now has a larger North American headquarters in the greater Boston area. The new site, in Chelmsford, Mass., doubled the companys footprint to about 30,000 square feet. It has more space for customer demonstration and training, engineering and development, and significantly enhanced controlled-environment facilities for Spectros manufacturing operations.

Brian Mitchell, president and CEO, said, Over the past year we have continued to grow significantly greater than our underlying markets, expanded our employee base by over 40 percent, introduced two new analytical platforms, and entered into a strategic affiliation with the world leader in machine condition monitoring, Emerson Process Management. Spectro clients include petrochemical, mining and power generation companies as well as commercial testing laboratories.

Investor Buys Chunk of Avista

With a share of almost 30 per cent, Germanys privately owned SKion GmbH will become the second-biggest shareholder of used oil rerefiner Avista Oil AG, pending approval by EU authorities. The shareholding will mainly be realized through a capital increase and through the acquisition of shares from the original shareholders, and the new funds will be used for future strategic acquisitions and to create and expand rerefining capacities in Europe and the United States.

Avista Oil has 550 employees at four sites, and is majority owner of Univeral Environmental Services which is building a rerefinery in Peachtree City, Ga. SKion is owned by German entrepreneur Susanne Klatten, whose other investments include specialty chemicals, wind energy plants, digital security, wastewater and other technologies.

Briefly Noted

IMCD Group is partnering with Ineos ChlorVinyls for the distribution of the latters Cereclor range in France, Belgium, the Nordics, France, Switzerland and the U.K. The products are used in metalworking fluids and other products as viscosity modifiers.

Rafinerija Nafte Brod, in Bosnia and Herzegovina, has selected hydroprocessing technology from Honeywell UOP, plus ExxonMobil Research and Engineerings distillate and lubricant dewaxing technologies, under a joint licensing alliance, to improve its refined lubricants and fuels quality.

To support its customers and analytic testing capabilities in China, Chevron Oronite has signed an agreement with Intertek Group for the use of Interteks testing services and laboratory in Shanghai. The agreement supplements Chevron Oronites other technical and research facilities, including one in Japan that is equipped with full laboratory and engine test facilities. The Shanghai Intertek facility is already in use and initially will focus on Oronite customer service efforts and improving its field-testing efforts in China.

Acculube boasts it is one of just a few distributors nationwide now authorized to sell and service Castrols new Performance Biolubes product line of neat cutting oils and grinding oils, maintenance oils and forming fluids. The Performance range of biobased (vegetable) lubricants and metalworking fluids is said to complement Acculubes lubricant offerings for the aviation, metalworking and clean energy markets.


Georgia Rerefinery Rises, in Novembers issue, mistakenly said Germanys Avista Group had acquired from McPherson Bros. a 50 percent share in Universal Environmental Services, which is building a used oil rerefinery in Peachtree City, Ga. In fact, Avista initially acquired half of UES from MidMark Capital of Newark, N.J at the beginning of 2011. Later in the year, the used oil collection business of The McPherson Companies (TMC) was brought into UES and TMC obtained a 14 percent stake in UES. After a final ownership reorganization, Avista now owns the other 86 percent. Also, the caption on page 24 should have said the facilitys new tanks will be able to store more than 1 million gallons (not barrels) of base oil.

Faces in the News

Donald J. Smolenski has joined Evonik Oil Additives USAs OEM liaison team in the Detroit area, after a long career with General Motors where he rose to Technical Fellow. A well-known author, presenter and lubrication expert, Smolenski is co-inventor of the engine oil life monitor, which has been installed on over 20 million vehicles and is now standard on most GM vehicles in North America. He holds a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Wayne State Univ., and is active in SAE and STLE.

Effective Oct. 1, Martin Widmann became senior vice president with responsibility for BASFs global Fuels and Lubricant Solutions business unit, managing a portfolio that includes refinery additives, polyisobutenes, brake fluids, additives, synthetic base stocks and finished lubricants. He began his career at BASF in 1986 as a trainee, and most recently led its Pharma Ingredients and Services unit.

Esa Merikallio was appointed general manager, Neste Oil Bahrain, as of Oct. 1. In this new position, he will have a key role in the base oil venture operated jointly by Bapco, Nogaholding and Neste Oil. Neste is responsible for selling and marketing the output of the partners API Group III base oil plant, which opened last year in Sitra, Bahrain.

Simon Medley was tapped to be general manager and president of the Petroleum Additives business unit at Chemtura, effective Oct. 1. He replaces Sean OConnor, who left for other opportunities. Medley joined Chemtura this year from BASF, where he was a senior vice president and also worked on the integration of the Engelhard and Ciba acquisitions. A chemical engineer, he also is a member of Chemturas leadership Steering Team.

Eric Cline, Ph.D., is now director of research and development at Hydrotex. He comes to the Dallas-based specialty lube supplier from ZT Solar, a technology startup where he was CEO and chief scientist. An inventor and author on numerous patents, he also worked for Merck and Southwest Research Institute. The company also hired John Alecu, Ph.D., as R&D manager. Alecu has been a post-doctoral research fellow at the Univ. of Minn. and MIT for the past three years, where he has coauthored peer-reviewed scientific publications and performed research in the area of experimental and theoretical combustion chemistry.

Quaker Chemical named Joel Garrett president of its Summit Lubricants subsidiary in Batavia, N.Y., effective Aug. 1. Garrett, who previously served as director of North American operations for Quaker, succeeded Ron Krol, who has retired.

Paul Helton is now chief financial officer at RelaDyne, the Midwestern roll-up of large lubricant product and service suppliers. He previously was vice president and CFO of Petermann Partners, the worlds largest privately held provider of school bus transportation services.

Moore Oil Co., a Milwaukee distributor of petroleum and lubricant brands including ExxonMobil, Valvoline, Petro-Canada, Cam 2 and MooreFlo, promoted Andrew Haag to president on Oct. 1. After eight years working in operations for the company, he became marketing vice president in 2011. The fourth generation of his family to work in the industry, Andrew takes over from his father, Scott Haag, who will stay on as CEO and chairman.

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