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Harburg Sale Gets Nod

The European Commission has approved Nynas proposal to acquire the base oil production units at Shells Harburg refinery in Hamburg, Germany, an acquisition which will boost the Swedish companys naphthenic output by 40 percent. The approval came after a nearly two-year review, prompted by concerns that the takeover would leave Nynas as the only producer of naphthenic base oils, process oils and transformer oils in Europe. Harburg has capacity to make 3,000 barrels a day of naphthenics and 3,300 b/d of API Group I base oil.

The EC found that, lacking any alternative buyers, the plant would likely be shut down if Nynas did not take it over, thereby dramatically reducing production capacity in Europe for a number of specific oil products, said the commissions vice president, Joaquin Almunia. Shell already has closed Harburgs crude unit and converted its other operations to a fuels terminal.

Nynas will take possession in stages, beginning on Jan. 1. It will first begin operating the base oil unit and associated refining facilities, including bitumen assets, tank farms and jetties on the southern part of the Harburg site. API Sues Bullseye

The American Petroleum

Institute is suing Bullseye Lubricants for alleged counterfeiting, trademark infringement, trademark dilution, false advertising and unfair competition. Its complaint was filed in July in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, against Bullseye Lubricants, in association with Bullseye Automotive Products Inc. and company president Carlos Silva, as a seller of motor oil based in Chicago Ridge, Ill.

In the lawsuit, API claims that Bullseye knowingly deceived consumers by labeling its motor oil with false API accreditation, such as counterfeit imitations of two distinct API logos. Bullseye motor oil neither meets performance standards that warrant API certification nor has license to use any API trademark, the organization stated. Furthermore, API asserted, the Bullseye brand of motor oil will likely damage automobile engines due to misrepresenting its quality.

API is seeking preliminary and permanent injunctions and monetary relief, including damages in excess of $75,000. It also seeks statutory damages of $1 million per counterfeit mark per type of goods sold. An initial pretrial conference has been scheduled for Oct. 16 in the U.S. Courthouse of Indianapolis.

Avista Rebrands Facilities

Mineralol-Raffinerie Dollbergen GmbH has donned a new legal name: Avista Oil Refining & Trading Deutschland GmbH. The rebranding of the rerefinery, located in Uetze, Germany, is the first step in a planned international integration that will see all of Avistas used oil collection companies and rerefineries take on their parents identity. The Avista name is also being adopted by Danish rerefinery Dansk Olie Genbrug and U.S.-based Universal Environmental Services in Peachtree City, Ga. The rebranding aims to signal the unity of the Avista Oil Group companies, and strengthen its market perception, says Detlev Bruhnke, Avista managing director.

Chemtura Readies PAO Plant

Chemtura Corp. has completed construction at its new polyalphaolefin plant in Ankerweg, Netherlands, Simon D. Medley, president and general manager of Chemturas Petroleum Additives business, confirmed in late August. We expect to begin producing sample PAO quantities so customers can get their approval processes under way, he said. Commercially approved volumes should be ready to ship to customers at the beginning of 2014.

Located outside Amsterdam, the plant uses similar process technology to that at Chemturas existing PAO plant in Elmira, Ont., Canada, but its output will be in close reach of European markets which are seeing high demand for the synthetic base oil. Ankerweg will make 40 and 100 cSt grades for sale under the Synton brand name. Medley, who is based in Philadelphia, declined to disclose the cost of the Ankerweg facility, or the plants capacity. LubesnGreases estimates Elmiras capacity at 15,800 metric tons per year.

Heartland Adds 33 Stores

Irving, Texas-based Heartland Automotive Services, the countrys largest Jiffy Lube franchisee, on Aug. 28 announced the second-largest acquisition in its history, with the addition of 33 new locations from South Lube Inc. Heartland said all 250 South Lube employees were invited to remain in their current positions.

The newly acquired stores, located across northern Florida and South Carolina, will operate as Heartlands Southeast division, which will also include existing Heartland locations located near Savannah, Ga., and Hilton Head Island, S.C. The deal expands Heartlands footprint to cover more than 570 locations in 23 states.

Omni Launches Lab Services

Omni Specialty Packagings quality control lab has been accredited by the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation, to the standard ISO/IEC 17025:2005. The company says it is one of the first lubricant blender/packagers in the United States to win the stringent accreditation, which covers 15 different tests and their applicable ASTM methods. The quality control lab also earned classification as a Conditional Commercial Laboratory, meaning that Omni, which is based in Greenwell Springs, La., can offer the accredited testing lab services to others.

Haver Expands Facility

Haver Filling Systems, which provides bulk material packaging and filling equipment, is expanding its Conyers, Ga. facility to increase production capacity. The company assembles German-engineered packaging and fill-ing machines in the Conyers facility. The machines, which are used for dry bulk solid, liquid and pasty materials, include the Haver, Feige and Behn+Bates brands. The expansion will add 4,300 square feet to the existing 14,000-sq.ft. assembly facility, and should be completed by year end. The larger facility will help handle increasing demand and accommodate assembly of additional product lines, it added.

Australia to Get Rerefinery

Southern Oil Refineries of Australia is investing A.$55 million to build its second rerefinery, which is expected to begin operating by November 2013. The rerefinery in Gladstone, in the state of Queensland, will join the companys existing rerefinery in Bomen.

Originally announced in 2011, the Gladstone plant aims to process up to 100 million liters per year (26 million gallons/year) of used oil, mostly collected from mining and agricultural machinery and transport vehicles. In addition to Group I base oil, its solvent-refining process will produce fuels.

Hyundai Oilbank to Make Lubes

South Korean refiner Hyundai Oilbank plans to produce 180,000 barrels a year of Xteer brand engine oil by 2014 to sell at home and abroad, according to a company announcement cited by The Korea Times. Hyundai Oilbank also plans to market engine oil for heavy equipment and industrial machines within this year, the newspaper reported.

Obtaining base oil for the new product lines shouldnt be a problem, as Shell Petroleum Co. Ltd. and Hyundai Oilbank are planning a new joint-venture 650,000 metric tons per year API Group II base oil plant in Daesan, South Korea, thats due to be fully operational in the second half of 2014. Hyundai Oilbank has a 60 percent share and Shell a 40 percent share in the base oil venture.

Solar Project at Archway

Archway Sales, Inc. has completed the installation of a 24.8 kW solar panel array at its St. Louis, Mo., headquarters. Built by Microgrid Energy, the array is expected to reduce the chemical distributors carbon footprint while providing low cost energy. Up to 20 percent of Archways headquarters electricity will now be supplied by solar energy.

ATIEL Updates Code

ATIEL, the technical association of the European lubricants industry, has released a new version of its Code of Practice, which provides testing guidelines for engine oils designed to meet European performance specifications. This latest version, Code of Practice Issue 19, incorporates technical updates that bring it into line with 2012 specifications released by the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) in its European Oil Sequences.

The 2012 ACEA sequences set out the minimum performance levels required of service-fill engine lubricants, and became available for first use on Dec. 14. The sequences incorporate some new testing requirements that will impact the formulation and development of engine lubricants and the performance claims that can be made for them. The majority of changes relate to gasoline and light-duty diesel engines, but there are also some changes to the heavy-duty categories.

To download the latest edition of the ATIEL Code of Practice, visit

New President at AOCA

The Automotive Oil Change Association recently elected Jim Grant Jr. president, succeeding Patricia Wirth. Grant, who had served as AOCA vice president, owns East Ridge Fast Lube, a four-store chain in Chattanooga, Tenn. He was named the 2012 Operator of the Year by National Oil & Lube News magazine.

Wirth was elected to AOCAs board of directors in 2009 and became president in 2010, serving until late August. Citing a heavily saturated local market for oil change services, she closed down her independent quick lube, Potomac Falls Express Lube and Car Wash in Potomac Falls, Va., on Sept. 6.

Wirth said she plans to move on to other ventures, but will remain a member of AOCA and its government affairs committee through the end of the year, when her membership expires.

Fuchs Keen on Australia

Fuchs Petrolub has completed an A$4.5 million (U.S. $4.1 million) warehouse facility in Melbourne, Australia, the first phase of an A$6 million plan to increase lubricant production capacity and efficiency there by the end of 2014. The 5,000-sq.m. warehouse follows other major investments in the region, including a grease plant in 2010 and a laboratory and technical center in 2011. The company expects sustained growth in Australia and New Zealand, and built the warehouse to meet future demand, Wayne Hoiles, Fuchs Lubricants Australasias managing director, said.

Fuchs estimates Australias lubricant demand at 433,000 metric tons in 2012. With 12 distribution centers in Australia and New Zealand, the Mannheim, Germany, headquartered company also views Australia as a prominent hub for lubricants R&D and operations for Asia Pacific.

Briefly Noted

Bulgarian lubricant manufacturer Prista Oil has acquired Chevrons lubricants distribution business in the Czech Republic. Prista is now Chevrons authorized distributor in the country. Terms of the deal, which includes a distribution agreement that allows for Texaco branded products to be marketed there, were not disclosed … Shell signed a memorandum of understanding to supply lubricants to Geely Motors, the Russian marketer of Chinese cars, the oil major said in early September … Susser Holdings acquired Gainesville Fuels, a wholesale fuel and lubricants distributor selling to oil and gas producers in northern Texas and southern Oklahoma.

Faces in the News

Steven Ledbetter has been named president of Jiffy Lube International, the Shell Oil subsidiary that oversees more than 2,000 of the independently owned branded quick lubes in the U.S. and Canada. Ledbetter joined Shell in 1999, and has extensive downstream knowledge, from lubricants to pipeline distribution to manufacturing. Most recently, he was North American director of business-to-consumer key accounts, heading the team that manages large-volume installer customers for the Shell lubricants business.

Sea-Land Chemical, the Westlake, Ohio, specialty chemical distributor, has added Linda Pascali to its sales team. As account manager, she will be responsible for business development and sales in eastern Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia. Her background includes work in lubricants, metalworking and testing services. Also, Steve Dawson, who previously worked for Polartech, BP Castrol and Esso, has joined Sea-Land and will directly manage its U.K. business, providing market and technical support there and in Europe.

Lorie Johannessen has been appointed manager, customer service, at Petroleum Chemicals. Based in Houston, she brings the additive supplier more than 20 years of experience, including in distribution, logistics, supply chain and training, gained at companies including Ethyl Petroleum Additives and Compaq Computer.

Ken J. Swanson on Aug. 1 became CEO of Liqui-Box Corp., bringing over 25 years of experience to the maker of bag-in-box packaging. His career has included executive positions with Berry Plastics, Pliant Corp. and Huntsman Packaging, and he also serves as a director of the U.S. Flexible Packaging Association. Former CEO Roszann Graham, who led the companys transition from a division of DuPont to a stand-alone business of the Sterling Group, said that Swanson will lead Liqui-Box to the next level of growth.

Polaris Laboratories has hired Gwyn Simmonds as its first territory sales manager for all of Europe. Based in Conwy, U.K., he brings Polaris 14 years of industrial fluid analysis experience. Simmonds previously was with Alcontrol UK, where he rose to sales and administration manager responsible for 20 employees, sales and major accounts.

Heartland Automotive Services, the largest Jiffy Lube franchisee in the world, has appointed Jim Marcum as interim CEO. The former CEO of retail electronics companies Circuit City and Ultimate Electronics, he most recently served as CEO of Central Parking Corp. Marcum takes over from Brett Ponton, who led Heartland since 2009 and has left the company.

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