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CNOOC to Add Group II/III

China National Offshore Oil Co. has signed a contract to license Chevron Lummus Globals technology for a new 400,000 metric tons per year API Group II and III base oil plant in Taizhou, China. Chevron Lummus Global said it will provide the process design, catalysts and technical services for the plant, which will use CLGs Isocracking, Isodewaxing and Isofinishing technologies and startup around 2016.

CNOOC now has a 450,000 t/y naphthenic plant in Binzhou and a 400,000 t/y of Group II/III plant in Huizhou, which also uses CLG technology.

China Tops Vehicle Production

China will remain the primary driver of light-duty vehicle growth over the next four years, says a joint forecast by Wards – Auto and Automotive Compass, while the U.S. remains the worlds number two producer. The two research firms also said automakers will ramp up their output of cars and trucks that rely on smaller engines.

The WardsAuto/AutomotiveCompass report projects growth in all global regions through 2018, as vehicle output increases 23 percent worldwide over the next six years. The Asia-Pacific region will increasingly dominate, especially through 2016, when yearly production in China will climb to a stunning 26 million units – 7.5 million more than in 2012.

By comparison, U.S. vehicle output is projected to grow by 1.3 million units by 2016, while production in the third-highest producing country, Japan, is forecast to decline by 875,000 units a year in that time. India will surge ahead of South Korea and Germany to rank fourth among vehicle producing countries, the report adds.

In the powertrain area, the report sees an accelerating shift to smaller engines, as production of vehicles with engines of four cylinders or fewer rises from 82 percent of the total in 2012 to 85 percent in 2018. Even North America (a bastion for larger engines) will be affected, as engines of four cylinders or fewer increases from 47 percent of the regions total output in 2012 to 55 percent in 2018.

Information about the WardsAuto/Automotive Compass Global Light Vehicle and Powertrain Forecast, which is updated monthly for clients, is avail-able at www.wardsauto.com.

Korean Plant to Make Group II

Shell Petroleum Co. Ltd. and Hyundai Oilbank recently confirmed that their new 650,000 metric tons per year base oil plant in Daesan, South Korea, will make API Group II material. Groundbreaking was in late January, and the facility will be fully operational in the second half of 2014.

Hyundai Oilbank announced the project in February 2012. A joint venture between the two companies – Hyundai and Shell Base Oil Co. Ltd. – will commission, startup and operate the plant. Hyundai Oilbank has a 60 percent share and Shell a 40 percent share in the joint venture.

Daesan is southwest of Seoul and close to key lubricants markets. Commercial agreements have been put in place, with Shell using a majority of the base oil from the future plant in its businesses, a Shell spokesperson told Lube Report. Any balance could be sold to third parties, but with Shell having 19 lube plants in Asia, industry sources doubt much will be left after its own needs are filled.

LSC Opens 4th Plant

Lubricating Specialties Co., of Pico Rivera, Calif., has started up its fourth blending and packaging facility in the state. The former Wynns facility in Azusa is now ready to serve customers in the western U.S. and Asia-Pacific, after almost a year of construction and startup testing, CEO Stephen Milam said.

The Azusa plant has 20 storage tanks, bulk truck loading and unloading capabilities, four freight docks, three small packaging lines, and a full-service laboratory on site. Owned by LSC (the operating partner and majority owner) and an unnamed partner in China, the plant is producing aftermarket fuel and lubricant additives, and may expand into other products, Milam said.

He also announced that Sydney Thwaites, who has been with LSC for 15 years, has been named president and chief operating officer. Thwaites is credited with completing the partnership that developed the Azusa venture. Additionally, Rob Kress has rejoined the company after a short time with base oil trader Chemlube. Kress is now senior vice president of LSC, responsible for technology activities and new business development.

IFH Expands

IFH Group, the Rock Falls, Ill., maker of hydraulic oil reservoirs and custom tanks, completed a major expansion that boosted it to over 121,000 square feet under one roof. The addition stepped up IFHs ability to produce aluminum sheet for its reservoirs, tanks and other custom fabrications. This also enables us to expand our ferrous manufacturing by creating additional capacity for steel, stainless steel and aluminized steel – increasing our capability for supplying large fabrications and tanks, said company President Keith Ellefsen. More improvements are planned for the second quarter, he added.

Kluber Bags Fomblin

Munich-based Kluber Lubrication has acquired the PFPE grease business of Solvay Specialty Polymers Italy. The PFPE greases from Solvay are well known under the brand name Fomblin. They ideally complement our existing high-quality PFPE lubricants, which are known in many industries under the brand names Barrierta, Klubertemp and Kluberalfa, said Claus Langgartner of the German companys managing board. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Norway Buy for Hoover

Hoover Container Solutions, supplier of tote bins to the lubes industry, acquired Consult Supply AS, an offshore container provider in Norway. The expansion into the Norwegian market provides Hoover an additional channel to offer its range of intermediate bulk containers (IBCs), offshore containers, cargo carrying units, container workshops and ISO tank container products. Consult Supply, established in 1989, currently serves the European and Asian offshore markets.

Shell Opens Grease Plant in China

Shell in mid-January celebrated the official opening of its new 30,000 metric tons per year grease plant in Zhuhai, in Chinas Guangdong province. The companys 18th and largest grease plant, Zhuhai can make a range of lithium, lithium calcium and lithium complex greases used mainly in passenger cars and industrial bearings, and has room to expand to 40,000 tons a year.

According to Shell, the plant boasts four production lines, grease processing equipment, a plant control system, package filling lines, laboratory equipment and other associated facilities. It also has a warehouse, bulk additive and base oil tanks, bulk finished product tanks and truck unloading facilities. Commercial production began in the fourth quarter of 2012, a Shell spokesperson told Lube Report.

Recycler Rebrands

Valicor is the new name of sister companies Solution Recovery Services and United Waste Water Services, as well as their parent, United Solutions Inc. The three adopted the common identity to strengthen their presence in industrial fluid recycling and wastewater management.

Operating as one, under the same management team and employee ownership, Valicor will include Valicor Environmental Services (formerly United) and Valicor Separation Technologies (the erstwhile Solution Recovery unit). It will also offer new product lines through Valicor Renewables, a startup.

According to Tom Czartoski, CEO, the Sharonville, Ohio, companies will continue to offer many of the same services as in the past, and to handle fluids including non-regulated petroleum-contaminated liquids such as oil, machining coolant, diesel fuel, glycol, contaminated groundwater, and other non-regulated wastes. Valicor recycles more than 1 million gallons of off-spec used oil per month, processing it into on-spec fuel.

ORourke Expands in Texas

ORourke Petroleum has acquired fellow Shell lubricant distributor Penco Oil, of Tyler, Texas. Mush Khan, president of ORourke, said his company is specifically interested in growing its lubricants business. Penco is a highly lubricants-focused company, so they added to our portfolio of lubricants, and allowed us to accelerate our existing organic growth in that business line, Khan told Lube Report. Privately owned ORourke plans to continue seeking expansion opportunities in Texas and along the Gulf Coast, he added.

Briefly Noted

Chevron Phillips Chemical is mulling a 20 percent expansion of normal alpha olefins capacity at its Cedar Bayou chemical complex in Baytown, Texas. A final decision is expected in the third quarter, with construction possibly starting early next year…

Oxea will increase production capacity for trimethylol-propane (TMP), which is used in making synthetic lubricants, at its Bishop, Texas, site…

Western Marketing, a multi-branded distributor based in Abilene, Texas, has earned Chevron Lubricants 2012 Eagle Award, its highest honor for lubricant distributors. The award is based on objective factors including sales of premium products and coolants, value-based selling, and year-over-year volume growth.

South America has its first Group II base oil plant, as Lwart has successfully started up its used oil rerefinery in Lencois Paulista, Brazil. Chemical Engineering Partners, which designed and supplied the rerefining technology, confirmed that the 150,000 ton/year plant began operating in October…

Faces in the News

Jack L. Teat Jr. on Feb. 1 was appointed to the new position of chief operating officer at Dover Chemical Corp., reporting to President Dwain Colvin and holding overall responsibility for operations including sales, R&D, and environmental, health and safety. Teat, who has over 30 years of chemical industry experience, has been general manager of Dovers Hammond, Ind., facility and executive v.p. of sales and marketing.

Taking over from Teat as sales and marketing vice president is Chuck Fletcher, who joined Dover in 2002. Fletcher will continue to directly manage the alkylphenols and stearates business, as well. Marc Nolen was promoted to business manager, polyolefins, and will manage both Dovers global TNPP business and new product introductions. Damon Stevenson was named global sales manager, adding responsibility for the sales team and management of the customer service group; hell also continue to manage Dovers domestic sales team and distributors.

Raj Shah, Ph.D., a director at Koehler Instrument Co., was honored with the ASTM Award of Excellence during the groups December meeting. Shah is one of very few to have received this award twice from ASTM Committee D02 on Petroleum Products and Lubricants. This latest award recognizes his many years of dedicated contributions and outstanding service to Subcommittee D2.09, Oxidation of Lubricants.

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