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Calumet Buys Bel-Ray

Calumet Specialty Products Partners last month acquired Bel-Ray Co., the privately held Wall, N.J.-based manufacturer and distributor of specialty lubricants and greases for the industrial, mining and powersports markets. Terms were not disclosed.

This transaction signals our ongoing commitment to growing a global specialty products business, Jennifer Straumins, Calumet Specialty Products Partners president and chief operating officer, said. Calumets other lubricant brands include Royal Purple synthetic lubricants and Penreco food-grade products. Given the private fragmented nature of the specialty products markets we occupy, Straumins added, Calumet remains an active consolidator of established, profitable businesses that complement our existing product portfolio.

Bel-Ray was founded in 1946 by William Kiefer, and has been led by his daughter, Daryl Bronson, since 1995.

PC-11 Gets a Breather

EMA, the Truck and Engine Manufacturers Association, has requested a delay in the first-licensing date for the next heavy-duty engine oil upgrade, PC-11. EMA now wants the oils to debut April 1, 2016, giving it three additional months to complete engine test development.

Original plans called for the oils to be commercially available by Jan. 1, 2016, to coincide with the introduction of more stringent U.S. fuel economy and emissions limits. However, PC-11 requires a number of new engine sequence tests, as well as carrying over most of the tests required for the current heavy-duty category, API CJ-4. The New Category Development Team is slated to meet Jan. 8, to identify which tests are critical to the category moving forward. The hope is that those engine tests can be completed in the new timeframe, so the April 2016 target can be met.

GM Retooling Dexos

General Motors is putting the finishing touches on the next generation of its proprietary Dexos engine oil specifications, and expects it to be ready in 2015 for 2016 model year vehicles (two years ahead of the industry- wide GF-6 passenger car motor oil spec). Eric R. Johnson, industry liaison for fuels and lubricants with GM Powertrain in Milford, Mich., unveiled the new Dexos at the ICIS Pan American Base Oils & Lubricants Conference in Jersey City, N.J., last month. There will be new specs for both Dexos1, for spark-ignited engines, and Dexos2, for diesel engines, he noted.

Key objectives for the next-generation oils are fuel economy, turbocharger deposits, aeration, stochastic pre-ignition, wear, oxidation and deposits. Twelve engine tests are slated for products seeking Dexos1 approval: CECs M-271 sludge test and M-111 fuel economy test; ASTM/ILSACs Sequence VH, VID/VIE and VIII; and seven proprietary GM tests. In addition, Johnson added, the new Dexos must be compatible with global use of oil life monitors. Web:

Sarnia Ending Blending

Canadas Imperial Oil will discontinue lubricant blending and packaging operations at its Sarnia, Ont., facility by 2015. The plan is to transition those operations over the next year and a half to its Edmonton, Ont., plant, as well as to U.S. locations of its majority-owner, ExxonMobil, according to Imperial Oil spokesman Jon Harding. Sarnia previously had a base oil refinery, which the company closed in 2011.

Imperial plans to make reasonable efforts to reassign the 58 affected workers to other company locations, Harding added.

Nexeo Hooks Startex

Chemical distributor Nexeo Solutions has acquired Chemical Specialists & Development Inc., a Conroe, Texas, contract blender and packager of chemicals and lubricants also known as Startex Chemical. The move expands Nexeo Solutions capabilities in formula preparation, custom blending and laboratory testing, and also strengthens our end market presence and increases our growth in the Gulf Coast region, allowing us to further expand our value proposition for our customers and suppliers across North America said Nexeo Solutions President and CEO, David Bradley.

Following the acquisition, CSD continues to operate out of its existing facilities.

Savant Builds Out

Savant Group broke ground mid- November on a $3 million project to expand manufacturing, laboratory and training operations at its headquarters in Midland, Mich., by spring 2014. Blueprints for the 11,000-sq.ft. addition call for a technical training facility, expanded customer service area, additional labs and manufacturing space for producing bench-top instruments.

This investment demonstrates our commitment to be an active, eager partner with researchers, producers, and original equipment manufacturers, said Ted Selby, Savant Group founder and vice president of technical development. Savant, made up of Savant Labs, Tannas Co., King Refrigeration, and Institute of Materials, has experienced a 40 percent growth in personnel over the past year, added Group President Rebecca Cox.

Fire Derails Hydrodec

A Dec. 1 explosion and fire destroyed the processing unit of Hydrodecs transformer oil rerefinery in Canton, Ohio, causing no injuries but resulting in an estimated $12.5 million in damages and an indefinite shutdown. The incident was under control within an hour and a half of workers raising the alarm, according to the U.K.-based company. All staff members were quickly accounted for and emergency shutdown procedures operated successfully, it said.

Hydrodec is working to find the root cause of the incident. It was a substantial fire, but was contained to the processing unit, CEO Ian Smale told Lube Report. The rest of the facility is still substantially intact. We will continue to serve our customers, and according to our agreement with U.S. partners G & S Technologies, we will continue to collect and manage oil. Feedstock and finished products in onsite storage are secure, he continued, although the plants oil processing operations will be on indefinite hiatus.

NLGI Calls for Papers

Authors are invited to submit technical, manufacturing and marketing papers for the National Lubricating Grease Institutes 81st Annual Meeting, June 14-17 in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. With 300 member companies worldwide, NLGI is the leading forum for researchers to exchange ideas, and for suppliers to reach out to this industry, points out Wayne Mackwood of Chemtura Canada Co. Presentations may cover any phase of grease chemistry, formulation, production or application. We also welcome papers on new uses for greases and novel research and manufacturing techniques, Mackwood said. Papers from the meeting will also be peer reviewed for publication in NLGIs journal, The Spokesman. For details or to offer a paper, e-mail him at wayne.mackwood@ or NLGI executive director Kim Bott ( Web: /annual-meeting/call-for-papers/

Fuchs Opens China Plant

Fuchs Petrolub opened a state-of-the- art lubricants blending plant in Yingkou, China, in late October, replacing a smaller, 25-year-old one there. This new facility took two years to build, cost more than Euro 24 million, and will produce a wide range of automotive and industrial lubricants, all made to German technological and quality standards. Yingkou is now one of the largest production locations in the Fuchs Group, which operates in 50 countries. Mannheim, Germany-headquartered Fuchs says Fuchs China generated around 10 percent of its worldwide 2012 sales of more than Euro 1.8 billion.

Twin Plants for Total

Total in October inaugurated two lubricants blending plants, one on the Red Sea coast of Saudi Arabia, and the other in Tianjin in northern China. Saudi Total Lubricants Co.s blending plant in Saudi Arabia is a 65,000-sq.ft. facility with 25,000 metric tons per year capacity. In King Abdullah Economic City, 120 kilometers north of Jeddah, the plant features a fully automated blending system.

Meanwhile, Total China inaugurated its Tianjin blending plant with up to 200,000 t/y capacity. The 44,000- sq.m. plant will target northern China, while Totals existing plants in Guangzhou and Zhenjiang will cover southern and eastern China.

Faces in the News

Petronas Lubricants International named Joe Rousmaniere head of new base oil technology, effective Dec. 1. Based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, he recently led Petronas Downstream Marketing Strategic Base Oil Development and prior to that was CEO of Petronas Base Oil. His earlier career included management roles at Lithcon Petroleum, Gulf Oil Trading and Transammonia Corp. John Giansanti is the new logistics manager at Colonial Specialty Chemical, which focuses on the metalworking and industrial marketplace. He has over 20 years of experience, including with Houghton International and Hercules.

Dutch additive and chemicals producer BRB International has added Stephanie van der Sanden to its sales team. As an account manager, she will be responsible for the Benelux region. Also, Juliane Benedet, with a recent PhD in Tribology from Imperial College London and previously experience at Castrol and Infineum, joined BRB as lubricant additive specialist.

Sea-Land Chemical recently hired Sandy Loebick as customer service specialist. Formerly with Concept Sales, she brings over 20 years of customer service and sales experience to the Cleveland-based distributor of chemical specialties.

Dick Perkins has retired as president of the Chicago-based metalworking, industrial and commercial lubricants company that bears his name. Perkins Products, which he founded 30 years ago, was acquired by DuBois Chemicals in 2010, and Perkins remained to ensure the companys successful integration into DuBois holdings.

Briefly Noted

ExxonMobil Aviation broke ground last month in Port Allen, La., on a new blending and packaging center for synthetic aviation lubricants, including new generations of its Mobil Jet Oil aircraft-type gas turbine lubricants. The facility is set to begin operating by early 2015… Poma Distributing will market BP Lubricants USAs Castrol branded automotive and heavy duty lubricants throughout southern California… Fitz Chem now represents G.H. Chemicals zinc oxide products in the Central U.S., as well as Cristals titanium dioxide products in the same region… Oman Oil completed its acquisition of Oxea from the private equity firm Advent International. With 1.3 million tons of Oxo chemicals and derivatives each year, including NPG and TMP used in making lubricants, Oxea generated sales of around 1.5 billion EUR (2012).

Michael Mueller

Dr. Michael Mueller, vice president and director of strategic marketing at Evonik Oil Additives, died unexpectedly on Dec. 4 while on business in the United States. In his 29 years with the company in Germany, Mueller served in key leadership positions. At Oil Additives, he became head of research and development, Europe, then global product development manager and global business segment manager for driveline and engine oil, and ultimately head of strategic marketing. With Michael, we always had a colleague at our side whose drive, conscientiousness and expertise was extraordinary, commented Ralf Duessel, Evonik managing director. We knew him as both a supportive mentor as well as a straight talker who consistently spoke his mind. Muellers survivors include his wife and two children.

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