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BP Sells Aviation Lubes Business

BP has agreed to sell its global aviation turbine oils business to Eastman Chemical Co. Included in the deal will be BPs aviation turbine oil manufacturing, blending and packaging assets in Linden, N.J., lab equipment, product formulations and global customer contracts – which include many of the worlds commercial airlines. Subject to regulatory and other approvals, the sale should close in the second quarter. Terms were not disclosed.

The decision followed a review of BPs lubricants portfolio, which determined that aviation offered more opportunities for companies seeking to invest in the business, BP said. Eastman is one of the largest U.S. chemical companies and has supplied lubricants to the aviation industry since 2012, when it got the Skydrol line of aviation hydraulic fluids as part of its aquisition of Solutia.

BP added that its aviation fuels business, AirBP, is not part of the sale. The aviation turbine oils business has 47 employees, who all are expected to transfer to the new owners.

Biorefinery Slated to Expand

Elevance Renewable Sciences said it has selected URS Corp. to provide engineering, procurement and construction services for its second biorefinery, ensuring it remains on track to meet anticipated demand for its Inherent brand of renewable fluids. These building-block chemicals include esters, biobased alpha and internal olefins such as decene (C10, the main component in polyalphaolefins), and a range of oleochemicals used in making lubricants, additives and other specialties.

The scope of work at Natchez involves converting an existing Elevance biodiesel plant there into a biorefinery that uses a proprietary metathesis process. When complete, Natchez will have an annual capacity of 280,000 metric tons, or 617 million pounds. That will make it larger than Elevances first biorefinery, which is already operating in Gresik, Indonesia. The Gresik plant is a joint venture with Wilmar Internation, and has 180,000 t/y capacity.

Algal Oil Ramps Up

Truckloads of Solazymes algal oil – a renewable fluid that can be used to make lubricants and metalworking fluids – began to ship in January from two Iowa facilities. The oils are made by using algae to convert plant-based sugars to oil, Solazyme explained, and offer properties such as high lubricity and viscosity index, plus stability at high temperatures, speeds and pressures.

The oils are made in an Archer Daniels Midland fermentation plant in Clinton, Iowa, and further processed at a downstream facility operated by American Natural Products, in Galva, Iowa. Solazyme reports making three distinct oils, and said production is expected to ramp up to 20,000 metric tons per year within 18 months. That later could rise to 100,000 t/y, it added.

The oils shipped in the United States are targeted for use in lubricants, metalworking fluids, and home and personal care products. Some volumes also were shipped to Brazil, for use in market development activities ahead of the opening of another Solazyme renewable oil plant, in Sao Paulo state.

LSC Changes Hands

Lubricating Specialties Co.s president, Sydney Thwaites and private investment fund Vintage Capital Partners II have acquired full ownership of the West Coast contract blender and packager, as chairman and CEO Steve Milam moves to retire. Headquartered in Pico Rivera, Calif., LSC operates four facilities in the state, which make lubricants and greases and provide bulk liquid storage, terminalling, distribution and export services.

Exports increased greatly under Milams tenure, and Thwaites, who is now president and CEO, notes that the majority of sales now are outside the U.S. borders. Probably 65 to 70 percent of everything we do ends up in Asia-Pacific or other countries, he told Lube Report. South America has been another prime target.

Weve been in the transition for about two years so this is just the last step, Thwaite said of the sale. Its a pretty seamless change. Milam will continue in an advisory role and the rest of LSCs senior management team remains in place.

Metalloid Grows in Texas

Metalloid Corp., which manufactures and markets metalworking fluids and other specialty chemicals, has opened a new larger facility in Jacksonville, Texas. This 54,000-sq.ft. facility replaces an older one in the city, and includes laboratory, offices and manufacturing capabilities. Metalloid, which is headquartered in Sturgis, Mich., said the expansion was needed to support growth it has experienced in both its metalworking and HVAC businesses.

Global Consultancy Launches

Sanjay Srinivasan has launched Accent Advisors, a Richmond, Va., management and technology consulting firm focusing on specialty chemicals, lubricant additives, components, polymers, finished lubricants and base oils. Srinivasan has over 23 years of experience at companies including Ethyl, Afton Chemical, IBM and Tianhe Chemical, and said his new venture will provide expertise in R&D and product development, process improvements, supply chain optimization, and business development.

Srinivasan ( holds a Ph.D. in polymer organic chemistry from Oklahoma State, an MBA from Duke, and several U.S. and European patents. His international experience includes work India, China and Europe, so a particular specialty will be global sourcing, procurement and international business development, he told LubesnGreases.

Nod for Lukoil-OMV Deal

Lukoil continues to grow its footprint beyond its native Russia. Its acquisition of the non-retail lubricants business of Austrias OMV has been approved by the European Commission, after it found the deal did not raise competition concerns. The sale includes a 35,000 metric ton per year blending plant near Vienna which supplies products to countries in Western, Central and Southeastern Europe.

Lukoil also bought the rights for use of OMVs Bixxol engine oil brand, and is getting lube distribution operations in Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Solvakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria. Outside Russia, it already operates a 30,000 t/y plant in Ploiesti, Romania, and a 32,000 t/y plant in Hamina, Finland.

More Group II from Korea

The API Group II base oil plant being built by Hyundai Oilbank and Shell, at Hyundais refinery in Daesan, South Korea, is on schedule for completion in the years second half, and could come on stream in September, says an update in Lube Report Asia. The plants planned capacity is 650,000 metric tons a year (13,500 barrels a day), and will include 60, 150 and 500 neutrals.

Lockheed Links Arms with Spectro

Spectro Inc. and Lockheed Martin Corp. have signed an exclusive licensing agreement involving Lockheeds sophisticated LaserNet Fines technology, which measures the size, progression and shape of wear debris in lubricating oil. Spectro, which makes analytical instruments, hand-held tools and software for fluid and machine condition monitoring, will use the LNF technology to create a desktop, off-line version, for improving equipment reliability. Lockheed Martin itself will continue to pursue and add on-line products based on LNF, including fluid imaging and classification technologies.

Packaging Briefs

Plastic closure manufacturer Bericap has opened a sales office in Kiev, Ukraine, and named Sergey Sokolov to head it. The German company says it is seeing growing demand for closures from Ukraines automotive, chemical and food markets, and it will be able to shorten response time and boost services for customers by being present in the country.

Ideal Manufacturing and Sales, known for its automatic and semi-automatic liquid filling machines and packaging equipment, has changed its name to Ideal-Pak Inc. The new name is intended to reflect the broader product line now offered by the Madison, Wis., company.

Hoover Container Solutions has acquired the assets of Tote Systems Liquid Division, a U.S. maker of customized intermediate bulk containers that include 350- and 550-gallon stainless steel IBCs. Hoover, itself a global IBC provider, says the move enables it to expand its rental fleet and provide a more extensive range of products and services to Tote Systems U.S. customers.

China Needs Tools

Demand for machine tools in China is forecast to grow 9.2 percent per year, to 600 billion yuan by 2017, says new research from Freedonia Group. Linda Li, in the consulting firms Beijing office, finds the market is shifting rapidly to higher-value product types such as machining centers, CNC machine tools and multitasking tools.

One result of this demand is that China will see a widening trade deficit in machine tools, with imports expected to reach about one-third of the total. By type, metal-cutting tools will be the largest product segment in 2017, while metal-forming equipment will enjoy stronger growth, thanks to gains anticipated in the motor vehicle, shipbuilding, aerospace and power transmission industries. Machine Tools in China (253 pages) is available for $5,300 from

Analysts Opens China Lab

Analysts Inc. has opened a laboratory in China to support multinational companies as well as Chinese businesses that may be newcomers to used oil analysis. Its partner in the venture is the Chinese firm KYB Co. Ltd. Located in the city of Zhenjiang, Jiangsu, KYB China Analysts 1,000-square-meter testing facility will serve industrial and heavy-duty equipment markets, and expects to have a staff of 45 by year end.

Faces in the News

Gert Wendroth has been named as president of Swedish naphthenics refiner Nynas AB, and will take the reins on March 1 from Steffan Lennstrom, who is retiring. Wendroth most recently was CEO of H&R AG, which operates two base oil refineries in Germany. With a masters in economics from the Univ. of Hamburg and MBA from the Univ. of Bradford, U.K., he also held management positions at Royal Dutch Shell.

Dan Romasko has been named president and CEO of Motiva Enterprises. A chemical engineer, he has more than 20 years industry experience, at Suncor, Conoco­Phillips and most recently Tesoro, where he was executive vice president of operations. Romasko replaces Bob Pease, who led Motiva for five years and on Feb. 1 moved back to another position at Shell, Motivas joint owner with Saudi Aramco.

Steve Cereghino is the new assistant product manager at IPAC, the additive manufacturing and sales company based in Dublin, Calif. In this position, he will assist in product development, operations, inventory management, and marketing and sales. Cereghino is a 2013 graduate of California State, with a bachelors in public relations.

IPAC also named Lorenzo Napoleoni as sales and marketing representative for Europe, Israel and South Africa. Based in Monaco, he has long experience in lubricant blending and production, as well as petrochemical supply chain management.

Lubricant and fuels distributor RelaDyne has selected Doug Muennich, its Cincinnati branch sales manager, to be industrial business development manager for the U.S. Midwest. In this new role, hell aim to expand the companys Field Reliability Management business, with offerings such as varnish mitigation, oil contamination control and other equipment reliability services.

Donna Loftus has joined the Dallas-based specialty lubricant manufacturer Hydrotex as director of product marketing. Holding an MBA from Pace Univ. as well as a Six Sigma green belt, Loftus began her career at ExxonMobil, and also was director of marketing at Nynex Information Resources.

Elevance Renewable Sciences recently hired Bob Kumpf as chief technology officer, with responsibility to support and accelerate its product development and commercialization activities. He joins Elevance from Plextronics, where he was chief operating officer, and earlier held executive positions with Bayer.

Technical consultant Lyle Bowman has been honored by ASTM Committee D02 with the Frank W. Reinhart Award, in recognition of his contribution to terminology standards, his work to develop a comprehensive dictionary for the industry, and other efforts to assure correct and appropriate technical terminology in ASTM standards. Bowman, who retired after a long career as an engine oil and additives expert with Chevron and its Oronite division, has been a Committee D02 member for 34 years.

Stauff Corp., which makes hydraulic diagnostic and monitoring equipment as well as other components, has tapped Jeff Behling to be president and CEO. Behling, who has more than 20 years of hydraulic industry experience, had been Stauffs VP and general manager for the past eight months, and took over from Peter Anderton, who will continue to serve as an advisor and business development executive.

Tom Sheahan

Thomas J. Tom Sheahan, who retired in 2001 from of Lubrizol Corp., died Jan. 21 in Naples, Fla., at the age of 74. In his 39 years with the Wickliffe, Ohio, additive company, Sheahan rose from the chemistry lab to executive management. He also was active in engine oil standards development, served on the board of SAE, and mentored many young professionals along the way. Sheahan is survived by his wife Judith, three daughters and a son, 11 grandchildren and other close family. A memorial service is planned for later in the Cleveland area.


Januarys profile of Japan Sun Oil mistakenly said it is a wholly owned subsidiary of the U.S. energy company Sunoco. Sunoco is majority owner. Japanese food, marine and machinery company Nichimo Co. Ltd. holds 45 percent.

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