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API Kills Energy Conserving
The American Petroleum Institute will discontinue licensing the use of the Energy Conserving designation with its API SL and API SM gasoline engine oil categories. This action will be effective Dec. 30, 2016, and does not cover API SN oils that have earned the Resource Conserving designation.
The Sequence VIB engine test used to measure Energy Conserving performance (i.e., fuel economy) is no longer available. The test, officially ASTM D6837, was based on a mid-90s era Ford V-8 gasoline engine that is no longer manufactured and for which spare parts cannot be obtained.
After ASTM International notified API of the tests expiration, the institute declared Energy Conserving obsolete. Since licensees cannot run the tests necessary to prove Energy Conserving performance, the category dies.
Fire Hits Axel Americas Expansion
A fire at Axel Americas Rosedale, Mississippi, grease manufacturing facility on Feb. 29 damaged its newly installed process equipment. The company, which is part of Nol, Sweden-based Axel Christiernsson, suspended production 10 days, until resuming operations by mid-March using older units. The fire was controlled and extinguished in about an hour, and one contractor was treated for minor injuries. At press time, local officials were investigating the cause, and the cost of the damage had not yet been determined.
Axel Americas produces industrial and automotive greases supplied to multinational companies and large distributors in the region. The Rosedale expansion included a new calcium sulfonate production line and an additional polyurea production line, increasing its production capacity by 17.2 million pounds.
Shell Closes Trinidad Plant
Shell will close its lubricants blending plant on the west coast of Trinidad by June because the facility has been unable to remain profitable in the current market. It will then be prepared for sale.
The plant was built at Port Lisas in 1993 to supply local markets, Central America and the rest of the Caribbean. It produced automotive, industrial and marine oils – such as greases, hydraulic fluids, compressor, bearing and turbine oils – made available in bulk, intermediate bulk containers, drums, pails and small packs. As of 2013, the plant produced 3.3 million liters of lubricants per month. The products were distributed by Shell and Laughlin and De Gannes until 2009, when local company FT Farfan was contracted to serve as the macro distributor. Shell lubricants will continue to be supplied throughout Trinidad and Tobago.
Hydrodec Unloads UK Business
Rerefiner Hydrodec has sold its U.K. business operations for the sum of 1 British pound. The company says the decline in global oil prices and challenging market conditions resulted in significant losses, which totaled 3 million pounds in 2015. Andrew Black, a non-executive director and substantial shareholder, bought the operations at auction, including an estimated 1.2 million pounds of debt owed to third parties. Hydrodec retains the right to 10 percent of any future profits the U.K. project may earn.
Hydrodec operates rerefineries in Canton, Ohio and Bomen, New South Wales, Australia. Chris Ellis, previously the companys acting chief executive, has been appointed to the role on a permanent basis.
Become a Certified Lubrication Grease Specialist
The National Lubricating Grease Institute will offer its CLGS exam at the 2016 STLE annual meeting on May 16 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The exam will also be available at NLGIs own annual meeting on June 14 in Hot Springs, Virginia. For more information, visit www.nlgi.org/
certifications/professional.
BRB Distributes for Chemtura
Dutch lube oil additives and chemicals producer BRB International will distribute detergents for Chemtura in the Middle East, including neutral and overbased sulfonates. Sulfonates are used as both detergents and rust inhibitors in crankcase additives and lubricants.
Philadelphia-based Chemturas petroleum additives business supplies components and solutions to the lubricants industry for use in automotive, aviation, marine, mining, refrigeration, power generation, gas pumping and other applications.
Chevron Base Oils Targets Turkey
Istanbul-based Ekin Kimya will distribute Chevrons Group II base oils and process oils in Turkey. The Ak-tas subsidiary will dispense products stored at Solventas Terminals in the Gebze area. With no in-region production of premium base oils, which are necessary to satisfy Turkeys growing demand for premium lubricants, the distribution agreement creates a de facto source of local supply and minimizes import complexities for lubricant formulators.
ChemPoint Partners with Dow Corning
ChemPoint began distributing industrial lubricants for Dow Corning in the U.S. and Canada on March 1. The Bellevue, Washington-based Univar subsidiary manages order placement, fulfillment and technical support for the Molykote-branded compounds, greases, pastes, anti-friction coatings, dispersions and oils for industrial assembly and maintenance.
ChemPoint says the relationship will help it to expand its maintenance, repair and operations lubricant portfolio. For its part, Dow Cornings Gifford Shearer, market leader for industrial assembly and maintenances, Americas said, ChemPoint provides Dow Corning with additional expertise to grow specialty product sales.
Ravago Chemical Buys TH Hilson
Polymer distribution, rubber recycling and manufacturing company Ravago Chemical has purchased specialty chemical distributor TH Hilson. The business will remain in operation as TH Hilson Company with no interruption in supply to customers.
Provided TH Hilsons mission, vision, and core identity, this transaction is a collaboration of like values, goals, and industry expertise, said TH Hilson in a press release.
TH Hilson distributes metalworking fluids among other products throughout the Chicagoland region. Arendok, Belgium and Orlando, Florida-based Ravago is a privately held, family owned company.
New Specialty Chemicals Consultancy
Bill Tuszynski has formed the Unami Group, a business consultancy and sales agency for the specialty chemicals industry. Based in Quakertown, Pennsylvania, the company focuses on lubricant raw materials and additives.
Tuszynski has been active in the lubricants industry for more than 30 years, most recently as a managing partner at the chemical distributor Ivanhoe Industries. He has been involved with NLGI, STLE, the Commercial Development and Marketing Association and the Chemical Heritage Foundation. Tuszynski holds a B.S. in biochemistry from Manhattan College and a doctorate in organic chemistry from Cornell University.
Air Products Prepares for Spinoff
On April 1, the materials technologies segment of Air Products will become Versum Materials, and will be spun off in September as a separate company. Guillermo Novo, executive vice president of the materials technologies business, will become CEO of the new company. The move will allow Air Products industrial gases and its materials technologies businesses to leverage their respective critical competencies and enhance their competitive positions, the company said in a release.
Air Products supplies atmospheric, process and specialty gases, and related equipment to manufacturing markets, including metals, food and beverage, refining and petrochemical, and natural gas liquefaction. The materials technologies segment serves the semiconductor, polyurethanes, cleaning and coatings, and adhesives industries. In 2015, the company had sales of $9.9 billion, of which material technologies accounted for 21 percent, or $2.08 billion.
Fuchs Invests in Solar
Fuchs Lubricants has invested 700,000 British pounds (U.S. $990,600) in a solar installation at its Stoke-on-Trent, U.K. site. More than 2,000 solar panels on the 20-acre facility will generate over 380,000 kilowatt hours of energy per year – an estimated 15 percent of the sites electricity needs.
Parent company Fuchs Petrolub, based in Manheim, Germany, develops, produces and distributes lubricants and related specialty products. The company reported sales revenue of 531.2 million euros in the third quarter of 2015.
Briefly Noted
RelaDyne acquired Industrial Action Services, a Texas-based oil flushing and chemical cleaning services company.
Shell has begun supplying automotive lubricants to all Bridgestone retail stores across the U.S.
Fuchs has closed on its acquisition of Statoil Fuel and Retail Lubricants, a Sweden-based fuel and lubricants provider.
U.K.-based Metalube has opened an office in Dubai, creating Metalube Arabia.
Faces in the News
Shell has made some shifts in its senior management team. Selda Gunsel, who is based in Houston, Texas, has been appointed general manager of products and quality in the lubricants supply chain; she was previously vice president of global commercial technology. Andrew Helpher is now vice president of global commercial technology, moving from his position as general manager of consumer lubricants marketing. He is based in London. Carol Chen, also based in London, will move into Helphers former role as general manager of consumer lubricants marketing from her position as marketing general manager for China/Hong Kong lubricants. The final London office move will be Roger Moulding, now vice president for global key accounts and marketing, who will become vice president of global lubricants marketing and lubricants sales for Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Michael Scott has been named president of Pilot Chemical. Current president and CEO Pam Butcher will remain as CEO during a transition period. Scott comes from Arkema, where he recently served as president for acrylics and general manager for organic peroxides.
Bruce Fleming has stepped into the newly created role of executive vice president of strategy and growth at Calumet Specialty Products Partners. Fleming has more than 30 years of experience leading growth and development initiatives with global energy companies, most recently at Tesoro Corp., and previously at Amoco Oil and Orient Refining.
At Heritage Crystal-Clean, Ellie Bruce has become vice president of business management and marketing. She will continue to oversee human resources and branch administration, for which she was responsible in her previous role. Ted Sinclair has become vice president of oil. He was previously vice president of corporate development, and he will retain responsibility for environment, health and safety.
Tyler McIntyre has become Sonneborns first commercial technology manager for North America. He heads the companys new Commercial Technology Organization, which is focused on research and development. This is a promotion for McIntyre.
Drew Kohler has joined Evonik as marketing manager for Dynavis Americas. He will be based in the Horsham, Pennsylvania office and cover South, Central and North America.
Bechem has hired Dustin Greiner to its sales and application engineering team for specialty lubricants. Greiner holds a B.S. in elastomer engineering and has experience in industrial market applications of sealing technologies, as well as quality, supplier development, commodity management and sales engineering.
Ralph Beard
Ralph Beard died suddenly on March 2 at age 67. Beard graduated from Auburn University with a degree in marine biology and was a passionate supporter of his alma mater. In the early 1990s, he started his own lubricants business, and later served as president at Triad Lubrication Components and as vice president of lubrication components for Palmer Holland. He was global technical and business development manager for lubricant additives at Dorf Ketal Chemicals until 2014. Beard was a member of the Independent Lubricant Manufacturers Association and oversaw its scholarship program.
Beard had been living in Montgomery, Alabama, and is survived by his wife, Janet Beard, two sons and three grandchildren.

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