Takreer Overcomes Delays
Takreer, the refining arm of Abu Dhabi National Oil Co., started commercial production of base oils at the companys Ruwais plant in the United Arab Emirates. The original schedule for the facility called for it to begin operating in late 2013.
The plant is initially producing API Group III oils of 4 centiStoke and 6 cSt, as well as Group II 2 cSt and 3 cSt oils. Adnocs Ahmed Saleh Al Hamed, manager for base oils & special products, said that the plant will start production of Group III 8 cSt once it is stabilized.
Early production is on spec and diverted to dedicated storage tanks with first cargo lifting expected in May, Hamed added. Two berths at the refinerys jetty have been dedicated to base oils and can accommodate cargoes of approximately 10,000 metric tons to 20,000 tons.
The Ruwais plant has a capacity of up to 500,000 tons per year of Group III and 100,000 tons per year of Group II base oils. Approximately 50,000 tons per year is earmarked for Adnoc Distribution, a marketer and distributor of petroleum related products primarily in the U.A.E. Adnoc intends to sell its base oils in several markets, including India, Asia, Europe and the Americas.
Chevron Sells Food Lubes
Fuchs Petrolub has acquired Chevrons worldwide white oils and food machinery lubricants business, which will be integrated into Fuchs Lubricants Co. (USA). The price was not disclosed.
This includes the brands and formulations for our white oils and food-grade product lines, said Chevron spokeswoman Quyen Teng. There are no physical assets or personnel involved in the deal.
Fuchs said the acquisition includes the customer bases for both categories of products. Fuchs has purchased the Superla brand from Chevron, which is specific to the white oils business, reported the German independent lubricant suppliers spokesperson. The food machinery lubricants business will be integrated under Fuchs existing Cassida brand.
BASF Opens Amines Plant
BASF has started up a new specialty amines plant in Nanjing, China. The facility will make dimethylaminopropylamines primarily for personal care applications, but which are also used in the production of lubricant additives.
This new production plant improves our flexibility to better and quicker serve our customers by ensuring a stable supply in the Asia-Pacific region, and at the same time strengthens our global network with regional manufacturing footprint here, said Narayan Krishnamohan, senior vice president, BASF Intermediates Asia-Pacific.
DMPAs are used in the production of surfactant and rust inhibitor additives for lubricants.
Axel Americas Resumes Production
Axel Americas manufacturing plant in Rosedale, Mississippi, is operating at normal capacity after repairing damage that a Feb. 29 fire caused to new process equipment.
Existing process equipment, as well as the warehouse, offices and laboratory, were not damaged in the fire. However, the main process equipment is not likely to be fully operational until the damaged infrastructure is re-established, said Johan Stureson, managing director for Axel Christiernsson International. The company expects to commission its new process lines in June.
Deliveries of finished goods were carried out the same week of the fire, and production on the existing equipment resumed within 10 working days, Stureson said. The company has also caught up with the delivery backlog caused by the fire.
The cost of damage from the fire and its exact cause are yet to be determined.
Universal Unloads Finished Lubes Biz
Universal Lubricants sold its lubricants manufacturing business and sales network to distributor PetroChoice and carved out its rerefining, used oil and environmental services segment into new separate companies – RS Used Oil Services and Midstate Environmental Services.
The deal with Fort Washington, Pennsylvania-based PetroChoice includes Universals blending facilities and laboratory, along with its 15 distribution locations.
Wichita, Kansas-based Universal Lubricants also owned an 800-barrel per day API Group II base oil rerefinery and a used oil collection network, along with an industrial segment. That side of Universal now functions separately as Midstate Environmental Services, which handles all Texas locations from its headquarters in Hutchins, and RS Used Oil Services – based in Wichita, at the site of the refinery and Universal blending plant – which operates the refinery and all other branches scattered throughout the middle of the country.
Yushiro Builds in China
Japanese metalworking fluids manufacturer Yushiro Chemical Industry Co. expects to complete construction of two plants in China in the second half of this year, giving the company a total of three plants in that country.
A new plant in Qidong city, Jiangsu province, will be completed in July or August this year, a Yushiro spokesman said, noting the company will shut down a nearby existing plant that is obstructing a road project.
Construction of the other plant, in Nansha District, Guangzhou City, will also be completed this year after the Qidong plant is finished, the official said.
The company did not disclose investment amounts or capacities for the new plants, but said it will be producing metalworking fluids such as cutting oils for the automotive and steel industries in China.
Tide Water Buys
UK Lube Maker
Indias Tide Water Oil has agreed to a 9.59 million (U.S. $13.8 million) acquisition of Price Thomas Holdings, which owns United Kingdom-based manufacturer of lubricants and car care products Granville Oil & Chemicals.
Kolkata-based Tide Water Oil Co.s acquisition includes Granvilles lubricants blending plant in Goldthorpe, Rotherham. Having its own manufacturing facility in Europe will help improve Tide Waters sales margins in the European market, the company noted.
Apart from its primary business in the U.K., Price Thomas Holdings exports its products to Ireland, Sweden and Bulgaria.
Tide Water Oil, controlled by Indias state-owned Andrew Yule & Co., manufactures and markets its own Veedol brand of lubricants and has a joint venture to supply JX Nippon Oil & Energys Eneos brands of lubricants in India.
ExxonMobil Doubles Taicang Capacity
ExxonMobil has completed an expansion at its lubricants blending facility in Taicang, China, a response to long-term growth that the company foresees in the countrys lubricant market.
ExxonMobil is also projecting growth in demand for Mobil lubricants for commercial vehicles and industrial sectors. Recently, it launched Mobil Delvac motor oil for light-duty diesel engines, to meet changing needs in Chinas trucking industry.
The Taicang plants expansion makes it one of the largest in ExxonMobils global finished lubricants manufacturing network. The company also expanded its lubricants plant in Tianjin, China, two years ago.
ExxonMobil declined to disclose the production capacity of the Taicang plant, but Stephen B. Ames of United States-based SBA Consulting estimated that the facility can now make around 150,000 metric tons per year of lubricants. Prior to the expansion, Ames has inferred that the plant opened with capacity of approximately 40,000 tons per year in 1997 and subsequently underwent a couple of expansions.
Fuchs Expands in Australia
Fuchs Petrolub announced it is expanding two production facilities in Australia, bucking the trend of rival lube and grease makers to move offshore.
Fuchs Lubricants Australasia said it is spending AUD $1.75 million (U.S. $1.36 million) to expand its grease plant in Melbourne, Victoria, to meet demand for locally developed products. This follows a $4.5 million expansion of that facility in 2013.
The group will also build a lubricants factory at Beresfield, near Newcastle in New South Wales, to replace its plant in nearby Wickham. Fuchs said it has outgrown the Wickham plant, and it is scheduled to open the new facility in April 2017. The company didnt say how much it is investing in the Beresfield plant, or what volume it will be capable of producing.
Distribution JV in Vietnam
Kuwait Petroleum International and Japans Idemitsu Kosan Co. plan to set up a joint venture to distribute petroleum products, including lubricants, in Vietnam.
The companies recently filed paperwork with the Vietnamese government to apply for the certificate needed to set up a joint venture company, which it will call Idemitsu Q8 Petroleum LLC. The 50-50 joint venture will be based in Hanoi and will market imported petroleum products throughout the country through wholesale and retail channels.
Kuwait Petroleum International is the downstream marketing arm of state-owned Kuwait Petroleum Corp. The company produces and markets its Q8 brand of automotive and industrial lubricants in Asia, North America and in Europe.
Idemitsu Kosan launched a 31,000-metric ton per year lubricant blending plant in Haiphong City, Vietnam, in 2014.
Shell closed the 7,100-barrels-per-day API Group I base oil plant at its refinery in Pernis, Netherlands, in the first quarter of this year.
Uzbek-Bulgarian joint venture Uz-Prista Recycling started its rerefinery in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, in trial mode and with a grand opening scheduled for May.
Clariant started up additional capacity for phosphate esters – commonly used in additives for metalworking fluids and fire-resistant hydraulic fluids – at its chemicals manufacturing site in Gendorf, Germany.
Bruehl, Germany-based Mauser Groups U.S. subsidiary, Mauser USA, acquired Cincinnati-based Berenfield Containers, which has six U.S. manufacturing facilities that produce steel and fiber drums used for lubricants, chemicals and other products.
Gulf Oil Lubricants India Ltd.s plan to build a blending plant at Chennai, India, is moving ahead once again and is on track to open by late 2017, company officials have said.
Saudi Aramco has invested $10 million in nano-engineered lubricants maker NanoMech.
Faces in the News
Peter Cray has joined Gulf Oil Marine Ltd. as chief operating officer. Based in Singapore, he succeeds Jack Craig, who retired at the end of April. Cray has more than 30 years of experience with Royal Dutch Shell, including senior leadership roles with Shell International Marine Products.
Shamrock Technologies has named Al Pape as president. Pape previously served as vice president of oilfield technologies with Ingevity, working for Kraton Polymers and Sartomer Co. before that. Pape holds an MBA, a B.S. in chemistry, and has completed executive education at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Roger Schoepfle has become account manager for the Midwest region with Monson Co., an Azelis Americas subsidiary. Schoepfle formerly worked with JAM Distribution, Dover Chemical and BASF. He holds an MBA in industrial marketing and B.S. in polymer science from Case Western Reserve University.
Hydrotex has promoted Brad Buesing to the role of director of sales, agriculture market segment. Based in Hickory Creek, Texas, he is responsible for developing the agriculture market segment in key geographic areas across the nation. Buesing has a business administration degree from Southern Nazarene University and an associates degree in management from Rose State College.
Sener Engineering and Technology Group, based in Getxo, Spain, has appointed Jos Olaso, previously general manager of procurement and construction, as its new general manager of power, oil & gas. The reshuffle comes after incorporation of the procurement and construction division into the power, oil & gas division. Borja Zrraga, formerly the general manager of power, oil & gas, will move into a new position as business and product development manager, continuing to lead the oil & gas, power, gas solutions and environment departments.