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Houghton Buys Wallover
Houghton International acquired Wallover Enterprises last month under undisclosed terms.
Strongsville, Ohio-based Wallover is one of the oldest independent metalworking fluids manufacturers in the United States, chartered in 1863. The company operates four manufacturing facilities and competes throughout the U.S. and Canada.
Houghton, which is headquartered in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, has locations in 33 countries. A subsidiary of Gulf Oil International, the company provides metalworking fluids, industrial lubes and services to the automotive, aerospace, metals, mining, machinery, offshore and beverage industries.
The combination of these two businesses will provide a broader product portfolio and stronger industry expertise and innovation to our combined customer base, said Jeewat Bijlani, president of Houghton Americas.
Axel Moves to Mississippi
Axel Americas is ceasing operations at its manufacturing plant in North Kansas City, Missouri, and moving grease production entirely to its newly expanded Rosedale, Mississippi, facility.
We recently made a significant investment that expanded our production capabilities in Rosedale and increased our capacity by approximately 17 million pounds. This investment also included state of the art control systems, which will help us better track and control the entire production process, explained Tom Schroeder, president of Axel Americas. As a result, our Rosedale operation is better equipped at meeting the changing demands of our customers.
Axel completed the Rosedale expansion in February, installing a production line of calcium sulfonate, an additional polyurea production line, four processing kettles, grease and base oil storage tanks, automated control systems and a cartridge filling line. Although a fire struck as the work was wrapping up, Rosedale managed to resume production in 10 days and returned to normal operations in early April.
The North Kansas City plant manufactured around 8 million pounds of grease annually at its peak, and has been operating since 1929. Formerly Jesco Resources, it was acquired by Swedens Axel Christiernsson in 2011, along with the Rosedale site. Axel Americas will continue to operate a research and development center in North Kansas City.
Afton Invests in Brazil
Afton Chemical Corp. announced plans for a new petroleum additive facility in Brazil that can handle both lubricant and fuel additives, and is expected to become operational by mid-2017. The investment cost was not disclosed.
The facility will be built at Bayer Industrial Park in Belford Roxo, Rio de Janeiro. It will be operated by Afton Chemical Industria de Aditivos Ltda, a Brazil-based subsidiary of Afton.
This investment reflects our commitment to this key strategic, growing market, said Pablo Blazquez, Aftons vice president of the Americas. Since the acquisition of Texaco Additives businesses and facilities in 1996, Afton has established a significant presence in Brazils petroleum additives market.
The new facility will help the company continue developing partnerships and deploying its products in Brazil and the Latin America region, Afton said, and it will be scalable to support future growth.
Chem-Trend Builds in Europe
Chem-Trend has broken ground for construction and expansion of its facilities outside Munich, Germany. The lube manufacturers expanded European headquarters will serve it and fellow Freudenberg Chemical Specialties business units Kluber Lubrication and OKS Specialty Lubricants.
When complete, the $5 million development will feature a newly created European logistics center for the three companies, as well as a laboratory and testing facilities, office space and onsite storage capabilities for Chem-Trend.
Group II/III Spurt in Eastern Europe?
New base oil plants are on the horizon in Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan; one is moving forward while the other is in nascent stages of securing funding.
The Azerbaijan Export and Investment Promotion Foundation said a base oil plant with capacity of 80,000 metric tons per year could be built for U.S. $350 million in the Sumqayit Chemical Industrial Park outside the capital of Baku.
Azpromo has proposed the project as a gas-to-liquids facility that would make fuels as well as base oils. VNIINP, the Moscow-based All Russia Research Institute for Oil Refining, has recommended conventional Group II and III technology. The government said the project could be constructed in two years and the investment recouped in eight.
In Kazakhstan, lube maker Hill Corp.s base oil production project is moving forward to find a contractor, after an earlier unsuccessful bid. In 2012, the company announced a tender for development of an API Group II and Group III base oil plant in Shymkent, which later fell through. The plant intends to license vacuum distillation and hydrotreating technology from Chevron Lummus Global to produce 210,000 tons/year of Group II and Group III, according to Nurshat Maratov, the companys chief of marketing, while another 40,000 t/y will be Group I.
Midwesterners Merge
Lubricant distributors Boyer Petroleum, Moore Oil Co. and the distribution arm of Lubrication Technologies merged to form Lube-Tech & Partners LLC, with the aim of expanding geographic coverage and reaching an annual sales volume of over 20 million gallons of lubricants and chemicals in the Upper Midwest.
The combined company will primarily serve Minnesota, Wisconsin, Northern Illinois, Iowa, Eastern North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska.
Common brands of lubricants that were distributed by the companies separately will continue to be supplied by the new Lube-Tech & Partners. Separately, Lubrication Technologies will continue to manufacture finished lubricants and will be supplying its products across the combined platform, said president and COO of Lube-Tech Dave Stascavage.
David Boyer, president of Des Moines-based Boyer Petroleum, will serve as director of sales and operations for the Iowa region of Lube-Tech, and Andrew Haag, president of Milwaukee-based Moore Oil, will serve as vice president of sales and marketing for the company.
Gulf Oil Enters Poland
Gulf Oil International and Boss Oil Ltd. started a lubricant distribution operation in Poland through Gulf Polska, a new joint venture. The j.v. will take over operations of Oil Trading Poland, a currently licensed distributor for Gulf brand lubricants in the country, and will aim to expand its reach, said the companys director, Rob van den Bosch.
Bosch disclosed plans to act first as an importer delivering through a network of distributors, then develop a chain of Gulf fuel stations in the country. The company is not planning a lubricant production facility in Poland. Rather, all products are produced at the Q8 blending plant in Antwerp, Belgium.
Bosch said the company expects to deliver to Polands retail chains by the end of this year. However, we will not deliver where there is an official Gulf distributor in the neighboring countries, he said.
Equity Firm Buys Des-Case
San Francisco-based private equity firm Industrial Growth Partners acquired the parent company of Des-Case Corp. on July 6 for an undisclosed amount. The management team of Des-Case retains a significant ownership stake in the company.
IGP has over two decades of experience investing in the industrial sector with a proven track record of building world-class global businesses. We are looking forward to the partnership, said Brian Gleason, president and CEO at Des-Case.
This is not the first time the Tennessee-based company has seen private equity money; in 2013, it was bought by Pfingsten Partners LLC. Des-Case produces desiccant dehumidifiers and an array of specialty filtration products.
Briefly Noted
Acme-Hardesty, a division of Jacob Stern & Sons, has been tapped to promote and sell Milano, Italy-based Temix Oleos specialty esters, oleochemicals and derivatives in the U.S. marketplace, primarily targeting the lubricant and personal care markets.
Jet-Lube Inc. moved its headquarters and manufacturing plant from Houston to Rockwall, Texas, and consolidated with its sister firm Whitmore. Both businesses are part of CSW Industrials.
Japanese oil giant Idemitsu Kosan Co.s U.S. subsidiary opened its first North American R&D center, a $2.4 million, 13,000-sq.ft. facility in Wixom, Michigan.
ChemPoint.com, a subsidiary of Univar, will distribute Tomlith lithium and lithium complex greases in North America and Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Faces in the News
Neal Zuzik has joined American Refining Group as senior vice president of sales, marketing and business development. Zuzik moved from Valvoline, where he most recently served as vice president of global supply chain. He is based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Alan Kelly, president of ExxonMobil Fuels, Lubricants & Specialties Marketing Co., retired Aug. 1 after 34 years with the company. Bryan Milton, currently president of ExxonMobil Global Services Co., fills the role vacated by Kelly and becomes vice president of the corporation.
Radco Industries has promoted Brian Finch to vice president for military products and synthetic lubricants. Finch joined Radco from Haas Group International in 2012 and has 23 years of lubricants industry experience.
Chemical and distribution specialist Azelis has appointed three new executives: Anna Bertona as chief operating officer EMEA; Laurent Nataf as CEO and president, Asia-Pacific; and Thijs Bakker as chief financial officer. Bakker will join Azelis in September 2016 following the retirement of Martin Hollenhorst. Nataf and Bertonas appointments began the first of this month.
Mukund Bhure has moved into the role of global industrial lubricants marketing manager with Evonik Oil Additives, responsible for leading its global wind turbine and general industrial gear oils business. Hell relocate from Mumbai, India, to Horsham, Pennsylvania.
Michael P. Smith became Ingevitys senior vice president of strategy and business development in June. He comes from FMC Corp., most recently as vice president and global business director for health and nutrition.
Fereidun Fadaei Dolat has become managing director of Irans Sepahan Oil Co., replacing Amirhossein Bahreini. Dolat previously worked in the same role for Petro­chemical Industries Investment Co.
Ali Erdemir was elected 2016-2017 president of the Society of Tribologists & Lubrication Engineers. A distinguished fellow of Argonne National Laboratory in Lemont, Illinois, Erdemir holds masters and doctoral degrees in materials science and engineering.
Englefield Oil has named Michael Adkins vice president of its lubricants division. Hell oversee the strategic direction, expansion and operation of the division, which operates in Ohio and surrounding states.
Marine lubes trader KPI Bridge Oil promoted Michalis Manassakis to managing director. He joined KPI in 2011, and has more than 12 years of experience in the global shipping industry.

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