Market Topics



EPA Changes Course on CPs

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will reconsider its use of Toxic Substances Control Act Section 5 to review medium- and long-chain chlorinated paraffins as new chemicals and expects to review them as existing chemicals under TSCA Section 6, the Independent Lubricant Manufacturers Association said in a letter to its members.

ILMA has been actively involved in a coalition of trade associations with an interest in the continued availability of chlorinated paraffins. CPs are chlorinated alkanes with carbon chain lengths ranging from 10 to 38 used in metalworking fluids as extreme-pressure agents for difficult drawing, forming and removal operations. Those with lengths from C14 to C17 are classed as medium-chain; from C18 to C20 as long-chain.

ILMA consistently has raised its concerns with EPAs treatment of MCCPs and LCCPs as new chemical substances, given the historic and ongoing use of the chemicals for decades and the agencys efforts to regulate these materials over the same time, Holly Alfano, executive director of ILMA, wrote in the statement. She noted that the EPAs use of TSCA Section 5 was not appropriate procedurally, and that a ban on the manufacture of MCCPs and LCCPs would cause significant economic disruption to ILMA members and their customers.

In early 2015, the EPA stated it could eliminate MCCPs and LCCPs from being manufactured or imported to the U.S. using its authority under the Toxic Substances Control Act. In September of that year, the government agency postponed the beginning of the ban until mid-2017.

JASO Updates
Diesel Oil Standard

The Japanese Auto­motive Standards Organization revised its diesel engine oil standard, JASO M355, to include a fuel economy category for heavy-duty oils and a light-duty category to replace the American Petroleum Institutes retired CF-4.

The new heavy-duty motor oil category, DH-2F, is the Japanese Auto­mobile Manufacturers Associations first attempt to add fuel conserving performance to its heavy-duty diesel engine oil specifications. Japans primary manufacturers of heavy-duty trucks will now recommend oils meeting not only existing JASO M355:2015 specifications, but new fuel economy requirements as well, said Tomizawa Kenji of Hino Motors.

JASO will also incorporate a new category for light-duty vehicles without diesel particulate filters. DL-0 will be added to the JASO M355 specs as an alternative to CF-4 because, in Southeast Asiaand other [regions] where Euro 4 and below emission regulations are adopted, API CF-4 qualified engine oils are still widely [used] in diesel-fueled passenger cars,said Kazuo Yamamori, project manager of Toyota Motor Corp.s tribology material department.

Additionally, JASO will revise its two-cycle motorcycle engine oil standard, JASO M345, by April 2018. JASO is reviewing tests for lubricity, detergency, smoke, and exhaust system blocking.

Fuchs Starts Up Grease Plants

Fuchs Petrolub is making further strides in the lubricants and grease markets, with new facilities in the United States, South Africa and Australia.

Fuchs new factory in Chicago will make 29 different specialty greases. Scheduled to open in the first half of 2017, it will manufacture greases as part of the companys 3C commitment to offer identical products for original equipment manufacturers in three continents.

The Johannesburg site will be able to produce 4,000 metric tons per year of greases starting this summer, according to the companys 2016 annual report. The facility is designed to manufacture lithium, lithium complex and aluminum complex greases, and will have the flexibility to produce other types if required.

In addition, the Germany-based independent lube manufacturer is constructing an 82,000-square foot facility-including a blend plant-in Beresfield, New South Wales, that will triple its output in Australia to around 66,000 t/y of finished lubricants. The new unit will replace an existing facility in nearby Wickham.

Group II Rerefinery for Bangladesh

Lub-rref (Bangladesh) Ltd. will open a 50,000 metric tons per year API Group II rerefinery by March 2019 with used oil regeneration technology provided by Chemical Engineering Partners. The plant will be the countrys largest source of base oil and the first to make Group II.

The Bangladeshi rerefiner and lubricants supplier contracted CEP to design the facility on a 50,000-square-meter site along the Karnaphuli River, near the city of Chittagong. Lub-rref will licenseCEPs vacuum distillation and hydrotreating technology at the plant, which will have capacity to convert around 70,000 tons of used oil into Group II base oils.

Lub-rref expects the new project to help the company increase its lubricants market share to 20 percent, Managing Director Mohammed Yousuf said. Depending on demand, some output from the rerefinery will go into Lub-rrefs own BNO-branded formulations, he added. The firm will also sell base oils and is actively seeking opportunities in export markets such as India and Brazil.

Yousuf noted that Bangladesh imports around 100,000 tons of base stocks per year, and he claimed that the new rerefinery could reduce imports by up to 50 percent. The country has no virgin base oil production capacity and only a handful of rerefineries, each with capacity of less than 10,000 t/y of Group I.

PLI Targets India

Petronas Lubricants Internationalwill invest around U.S. $150 million in India, an increase from the $50 million it initially targeted for its 97,000 metric tons per year blending plant under construction in Patalganga. The expenditure will also cover branding efforts and a motorcycle engine oils technology center.

Dongfeng Plans Second Lube Plant

Chinas Dongfeng Motor Corp. (Shiyan) Lubricating Oil Co. recently announced it will build its second lubricants blending plant by April 2018.

With a total investment of 65 million yuan (U.S. $9.4 million), Dongfeng will build the plant on a 433-acre plot in a development zone in Shiyan, Hubei Province, where the company is headquartered and has an existing plant. The facility will have annual capacity of 100,000 metric tons of industrial and automotive lubricants.

The firm opened its first blending plant last April, which was also the first such plant in Shiyan. With its new plant, Dongfeng said it hopes to become the biggest lubricant manufacturer in Mid-China.

Lubrizol Buys Control of India JV

Lubrizol Corp. bought an additional 24 percent stake of Lubrizol India Pvt. and assumed majority ownership of the joint venture between the American additives supplier and state-owned Indian Oil Corp.

This action is a step forward for our already strong presence in India across our growing product lines in all market segments, Lubrizol Additives President Dan Sheets said in a press release. Lubrizol will own 74 percent of Lubrizol India and Indian Oil will own 26 percent of the venture.

Lubrizol entered the Indian market in 1966 through a government partnership that was later restructured into the j.v. with Indian Oil. Last year, India relaxed regulations on foreign direct investments, allowing for full foreign ownership rather than the previous 49 percent limit, according to global governance consultancy Glass Lewis.

Slavneft Streams Group III

Russian oil major Slavneft, a joint venture of Rosneft and Gazprom Neft, began production of its first batches of API Group III base oils at its 100,000 metric tons per year Yaroslavl refinery, industry sources said.

The Group III base oil plant, located north of Moscow, was previously expected to begin production by the end of 2016, but technical reconfiguration of the project contributed to the delay. The plant will produce viscosity grades 2, 4, 6 and 8 centiStoke. Slavneft also operates a 250,000 t/y Group I base oil plant at the refinery.

The Yaroslavl plants proximity to Baltic ports makes it ideal to bring new Group III base oil capacity and supply into Europe, according to Denis Varaksin, manager for Berlin-based base oil and petroleum products trader DYM Resources.

Pugh and Apollo
Join Forces

Pugh Lubricants and Apollo Oil will create one of the largest lubricant distribution companies in the Eastern United States.

The companies did not disclose an effective date for the merger, and both will continue operating under their existing names in the near term. Mike Pugh, president of Pugh Lubricants and Ed Dotson, CFO and general manager ofApollo Oil, will continue in their current leadership roles, said a joint press release.

There is little geographic overlap in the areas where these companies currently distribute. Pugh services regions in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee, while Apollo services areas in Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia. Both companies seem to be following a trend of distributor consolidation in the U.S. lubricants market.

Briefly Noted

Despite a target date of April 1, the split of Saudi Aramco and Royal Dutch Shells joint venture Motiva has yet to officially occur. The two companies expect the separation to happen by the end of the second quarter this year.

The European Commission approved the acquisition of Chemtura by Germany-based Lanxess under the European Union Merger Regulation, and granted conditional regulatory clearance in Europe of the proposed merger between DuPont and Dow Chemical, conditioned on the divestment of parts of DuPonts global pesticide business.

Indias Apar Industries Ltd., through its subsidiary Petroleum Specialties Pte., opened an $18 million industrial white oils plant in the Hamriyah Free Zone of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.

Owensboro, Kentucky-based OG&A BioSpecialties began engineering, procurement and construction of a 1,000 barrel per day facility for production of biobased esters and wax in Kentucky.

Eint Automotives lubricants, parts and batteries division will distribute S-Oils finished lubes in Oman.

Castrol signed an agreement with Italys Piaggio Group to supply engine oils as factory fill for the companys two-wheeler brands, including Piaggio, Vespa, Aprilia, Moto Guzzi, Derbi and Gilera. The lube manufacturer also signed an agreement with Chinese truck manufacturing company FAW Jiefang Automobile Co. that involves joint brand-building, product development, marketing and business development.

Elco Corporation appointed Azelis sole distributor of its lubricants and metalworking fluids in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Greece and Turkey.

Faces in the News

PT Pertamina appointed Elia Massa Manik president of the company. She steps into the former role of Dwi Soetjipto, who was dismissed from the Indonesian state-owned oil company Feb. 3.

Hirotaka Kawano is the new managing director for Azelis in Japan. Kawano succeeds Mitsuru Katada, who retired from the company at the end of March.

C. Bradley Steven is Palmer Hollands new president. The company also named Bryn Irvine CEO.

Infineum announced that Ken Kalisky, sales director for the Americas, retired from the company. Latin America sales manager Fabian Devita took over Kaliskys role.

Al Amatuzio

Albert J. Amatuzio, founder of Amsoil Inc., died April 1 at the age of 92. Born in Duluth, Minnesota, Amatuzio trained with the Naval Air Corps after graduating from high school in 1942, serving 25 years with the U.S. Merchant Marine, the Air Force and the Duluth Air National Guard as a fighter pilot and squadron commander. It was during this time that he developed an interest in synthetic engine oils and, after a period of research and development, formed Amsoil in 1972.

While other companies have disputed the oil manufacturers claim to have been the first U.S. marketer of synthetics, Amsoil became one of the countrys main and steadiest promoters of such products. Amatuzio stepped down as president and CEO of the company in 2015.

He is survived by his children, daughters Lyn and Lorry, sons Dan and Alan-who is the current copresident of Amsoil-as well as brother Richard, sister Antoinette and six grandchildren.


The article South America Plods toward Recovery in the April issue included some incorrect data. Brazils gross domestic product contracted by 3.6 percent last year, not 7 percent. The United States Central Bank raised interest rates, not taxes, which affected developing economies such as Brazil. The South American lubricants market did not contract 15 percent last year, but Brazils did from 2014 to 2016, according to Sergio Rebelo of Factor-Kline.

Related Topics

Market Topics