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Motiva Rolls Out Group III

Motiva officially jumped into the API Group III base oil arena, following more than a year of rumor and speculation,with the launch of two Group III grades last month.

The base oil producer went live with price postings for a 4 centiStoke and a 6 cSt cut made at its 40,300-barrel-per-day refinery in Port Arthur, Texas, said Bryan Schorzman, general manager for Motiva base oils. Port Arthur is by far the largest base oil production facility in the United States, and Schorzman believes the upgrade will transform Motiva into the leading domestic source of Group III base stocks.

Schorzman declined to cite precise capacity numbers for the Group III oils, but noted that Motiva has volume flexibility because Port Arthur has 40,000 barrels a day across three lube trains, and we will be able to optimize the grades among those plants.

SN Plus Advances

TheAmerican Petroleum Institutes Lubricants Group is targeting May 1 as the date to begin licensing products that meet the new supplemental API SN Plus engine oil category, which will give added protection to small displacement, direct injection and turbocharged engines.

Last July, the auto industrys International Lubricants Standardization and Advisory Committee had requested a launch date of Jan. 1, 2018, for these new oils, but met with reluctance from API members, who cited the incomplete status of the new Ford low speed pre-ignition test and normal API procedural requirements for introducing any category.

Several milestones later, the supplemental category is moving along briskly: The LSPI test has been accepted by ASTM Inter­national as the Sequence IX engine test; the Lubricants Group has drafted a definition and user language; and designs for the API donut showing SN Plus and SN Plus-Resource Conserving have been finalized. API now is conducting a ballot of members to authorize the category and timing for its launch. The results of that ballot will confirm if May 1 remains the launch date.

ATIEL Tweaks
Testing Program

The Technical Association of the European Lubricants Industry (ATIEL) is expanding its monitoring program for engine oils certified as meeting the European Automobile Manufacturers Associations ACEA oil sequence specifications to include areas outside Europe, and also instituted an annual registration fee of 975 euros to fund it.

ATIELs European Engine Lubricants Quality Management System will now cover heavy-duty engine oils in addition to passenger car motor oils, and will begin to collect samples from other regions where ACEA standards are used. The association will consider whether to test oils marketed by companies that claim to meet ACEA performance standards but do not file letters of conformance, said ATIEL President Peter Tjan.

The EELQMS registration process for marketer letters of conformance will now be administered by Services to Associations and Industry in the Lubricants Sector, with ATIEL retaining overall management of the EELQMS program on behalf of its stakeholders. SAILs appointment was made to tackle a growing workload from the increased number of companies wanting to register their products in the system, ATIEL said in a news release.

Details of how to register with the new EELQMS administrator can be found at

Bapco to Market Base Oils

Neste OilandBahrain Petroleum Co. (Bapco) entered a new commercial agreement enabling the Bahraini refiner to market its own branded base oils while securing Neste a sizeable share of API Group III from their joint venture plant in Sitra, Bahrain.

Bapco launched its base oils under the BAPbase brand this month. The new marketing arrangement will run until the end of next year, though Espoo, Finland-based Neste says any renewal in 2019 and beyond is subject to further negotiations with Bapco. The six-year-old joint venture-in which Neste holds a 45 percent share, with Bapco and Bahrains Overseas Oil & Gas Holding Co. holding the remaining 55 percent-is unaffected by the new agreement.

Until now, Neste had marketed all of the plants product. Neste will continue to sell its share of the refinerys output, which has a capacity of 400,000 tons per year of Group III base stocks, plus part of Bapcos share, said Specialty Products Director Virpi Amoedo.

South Korea Eases Blending Laws

South Korea eased restrictions on modification of petroleum products within customs zones of its ports. Producers can now blend lubricants in areas designated for storage, temporary inspection and international trade.

The South Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy eased the countrys petroleum product management regulations in October, as part of an effort to trade increased volumes of oil and establish its southern coast as Northeast Asias most prominent oil trading hub.

International oil traders are now permitted to mix petroleum products to form new blends within South Koreas 14 general bonded zones administered by its customs agency. Prior to the revision, alteration of petroleum products within bonded areas was restricted to minor calibrations, and lube suppliers could not blend base oils with additives to create a finished lubricant formulation to trade.

Singapore Bans
Short-chain CPs

Beginning in June, Singapore will prohibit the use of short-chain chlorinated paraffins in metalworking fluids and other products, according to the countrys National Environment Agency.

Under the new regulation, production, import, export and use of products containing SCCPs will not be allowed, in accordance with the United Nations Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. The convention suggested alternatives such as oleochemicals and alkyl phosphate esters, a phosphorus-based compound.

The regulatory agency laid out the new regulation in official framework in December, giving importers, manufacturers and distributors six months to comply. SCCPs will still be permitted in formulations of lubricant additives for automobile engines, electric generators, wind power facilities, oil and gas exploration drilling equipment, and refining equipment used in the production of diesel oils.

ATF Labeling Changes
Take Effect

Updated labeling and documentation requirements for automatic transmission fluids went into effect automatically in 19 states this month, based on amendments to NIST Handbook 130 for transmission fluids adopted by the National Conference on Weights and Measures in summer 2017, the Independent Lubricant Manufacturers Association said in an reminder to its members.

The 19 states are Arkansas, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin. While the remaining states need to take affirmative action to adopt the Handbook 130 amendments, they are a de facto national labeling standard for transmission fluids, ILMA stated.

As reported in the September issue, the key provision in the Handbook 130 amendments deals with properly identifying performance claims of ATFs.

BP China to Build Third Plant

BP Lubricants plans to build a third blending plant in Tianjin, China, by the end of 2021. The project will cost around 1.5 billion yuan (U.S. $230 million), more than any other BP blending facility, the company noted.

The plants annual production capacity of 200,000 tons will include lubricants and greases for automotive, industrial, marine and aviation applications, as well as specialty lubricants and additives. The factory will serve BPs customers in northern China and complement its existing blending plants in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, and Taicang, Jiangsu province.

NLGI Call for Papers

The National Lubricating Grease Institute issued a call for technical papers to present at its annual meeting in Coeur dAlene, Idaho, with a Jan. 15 submission deadline. The NLGI 85th Annual Meeting will be held June 9-12 and will focus on grease lubrication for electricity generation and electrically powered applications. Members and non-members are welcome to present.

Papers on these grease applications, with a focus on environmental or safety concerns, performance or testing, will be given priority. Papers covering stories of superior application or improvement of technology due to greases may also be submitted for consideration. NLGI will also accept up to four papers of a commercial nature on a first come, first served basis, with a fee of $1,000 each. For information, visit

Italmatch Snaps Up Elco

Detrex (the parent of Elco Corp.) and Italmatch Chemicals completed their merger last month. Final terms were not disclosed, but earlier reports said Italmatch was paying nearly $46 million cash. Detrexs operating subsidiary is Cleveland, Ohio-based Elco, which manufactures specialty chemicals and additives including antioxidants, extreme pressure agents and rust and corrosion inhibitors for industrial lubricants, greases, metalworking and other fluids.

Genoa, Italy-based Italmatch is a specialty additives company with about $400 million in sales. Its best-known lube brand is Ketjenlube polymeric esters, and it also makes oleoesters, friction modifiers, phosphate esters and succinic and phosphorus. It also produces phosphorus pentasulfide, a key raw material in the ZDDP antiwear and antioxidant additives which Elco makes.

Briefly Noted

Calumet closed on the $84 million sale of Anchor Drilling Fluids USA of Tulsa, Oklahoma, to QMax America. Calumet acquired the drilling fluids company in March 2014.

Evonik will build its first Asia-Pacific research hub in Singapore, scheduled to start operations later this year. The complex will focus on functional surfaces and additive manufacturing.

Lihon Lubricant opened its second production plant in China. The new Tianjin Nangang Industrial Zone facility joins its existing site in Daqing to double the companys total lube blending capacity to 200,000 metric tons per year.

Fall River, Massachusetts-based Triboscience & Engineering Inc. acquired Opus Tertiums G-Lube specialty lubricants business in Dallas, Texas, which focuses on synthetics for transportation and general industry.

Chevron Oronite expanded its additives plant in Singapore to double its global carboxylate-based detergents capacity. Carboxylate detergents are used to enhance cleanliness and deposit control in marine and automotive engine oils.

Gulf Oil Lubricants India signed an agreement to provide lubricants for two-wheeler manufacturer Bajaj Auto and another to provide commercial vehicle lubes to Force Motors.

Specialty chemicals supplier Ingevity Corp. established an automotive applications testing facility in Zhuhai, China.

Total Australia was awarded a three-year contract to supply lubricants to mining giant Thiess throughout Australia, Indonesia, Mongolia, Chile and Canada.

ExxonMobil Chemical Co. appointed Seoul-based BLS Syn Inc. the sole distributor of its API Group IV and Group V synthetic base stocks portfolio in South Korea.

Puma Energy acquired Pakistans Admore Gas 470 retail outlets in the country, which will be rebranded to market Puma-branded automotive, marine and industrial lubricants, brake fluids and other products.

Faces in the News

Kris Patrick was named president of Ergon Refining and Ergon West Virginia, the companys naphthenic and paraffinic base oil operations. He joined Ergon as a process engineer in 2000 and most recently served as senior vice president of refining, planning and supply.

ExxonMobil named John Verity president of ExxonMobil Chemical. He replaces Neil Chapman, who is now senior v.p. of ExxonMobil Corp. The oil major also announced that Bryan Milton will preside over ExxonMobil Fuels & Lubricants Co., which combines the companys refining and marketing operations into a single unit.

South Korean refiner SK Lubricants made several leadership changes. Senior v.p. Tak Cha has been promoted to executive v.p. of SKs base oil business. Jay Kim, former head of the companys European regional headquarters, was appointed head of base oil business optimization and development. Former president of SK Lubricants Americas Tony Jin was promoted to v.p. of SKs newly formed global base oil marketing office at its Seoul headquarters.

Scott Fenwick, technical director at the National Biodiesel Board in Jefferson City, Missouri, is the new chairman of ASTM Internationals Committee D02 on petroleum products, liquid fuels and lubricants.

Blaster Corp. named Kurt Gabram CEO, who served as president and chief operating officer since 2013. Randy Pindor, executive v.p., sales and marketing, steps into Gabrams former role.

Pamela Butcher was named CEO and president of Pilot Chemical. She replaces former president Michael Scott.

Christine Banaszek is now sales manager at Charles Ross & Son Co. She joined the industrial mixing equipment manufacturer in 2005 as an application engineer for inside sales and has also been part of its technical services group.

Lubrication Specialties Inc. hired Robert Bob Miller as director of sales, and Kyle Fischer was appointed director of marketing.

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