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Fuchs Buys Glass Lubes Maker

Mannheim, Germany-based Fuchs Petrolub SE acquired Belgian glass container lubricants manufacturer VDV Lubricants to expand its product offering in the sector.

Dendermonde, Belgium-based VDV is known for its development of a lubricant thin enough to be sprayed in the manufacturing of glass containers, using an automatic spray system.

Fuchs is a growing player in the market for glass container manufacturers. This acquisition does not dramatically change our market position, but strengthens our offering in products technology and especially in the application for sprayable swabbing compounds, explained Tina Vogel, Fuchs head of public relations and marketing.

The addition of VDV follows Fuchs 2014 acquisition of glass container lubricant manufacturer Batoyle Freedom Group.

303 Tractor Fluid Lawsuit

Two Missouri residents petitioned to file a class action lawsuit against Smittys Supply Inc. and Tractor Supply Co., claiming yellow buckets of Smittys Super S Supertrac 303 tractor hydraulic fluid purchased from both companies failed to meet advertised specifications and performance claims.

The petition claims the two suppliers engaged in deceptive marketing and advertising practices, and that descriptions of the product as multifunctional created a false image that it was safe and effective for use in modern equipment. Both companies have denied the allegations.

The defendants are seeking roughly $75,000 each to cover treble and punitive damages, interest, costs and attorneys fees.

Before the case becomes a formal class action lawsuit, the U.S. District Court of the Western District of Missouri must certify the case for class action status. No timeframe has been announced.

Yushiro Partners with Qualichem

Tokyo-based Yushiro Chemical Industry Co. and American metalworking fluid supplier QualiChem Inc. announced in early August an agreement for Yushiro to acquire a stake in QualiChem. Yushiro has received Qualichem stock, but officials declined to say how much.

Described as a global partnership, the deal will give both companies access to new markets and expand each companys research and development efforts. Yushiro is the largest metalworking fluids supplier in the Asia-Pacific region and one of the largest globally.

Yushiro has strength in Japanese automotive, which is a hard market for most companies to penetrate, QualiChem Global Marketing Manager John Wiley said. The partnership will also provide QualiChem with sales and distribution channels in the Asian, South American and Indian markets.

More PAO in China

The coal-to-liquids base oil operation that Shanxi Luan Groupis opening in Changzhi, China, this year includes a plant with capacity to make 3,000 metric tons per year of low-viscosity polyalphaolefins, adding to Chinas blossoming supply of PAO.

The company, which is one of the countrys largest coal suppliers, also opened a larger plant in June that makes API Group III base stocks.

The base oil facilities are part of a pre-existing coal-to-liquids refining complex that uses Luans own cobalt-based Fischer-Tropsch process to synthesize coal and natural gas into liquids. The company currently has capacity to make 20,000 t/y of high-viscosity PAO, produced by a plant that opened in 2015 as a joint venture with Shanghai-based Naco Lubrication Co.

Luan already has plans to build another wholly owned 30,000 t/y metallocene low-viscosity PAO plant, but did not indicate the timeline for that project.

Uzbekistan Upgrades Base Oil Production

Uzbekistan plans to overhaul its obsolete refining capacity to produce API Group II and Group III base oils so that the countrys lube marketers dont need to import these base stocks to compete with foreign lubricant makers.

Uzbekneftegaz officials confirmed plans to begin production in 2021 or 2022 at the Fergana refinerys base oil plant-the only one in the country producing virgin base oil. Accelerating growth of the countrys car fleet and active modernization of its industry have increased the demand for high quality lubes.

The company said it aims to have capacity of at least 100,000 tons per year.

Repsol Buys Bardahl Stake

Repsol will acquire 40 percent of lubricant distributor Bardahl de Mexico, which will enable the Spanish energy company to manufacture and sell its own lubricants in Mexico. Terms of the agreement-expected to close in 2018s third quarter-were not disclosed.

The stake in Bardahl de Mexico, which is a distributor of Seattle-based lube marketer Bardahl Corp., is Repsols largest-ever purchase in the lubricants industry and will make Mexico its main lubricants market in Latin America.

The deal is part of a broader plan for Madrid-based Repsol to double its current lubricant sales volume of 150,000 metric tons per year by 2021, primarily through overseas expansion. Officials said the company has a 100 million euro budget for acquisition of blending plants in other countries such as China, India and Indonesia and aims to have international sales account for 70 percent of lube volumes in three years, compared to the current portion of 45 percent.

Oman Oil Slides into Kenya

Oman Trading International, a subsidiary of Oman Oil Marketing Co., inked an agreement with Kenyas Hass Petroleum to sell the Muscat-based marketers range of lubricants in the East African country and eventually other markets in Africa.

The deal follows Oman Tradings acquisition of a 40 percent stake in the Nairobi firm in June last year and will see Hass expand Oman Tradings lubricant footprint across Eastern, Central and the Horn of Africa. Hass already markets its own brand of automotive, industrial and specialty lubricants as well as a range of greases.

The target is to achieve a minimum market share of 1 percent of the Kenya lubricants market by 2020, said Vijay Kumar, Oman Oil Marketings export manager for lubricants. This will be effected by a focus on providing customers with an OEM-approved range of Oman Oil Marketing brand of lubricants supported by aggressive marketing campaigns and the local expertise of Hass.

Oman Oil Marketing is a publicly listed company in which Oman Oil Co., wholly owned by the Omani government, holds a 49 percent stake.

EU Revises Ecolabel

The European Union is working on a revision of its Ecolabel standard for lubricants. The European Commissions Regulatory Committee voted June 29 to endorse revisions drafted by the commissions Joint Research Centre after public input. The changes still must be approved by the European Parliament, and a vote is scheduled for November.

The current version of the revisions would introduce new criteria for the standard, requiring that lubricant packaging contain at least 25 percent recycled material, in order to be consistent with the EUs Plastics Strategy. The revisions would also do away with an existing requirement that lubricants contain minimum levels of biobased ingredients unless they are promoted as bio. At least 25 percent of the carbon content of those products would need to come from renewable resources.

Marketers of products containing palm oil or palm kernel derivatives would need to demonstrate that at least 25 percent of that oil comes from suppliers following environmentally sustainable practices.

Total Bids for Petrolube Plant

Total Tanzania seeking regulatory approval to acquire a blending plant from Tanzanian lubricant manufacturer Petrolube. The acquisition of Petrolube would be the latest step in Totals expansion in East Africa. In 2016, the company acquired the assets of Gulf Africa Petroleum Corp. in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.

Petrolube supplies lubes in the region for German independentFuchs Petrolub SE. It operates an 8,000-square-meter-plant in Dar es Salaam, which blends 22,000 metric tons of lubricants and 2,000 tons of greases per year. The manufacturing facility includes a 2,200-ton base oil tank farm.

Idemitsu Expands in Indonesia

JapansIdemitsu Kosanwill set up a new lubricant plant next year in western Java, Indonesia.

The companysPT Idemitsu Lube Techno Indonesiasubsidiary will build the new plant in Karawang International Industrial City, Karawang province. The facility will have production capacity to make about 31,000 metric tons per year of motorcycle and four-wheel vehicle lubricants and industrial oils.

ELGI Call for Papers

The European Lubricating Grease Institute announced a call for technical papers for its Annual General Meeting, with a deadline of Oct. 20. The 31st edition of the organizations meeting will focus on new trends in industrial grease lubrication, and will be held April 13-16, 2019, in Athens, Greece. Papers with topics related to the theme of the conference will be given high priority; ELGI also encourages authors to submit papers about other grease and lubricants industry topics for consideration. For information on sending paper topics, abstracts and lecturer details, visit

Briefly Noted

Jackson, Mississippi-based Ergon Inc.s wholly owned subsidiary, Ergon Chemicals LLC, completed the purchase of Resinall, a manufacturer of thermoplastic resins and polymers with facilities in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and Severn, North Carolina.

Connell Bros., Songwons exclusive distributor in India, also began marketing and distributing the companys lubricant and fuel additives throughout China last month.

GP Global agreed to manufacture and market Cepsa-branded lubricants in India. The agreement marks Cepsas first venture into manufacturing outside of Spain.

Branded automotive and industrial lubes distributor Vesco Oil Corp., based in Southfield, Michigan, acquired Dayton, Ohio-based industrial oils and metalworking fluids distributor Accurate Lubricants and Metalworking Fluids Inc.

Lubricant additives maker and supplier SBZ Corp. opened a new manufacturing facility and laboratory in Wickford, United Kingdom, to accommodate growing demand from blenders doing business in international markets.

Faces in the News

Jamie Brunk, lube study manager with HSB Solomon Associates, will retire on Sept. 4. Tim Langlais will take over the position. Langlais has served as a global base oil marketing executive, most recently with Ergon and also with Phillips 66.

Colleen Murphy-Smith was named director, base oils, at Motiva, replacing Bryan Schorzman, who was appointed director, refining and strategy analysis.

Ametek Brookfield appointed Hitesh Shah global vice president of sales. Shah has over 25 years of experience in sales and executive roles, having worked at General Electric, Meggitt Sensing Systems and most recently as global sales director at Novanta.

John Bucci is vice president of technical development with the Savant Group. He brings over 30 years of experience and knowledge in process R&D, chemical manufacturing and mechanical processing, most recently with Hemlock Semiconductor Corp.

Bryan Stewart was hired as operations manager at Penthol LLCs new Houston office.

Lanxess named Jacques Perez its new country representative in the United Kingdom and managing director of Lanxess Holding UK, effective Oct. 1. He previously held positions at Lanxess India, whereNeelanjan Banerjee is now country representative and managing director. Banerjee will also remain head of the Advanced Industrial Intermediates business unit.

Patrick McCloud will take over as CEO and managing director of Chevron Lubricants Lanka PLC effective Sept. 1. He replaces Kishu Gomes, who resigned from the position in May.

Bob DeGennaro

Bob DeGennaro, editor and founder of industry newsletter OEM Lube News, died on July 27. The July 30 edition was that newsletters final issue, his son Ryan told its readers and sponsors. DeGennaro spent his career in the oil and gas industry working for companies such as Chevron, ExxonMobil and Gulf Oil before retiring to start a consulting business and the newsletter more than 14 years ago.

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