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Fuchs Acquires Lube Blender

The Fuchs Group expanded its specialty lubricants product portfolio by acquiring Fairhaven, Massachusetts-based lubricants blender Nye Lubricants Inc.

Nye generated $51 million in global sales in fiscal year 2018. It manufactures synthetic lubes for a number of industries including aerospace, automobile manufacturing and food and beverage processing, as well as several types of greases-such as damping, electrically conductive, food grade and radiation resistant varieties.

The acquisition and the Nye team will significantly increase our R&D and engineering expertise while using Fuchs supply chain and market presence to satisfy emerging customer needs, stated Keith Brewer, president and CEO of Fuchs Lubricants Co. USA.

Following completion of the acquisition, Nye will continue to operate out of its 83,000-square-foot complex that is equipped with research and production labs as well as packaging and production lines. The companies expect the transaction to close toward the end of 2019, but the cost of the acquisition has not been disclosed.

Petronas Closes Argentina Plant

MalaysiasPetronas Lubricants Inter­nationalclosed its lubricant blending plant in Ezpeleta, Argentina, which had 13,300 metric tons per year production capacity.

The company said that despite the closure, Argentina remains an important market and that it will continue selling its products in the country through its direct presence and existing distribution channels, a spokesperson stated. To meet customer requirements, Petronas will supply market demand in the country through toll blending partnerships with local service providers Destileria Argentina de Petroleo S.A. and Quimica True.

The company also confirmed that it will not continue the construction of a new 21,000 to 31,000 t/y blending facility in the Ezeiza Industrial Park, plans for which were announced in 2016. The now-closed blending plant would have been relocated to the new facility.

This disruption is a result of the ongoing economic crisis in the country.

Afton Completes Japan Expansion

Afton Chemical Corp. completed a multi-million dollar expansion of its Japan Technology Center in Tsukuba. The expansion is part of an effort toward more collaboration with Japans original equipment manufacturers.

Bringing Afton closer to the research and development centers of Japanese automotive companies could help to solve some challenges with the countrys market, a company spokesperson told LubesnGreases. OEMs and additives companies are not having an open and collaborative approach to jointly develop the next generation of fluids and hardware. OEM companies sometimes are not open to having a direct relationship with additive companies.

The sites analytical and mechanical laboratories were expanded to increase its lubricant additive testing capabilities, which include standardized and customized tests for engine oils for passenger cars, motorcycles and commercial and off-road vehicles, as well as transmission fluids, industrial hydraulic oils and gear lubricants.

The expanded facility will also enable the company to provide enhanced technical services to its customers in the region, according to a press release. These include sample blending, physical and chemical analysis and performance testing compliant with both international and Japanese test methods.

Axel to Expand U.S. Grease Plants

Axel Christiernsson AB announced a multi-million dollar expansion and improvement plan across its three grease plants in the United States, including increased capacity to produce calcium sulfonate complex greases. The company manufactures and supplies lubricating greases in the U.S. through itsAxel Americasand Axel Royal companies.

The investments include installing new kettles to increase calcium sulfonate complex line capacity at its Rosedale, Mississippi, location and installing two high-speed cartridge filling lines and several equipment investments and process improvements to increase overall production capacity at its Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Schertz, Texas, sites. The investments are also designed to bring the latter two facilities to Axel standards through quality assurance, safety and working condition improvements.

The company did not disclose the specific amount of expanded production capacity.

Master Fluid Buys German Manufacturer

Perrysburg, Ohio-based Master Fluid Solutions announced its acquisition of German metalworking fluids manufacturer Wilhelm Dietz GmbH, saying it will enable products that it sells in Europe to be made in-house instead of through toll partners. Terms were not disclosed.

In 2017, Master Fluid adopted a strategy to double the size of its business within five years and focus its resources in certain geographic regions, said global vice president for strategy and marketing Ahmed Tahir. Wilhelm Dietzs site in Dusseldorf-Benrath, Germany, will become Masters European headquarters, he noted. The German companys manufacturing facility is in a prime location to serve all of Europes industrial manufacturing centers with Germany, the U.K., France and Italy as our focus markets, Tahir said.

The Wedolit brand has an extensive range of products for the metalworking industry in forming, pipe and tube expansion, rust and corrosion control, wire drawing, cutting and grinding operations, and offers a complimentary portfolio to Masters, according to Tahir.

Neste Writes off Stakes in Nynas

Neste has written off its holding in Nynas, a 50-50 joint venture with Petroleos de Venezuela S.A. The write-down is indicative of the difficulties that Nynas faces under the United States economic sanctions against Venezuela and means that Neste no longer estimates its stake in the j.v. to have any value.

Nynas lost $8.9 million during its third quarter because the sanctions impair its ability to acquire crude oil feedstock. Making naphthenic base stocks requires naphthenic crude, and Nynas has traditionally bought much of its feedstock from PdVSA, Venezuelas national oil company. The U.S. sanctions against Venezuela bar such purchases, but Nynas has operated under a series of licenses allowing it to buy crude from the country. In October, the U.S. Treasury Department issued a new license that prohibits Nynas from buying oil or oil products from Venezuela, and Nynas has since stopped buying Venezuelan crude.

Nynas owns naphthenic base oil plants in Harburg, Germany, and Nynashamn, Sweden. It also produces bitumen and owns a third refinery in Gothenburg, Sweden, as well as a j.v. facility with Shell in Eastham, United Kingdom.

BP China Builds Third Plant

BPstarted building a lubricants blending plant in Tianjin, China. The plant is expected to have 200,000 metric tons per year of production capacity to supply lubricants and greases to north China.

In 2017 the company announced the plant as an expected $213 million investment, representing the companys single largest blending plant investment worldwide and its third plant in China. Located on 150,000 square meters, the facility is expected to start operating before the end of 2021 producing lubricants, greases and lube additives.

The facility will serve as a strategic production hub for BP andCastrols lubricants business in China.

NLGI Call for Papers

The National Lubricating Grease Institute invites submission of technical papers for presentation at its annual meeting in Miami, Florida, with a January 10 submission deadline. The theme of the meeting, to be held June 14-17, is grease tribology. Papers focusing on tribology, additives, raw materials, testing and environmental impacts will be given priority. Papers covering any other success stories of superior application or improvement of technology are also welcome. Visit for more information.

Briefly Noted

Bahrain Petroleum Co. signed an agreement appointing Shell Trading and Shipping Co. as the exclusive distributor in Europe and the Americas of BapcosAPI Group III base oils. Under the deal, Shell Trading will market Bapbase-branded base oils in 4, 6 and 8 centistoke varieties.

TheFuchs Group acquired Zimmark Inc., a Canadian company offering services in lubricants and chemicals process management to improve manufacturing plant production efficiency.

Pilot Thomas Logistics will distributeCastrols ePods, an oil dispensing system for oil changes, to Castrol customers in the Northeast United States.

Sea-Land Chemical is distributingBiosynthetic Technologies biobased base oils in North America, with exclusive distribution in the transportation and industrial lubricants market.

RelaDyneacquired Richard Oil and Fuel, a lubricant and fuel distributor serving Louisiana.

Faces in the News

Calumet Specialty Products Partners named H. Keith Jennings executive vice president and chief financial officer. Jennings will assume his duties on January 1, following a transition from the current executive vice president and CFO, West Griffin.

Greg Miiller, formerly vice president of operations for the Savant Group, has been named vice president of engineering and new business development for the company.

Castrol India announced the appointment of Sandeep Sangwan as managing director, effective January 1. He will succeed Omer Dormen, who will move into another role leading Castrols business in Europe.

Evonik Oil Additives USA appointed Richard Van Sleet regional president in the Americas. He will retain his current responsibilities as global head of marketing for lubricant additives.

Greif, a manufacturer of industrial packaging, has appointed Stephane Serrano as sales director for France.

Osvaldo Desvard

Osvaldo Desvard, president of Soltex, died October 1 at his home in La Plata, Argentina. He was 66 years old.

Born in Trenque Lauquen, Argentina, Desvard graduated from the University of La Plata with a Ph.D. in chemistry in 1979, then conducted research at the University of Cambridge.

In 1986 he left his position as a professor of chemistry at the University of La Plata to join Imperial Chemical Industries, where he worked for several years until joining Bridas Corp. Desvard held various positions at Bridas, including managing director of the polyisobutylene business. He joined Soltex as international manager in 2004. In 2011 he became commercial manager, and in 2015 he was appointed president of the company.

Desvard is survived by his wife Sylvia, sons Mariano and Nicolas, daughter Celina, and grandchildren Manuel and Lupe.

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