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API Unveils SAE
0W-16 Logo

The North American auto industry has a new certification mark for low-viscosity SAE 0W-16 oils meeting the ILSAC GF-6B passenger car engine oil specification.

The American Petroleum Institutes Lubricants Group approved the design of the shield to serve as a certification mark for SAE 0W-16 engine oils, a viscosity grade defined by API since adoption of the previous standards, ILSAC GF-5 and API SN. The existing starburst symbol will still be used for all legacy viscosity grades.

API developed these new performance standards in response to a request from automakers to introduce more robust engine oils that would be capable of meeting the needs of current and future gasoline engines, API Director of Product Programs Kevin Ferrick said.

May 1, 2020, will be the date when marketers can begin officially licensing oils for meeting the ILSAC GF-6A and GF-6B sequences and their companion API SP specification.

LSC Jamaica Adds Second Plant

Lubricating Specialties Co. Jamaica Ltd. plans to expand its Rockfort, Jamaica, facility to add a lubricants blending plant-its second in the Caribbean island country-by the first quarter of 2020.

Located near Jamaicas capital city, Kingston, the Rockfort blending plant is expected to have production capacity of 10 million to 15 million gallons per year, LSC Jamaica President and CEO Sydney Thwaites said. The capacity will depend on the package style. A lot of it for that market is in drums and [flexitanks], so it lends itself to a higher capacity number.

The project has an estimated price tag of U.S. $5 million, with construction expected to start in the third quarter this year and completion targeted for 2020s first quarter.

Thwaites explained that although LSC Jamaica leases and operates the former Shell Rockfort lubricants facility, which had about 1.2 million gallons of storage capacity, the company had used it only as a storage terminal. The facility has 23 tanks, including six steel tanks for storing base stocks and another 17 horizontal tanks for storing lubricant additives. Jamaicas National Environment and Planning Agency has granted permission for an additional 22 tanks.

SK, Repsol to Expand Cartagena Plant

SK Lubricants and Repsol will expand their joint venture base oil plant in Cartagena, Spain, by 200,000 metric tons per year.

An official with the joint venture, which operates asIberian Lube Base Oil Co., said the project will cost 60 million euros (U.S. $68 million), with SK covering 70 percent of the bill and Repsol the remaining 30 percent. SK officials declined to disclose further details, and Repsol did not respond to questions.

The plantcurrently has capacity to produce 186,000 t/y of API Group II oils and 450,000 t/y of Group III.Ilboc, which was formed in 2012, is 70 percent owned by SK Lubricants and 30 percent owned by Repsol and is located next to a Repsol fuels refinery that supplies it with feedstock.

SK Lubricants is part of Seoul-based SK Holdings, South Koreas largest oil refiner.

The Ilboc official said the expansion is scheduled to be completed by December 2020.

Petronas Chemicals Buys BRB

Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd of Malaysia agreed to acquire Netherlands-based lube oil additive manufacturer BRB International B.V.s holding company for 163 million euros (U.S. $182 million) in cash, according to a May 16 Petronas filing with the stock exchange of Malaysia.

Technically, Petronas acquired Da Vinci Group B.V., which is the holding company of BRB.

Upon the agreements completion, BRB will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Petronas Chemical Group. BRB manufactures a full range of lubricant additives for automotive and industrial applications. According to its website, these products include viscosity modifiers, engine oil additives, driveline additives and hydraulic additives, along with products such as sulfonates, pour point depressants and friction modifiers.

Calumet Sells Biosynthetic Technologies Stake

Calumet Specialty Products Partners L.P. sold its investment in Biosynthetic Technologies in March, according to Calumets first quarter earnings report. The sale came a year after Calumets investment in the company, a startup that converts plant oils into synthetic base stocks using proprietary technology.

In the May 10 earnings report, Calumet said its initial cash investment in early 2018 was $3.8 million. At that time, the company acquired Biosynthetic Technologies in conjunction with The Heritage Group, a privately held portfolio of several companies. Calumet sold that investment to The Heritage Group in March this year and recognized a gain of $5 million.

Calumet Chief Financial Officer West Griffin said in a conference call with analysts that the company wanted a quicker return on financial resources than it expected from Biosynthetic Technologies. While commercialization remains very promising, we sold the technology and patent portfolio at a small profit in order to concentrate our resources on near-term initiatives and growth opportunities with shorter time horizons, Griffin said.

Provisional Licensing Ended for Gas and Diesel

The American Petroleum Institute announced on May 15 that the Caterpillar Oil Aeration Test was again available for candidate oil testing, and that it was ending provisional licensing associated with that test 12 months after it was invoked.

New programs for diesel engine oil standards API CK-4 and FA-4 were already in place when the industry became aware of inconsistent results between labs. Any new programs that did not have a valid COAT result could have been impacted since May of last year, and they now have six months to secure a passing result.

API also plans to remove provisional licensing from ILSAC GF-5 oils now that base oil interchange and viscosity grade read-across have been approved for the Sequence VIE engine test, according to Kevin Ferrick, APIs director of product programs.

On March 1, 2017, the Sequence VID fuel economy test became unavailable because the test ran out of acceptable test engines. Unlike the COAT tests situation, the lubricants industry needed to replace this test using the Sequence VIE, which is the new test being developed for ILSAC GF-6.

Briefly Noted

Cincinnati, Ohio-based RelaDyne acquired lubricants distributor Legacy Fueling and Lubricants, headquartered in Victoria, Texas.

SK Lubricants Co. signed a deal to supply base oil to state-owned PetroChina.

Shell India opened its first lubricants laboratory within the country, located in the companys technology center in Bangalore.

Faces in the News

Anna Mascolo took over from Anne Anderson on July 1 as vice president of Shell Aviation. Anderson is moving to a senior leadership role in Shells chemicals business.

Al Pape has left Shamrock Tech­nologies. William B. Neuberg, principal owner and chairman, will take over the duties of president.

Todd Cawley is in the newly created role of vice president, sales and marketing at Novvi LLC. He previously was director of sales, global business development and blended lubes manager at American Refining Group.

Michael Duncan, executive vice president, technology at Daubert Chemical, is the 2019-2020 president of the Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers. Ryan Evans, director of R&D for bearings at Timken, has joined the STLE executive committee. Terms began at the societys annual meeting in May.

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