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Hillenbrand to Buy Milacron

Hillenbrand Inc. will acquireMilacron Holdings a cash and stock transaction valued at $2 billion. The companies predict that the transaction will close in 2020s first quarter.

Milacrons Cimcool fluid technology unit makes metalworking fluids that are used in automotive, aerospace and other types of manufacturing. The company reported sales revenue of $1.26 billion in 2018, $129.3 million of which came from its Fluid Technologies segment.

Batesville, Indiana-based Hillenbrand Inc. is a global diversified industrial company. The majority of Cincinnati, Ohio-based Milacrons business is in the manufacture, distribution and service of highly engineered and customized systems within the plastics technology and processing industry.

Chevron to Make Group III for Neste

Chevron has agreed for its Richmond, California, base oil plant to begin making API Group III oils that Finnish refiner Neste Corp.will market under its Nexbase brand name.

Chevron said it is also upgrading the Richmond facility and its plant in Pascagoula, Mississippi-both of which currently produce Group II oils-to enable output of Group II+. The change will be made during the second half of 2019 and will give the plants combined capacity to make 9,100 barrels per day of Group II+ and III oils, a spokesman said.

Neste said the Group III oils produced by Chevron will be integrated into its existing product slate and will qualify for finished lubricant approvals held by oils produced at Nestes wholly owned plant in Porvoo, Finland, and its Sitra, Bahrain, joint venture withBahrain Petroleum Co.

EPA Proposes Additive Ban

In late June, the United States Environmental Protection Agency proposed to ban the use of 2,4,6-Tris(tert-butyl)phenol as a lubricant additive on grounds that it is toxic to aquatic plants and animals and likely causes liver damage in humans.

According to the EPA, only one company-which it did not identify-manufactures or imports 2,4,6-TTBP to the U.S. The agency cited a list of products that contain the chemical, from Champion Engine Oil Additive to a Durad-branded liquid antioxidant supplied by Chemtura and a large number of fuel additives.

The agency also proposed prohibiting the processing and distribution of another chemical, phenol, isopropylated, phosphate (3:1), except for use in aviation hydraulic fluids and other lubricants and greases, as well as automobile replacement parts. PIP (3:1), a family of phosphate esters, is used in a variety of applications, including lubricants, where it provides both lubricity and flame retardancy.

The proposals will be published in the Federal Register, triggering a 60-day period for members of the public to offer comments. A final rule must then be adopted no more than 18 months after the Federal Register publication.

Axel vs. Royal

A court battle is being waged in Oklahoma over Axel Christiernssons acquisition last year of grease producer Royal Manufacturing.

Axel, the Swedish grease maker, alleges that former Royal executives defrauded it by misrepresenting or concealing numerous core facts about the business, including the capacity of its grease factories, the quality of products that they make and relationships with key customers.

Royals former officials denied practically all allegations. They also contend that Axel lost its right to take damages from an escrow account because it filed a notice that intended to do so two days beyond a deadline.

The civil suits are ongoing in Tulsa County District Court between Axel and Royals longtime principal owner and operator William R. Mallory Jr. and a partnership and limited liability corporations of his, including KLM Group LP.

The litigation began in December when Mallory and Royals other former owners filed a civil lawsuit asking that the escrow account manager be forced to turn over $2.5 million – the first half of disbursement from the account.

The following month Axel filed a countersuit accusing Mallory and James Gott, former vice president of Royal who continued to work for the business after the acquisition closed, of pervasive misrepresentations.

Axel notes that it discontinued activities not in line with the companys values as soon as they came to light.

Evonik Boosts Additives Capacity

Evonik is expanding its production capacity for polyalkylmethacrylate based viscosity modifiers by 15 percent to meet rising demand.

The Darmstadt, Germany-based oil additives provider said it will achieve the increase through plant expansion projects and debottlenecking operations. The company reported that half of the capacity increase has already been implemented, while the remainder is scheduled for completion in 2021.

Evonik stated that the expansion is associated with its efforts to consistently grow its oil additives business for specialty applications. Industry consultant Geeta S. Agashe said Asia-Pacific is driving demand for polyalkylmethacrylate based viscosity index improvers. She also noted that while the trend in some markets toward lower-viscosity engine oils meeting new engine oil specifications could depress demand for V.I. improver additives, growth in other lubricants that use such additives and a shift in some regions to multigrades should help boost demand growth.

Sequence IVB Rules Approved

TheAmerican Petroleum InstitutesLubricants Group closed the last key Base Oil Interchange/
Viscosity Grade Read-Across task force ballots and indicated full approval on June 10 for rules for the Sequence IVB low-temperature valvetrain wear test, which has been accepted into the ILSAC GF-6 and API SP specifications.

The rules allow one Sequence IVB test on one API Group II or Group III base oil to apply to all other Group II and Group III base oils, provided that the base oil viscosity at 100 degrees Celsius is equal to or greater than the oil with passing results.

Other applicable test limits call for a maximum average intake lifter volume loss of 2.5 cubic millimeters and an end-of-test maximum iron level of 400 parts per million. Some original equipment manufacturers may have preferred even lower limits, but the final accepted limits met ILSACs proposal during final GF-6 specification negotiations.

New Steel Drum Plant in Western India

Kolkata, India-based Balmer Lawrie & Co.opened a new industrial packaging plant that manufactures steel drums last month in Vadodara, in the Indian state of Gujarat, to serve the fast-growing market for 210-liter mild steel drums in the countrys western region.

The new plant is spread over an area of around 13,700 square meters and has modern machinery, technical capability and trained manpower to produce high quality drums for customers, including multinational companies. The plants capacity is around 900,000 to 1 million drums per year. Initially, the plant is expected to produce around 50,000 drums per month and gradually it would scale up, the company noted.

Customer segments for its drums include lubricants, transformer oil and additives.

Sol Closes Jamaica Distributorship

Sol Petroleum Jamaica Ltd., a subsidiary of aShelllubricants macro distributor, shut down its lubricants business effective June 30 after its parent company decided it would discontinue operations in Jamaica.

A Sol Petroleum Jamaica representative confirmed the closure, saying the company had notified its customers of the shutdown.

The company distributed automotive lubricants, marine lubricants, industrial greases and heavy-duty engine oils.

Parkland Fuel Corp., a Calgary, Alberta-based fuel and lubricants distributor, acquired 75 percent of the shares of Sol Investments Ltd. in January. Parkland will have the option to purchase the remaining 25 percent of shares in October 2020.

Briefly Noted

Hydrodec Groupagreed in principle onthe sale of its Australian transformer oil rerefinery for $1.4 million, excluding decommissioning and other associated costs.

Bradford, Pennsylvania-based American Refining Group appointed Sea Ready Marine Petroleum as its global distributor for marine lubricants.

Idemitsu Kosan establisheda new lubricant sales company, Idemitsu Lubricants Philippines Inc., which will promote the supply of lube oil to Japanese automakers in the Philippines. The company also began construction of a lubricant blending plant in Huizhou, Guangdong province, China.

Denver, Colorado-based private equity firm Lariat Partners sold its ownership interest in Offen Petroleum, which distributes lubricants throughout Colorado and its 13 surrounding states.

Greif made a large-scale investment in a new blow-molding machine at its Casablanca plant in Morocco, North Africa, in order to increase capacity by up to 25 percent for its one- to five-liter bottles for the lubricants market.

Malaysian company Hyrax Oil opened a lubricant blending plant at an oil terminal in Muthurajawela, Sri Lanka, which was built through collaboration with theCeylon Petroleum Corp.under a build, operate and transfer agreement.

Faces in the News

Nynas appointed Roberto Ortiz as general manager North America. He joined the company in August 2005 as manager of Nynas Mexico and is now responsible for sales management in the North American region including Canada, the USA and Mexico.

Eric Kalberer of Shell Global Solutions has taken over the American Petroleum Institutes Base Oil Interchange/Viscosity Grade Read-Across committee chairmanship from Rick Dougherty of ExxonMobil.

Kevin Ferrick of the American Petroleum Institute has been promoted to director, API product programs. He was previously senior manager of APIs engine oil program.

Marty Meyers, North America marketing communications manager for Infineum USA, has retired following more than 25 years of combined experience at Exxon and Infineum.

Biosynthetic Tech­nologies has added three new members to its research and development team: Alex Kitchel, Marlon Lutz and Annie Hynes.

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