Italmatch Chemicals Group announced last week that it has formed a lubricant additives business unit in the wake of Decembers acquisition of Elco Corp. and parent company Detrex. Officials said the new unit, named Lubricant Performance Additives, will aim to expand in terms of chemicals supplied and geographic areas served.
Demand for lubricant antioxidants in the United States is expected to grow 1.5 percent per year to 194.9 million pounds by 2022, according to a study recently published by The Freedonia Group. Last year domestic demand for antioxidants in lubricant applications was roughly 180 million pounds.
The trade war between the United States and China was one of the major events of 2018 - a year that otherwise was relatively quiet for the lubricants industry in the Americas. The industry launched a supplemental passenger car engine oil category but executed just a few acquisitions and avoided major disruptions caused by weather events or accidents.
The Mexican government is preparing to publish new national engine oil standards that are modeled on those in the United States and which would replace its own antiquated standards.
NewMarkets Afton Chemical reported lower operating profit in the fourth quarter but stronger full-year results, while Valvoline posted increases in sales and operating income for its fiscal quarter ending Dec. 31.
Afton Chemicals petroleum additives segment posted higher operating profit, while Quaker Chemical and HollyFrontiers lubricants segment recorded weaker financial results for the quarter ended June 30. Valvolines performance was level with the same period of 2018, while Clean Harbors Safety-Kleen segment had higher revenues.
Lubricant additive supplier IPAC said last week that it has won two arbitration decisions against a former distributor and a former employee for misappropriation of intellectual property.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency proposed Friday 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.
Evonik announced on Monday it is expanding its production capacity for polyalkylmethacrylate-based viscosity modifiers by 15 percent to meet rising demand. The oil additives provider has a global production footprint, including three plants in North America.
Sasol announced last week that its new 1.5 million tons per year ethane cracker in Lake Charles, Louisiana, reached a milestone in its start-up, producing on-spec for 72 consecutive hours. The crackers ethylene output will be used in six downstream plants to produce derivatives, including some used in metalworking fluids and lubricants.
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