Industry News

  • KRAHN Chemie acquires Greek distributor InterActive

    As of January 2020, KRAHN Chemie GmbH has acquired a majority share of InterActive S.A., headquartered in Athens, Greece. Through this strategic acquisition the KRAHN Chemie Group expands its footprint not only in Europe but also in the Israeli market.

    InterActive S.A. was founded in 1990 and specialises in the distribution of lubricant additives in the Israeli, Greek and Cypriot market, as well as scientific instruments for R&D and QC laboratories in oil, pharma & chemical industries by representing renowned international manufacturers.

    Yannis Protopapas, founder, co-owner and Managing Director of InterActive S.A., explains:

    “The new affiliation with the KRAHN Group provides us with a strong and solid base for our future business development. As a family owned company, KRAHN Chemie clearly matches with InterActive, especially with its firm commitment to securing the long-term development and growth opportunities in today’s rapidly consolidating markets. It is a pleasure to be now part of a group which also strongly believes that deep local market knowledge and partnership-oriented relationships are fundamental in creating value for both our customers and suppliers. In addition, the access to an extensive and high-quality product range, technical services as well as in-house laboratory support will accelerate our future growth.”

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  • Ceremony to support the Chinese transportation industry with cutting-edge technology and additional capacity

    Infineum, a global leader of fuel and lubricant additives, held a ceremony with the Zhangjiagang Free Trade Zone on 8 January 2020 to mark the signing of the letter of intent to begin its integrated manufacturing base phase II project in Zhangjiagang, Jiangsu province.

    Infineum Zhangjiagang plant first began production in March 2016, as the company’s first wholly owned blending plant in China. Phase I covers an area of 100,000 square metres and can produce 100,000 tonnes of lubricant additives per year. Phase II, a multi-million US dollar investment will cover an area of more than 130,000 square meters and will increase capacity to ensure Infineum can meet the rising demand for high-end lubricants in China and the Asia-Pacific region.

    The Phase II signing ceremony, held at the Jiyang Lake Hotel in Zhangjiagang, was attended by distinguished representatives from the Zhangjiagang municipal government, including: Mayor of ZJG Municipal Government Mr. Pan Guoqiang and Standing Member of ZJG Municipal Party Committee, Deputy Secretary of ZJG Free Trade Zone Party Work Committee Mr. Shi Xixian. The ceremony was also attended by Infineum senior leaders, including: Trevor Russell, CEO, Philippe Creteur, EVP of Global Sales, and Mike Chen, Infineum China President.

    Mr Chen commented “We are excited about this significant milestone in our China business expansion. The long-term trust and support of our customers as well as our industry partners are a cornerstone of Infineum’s continued growth in China. Through close ongoing collaboration, we remain committed to furthering the sustainable development of China’s transportation industry and serving the market with high-quality, high-value products and technologies.”

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  • New technology for a new laboratory

    Clariant Refinery Services has opened a new state-of-the-art crude and fuel oil laboratory that will focus on applications for transport and storage. Based in Bradford, United Kingdom, this global centre of excellence will support a highly experienced technical services team equipped to address multiple challenges experienced by refineries, storage terminals, pipeline providers, and logistic companies all around the world.

    Equipped with cutting-edge technology, the new lab has a wide selection of testing regimes and modern methods of crude oil analysis and performance testing. The facility puts Clariant Refinery Services at the forefront of finding and developing new, and customised, pour point depressant solutions for the downstream and midstream sector.

    With the ability to replicate field conditions within the laboratory, Clariant can conduct full performance potential analyses of any crude oil product, in a real-life simulation, providing customers with reliable solutions, fully tailored to their specific needs.

    With the new laboratory’s innovative methodologies and capabilities, Clariant has already developed PPD products and fuel stabiliser solutions specific to the challenges presented by new International Maritime Organization (IMO) 2020 regulations, limiting marine fuels’ Sulphur to 0.5% from the previous limit of 3.5%.

    The laboratory, that celebrated its official grand opening on January 23, will continue its focus on customer centered application development with technical experts being specialists in simulating and replicating field conditions.

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  • European Union Green Deal

    In December, President of the European Commission von der Leyen unveiled plans to accelerate the European Union’s momentum towards becoming a climate-neutral continent by 2050.

    Part of this deal will enshrine carbon neutrality in European law, extend the existing Carbon Emissions Trading System to include marine and phase out aviation’s free allowances, review the Energy Tax Directive, and introduce an Industrial Strategy to further reinforce the circular economy.

    At the moment the main impact upon the lubricants sector is through the review of the Energy Tax Directive of which lubricants are included but at a zero rate. The impact upon the sector of the introduction of a planned Carbon Border Tax based on the carbon content of products is still uncertain at this time.

    World Trade Organisation’s proposals upon which the tax would be based, have focused on carbon-based fuel and the use of a tax to regularise the impact of carbon-reduction measures across countries in order to reduce emissions.

    The policy work on the review of the EU Energy Tax Directive will be led by UEIL and the position is to retain the status quo in having lubricants included in the Energy Tax Directive but at a zero rate.
    Political guidelines for the next European Commission 2019 to 2024 can be found at

    An EU briefing on the Green Deal can be found at

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  • Michael Manley of FCA elected ACEA President for 2020

    The Board of Directors of the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) has elected Michael Manley, CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), as its new President.

    As of January 2020, Mr Manley will take over from Carlos Tavares, Chairman of the Managing Board of PSA Group, who served as ACEA President for two consecutive terms in 2018 and 2019.

    The priorities of ACEA for next year include developing a pathway for the transition to carbon-neutral road transport, while ensuring the economic sustainability of the European auto sector.

    “As an industry we want to take the lead in transforming mobility in a way that puts the consumer first, but also enables us to remain globally competitive and resilient,” stated Michael Manley.

    The ACEA President is elected for a year-long term, once renewable, from the CEOs of its member companies, which are the 15 major Europe-based car, van, truck and bus manufacturers.

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  • Workshop on Regulatory Requirements for Chemicals within a Global Market

    ATIEL, the technical association representing manufacturers and marketers in the European lubricants industry, organised with ATC, the Technical Committee of petroleum additive manufacturers, a workshop dedicated to regulatory requirements for chemicals within a global market.

    The main goal of the meeting, which took place on the 23rd October 2019, was to highlight the compliance challenges and to discuss best practice solutions in meeting the diverse requirements of national authorities across the world. In addition, the objective was to find a path for improving cooperation with the European automotive industry manufacturing globally today and tomorrow, scanning the horizon for new chemicals and evolving chemicals legislations.

    To handle the actual challenges ACEA proposes specific actions for improvement in the supply-chain communication and ask for discussion. But regulatory compliance data communication within the supply chain is complex. It requires a need to understand the current ways of working within additive companies, oil companies and their respective customers. Once processes, data availability and customer requirements are understood, the lubricants industry can identify the challenges faced with sharing data through the supply chain and seek to improve for the future.

    During the discussions in the workshop, various solutions were presented to improve communication and increase trust between suppliers and their customers. In the final discussion the attendees agreed on a common goal: establish a joint task force on chemical compliance globally (ATC/ATIEL/ ACEA) to develop, among others, guidance for the communication of sensitive information throughout the supply chain ensuring a win-win situation for all operators and the protection of Confidential Business Information (CBI).

    Attendees applauded the outcome of this workshop and the willingness of all stakeholders to achieve a constructive cooperative approach in product stewardship.

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  • Shell supports SkyNRG in developing Europe’s first dedicated sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) production plant

    The development of the DSL-01 production plant in Delfzijl, Netherlands, is led by SkyNRG, a global market leader for SAF and a long-term strategic partner of Shell Aviation. Shell will bring its technical and commercial expertise to the development of the plant, and through participation in the project will secure the option to purchase sustainable aviation fuel produced at the facility.

    The DSL-01 production facility is on schedule for commissioning in 2022, representing the earliest dedicated commercial supply of sustainable aviation fuel to the aviation market in Europe. The plant will annually produce 100,000 tonnes of sustainable aviation fuel, corresponding to a reduction in lifecycle CO2 equivalent emissions of approximately 270,000 tonnes. The plant will also produce naphtha, and 15,000 tonnes of bioLPG annually as a by-product.

    Earlier, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has committed itself for a 10-year period to the development and purchase of 75,000 tonnes of sustainable aviation fuel a year.

    The feedstocks used for production will be waste and residue streams, such as used cooking oil, sourced predominantly from regional industries. The facility will run on sustainable hydrogen, produced local to the site in the Groningen Seaport. The combined benefits of the feedstocks, sustainable hydrogen, and use of low carbon energy to power production, will contribute to the production of sustainable aviation fuel with lifecycle carbon emissions approximately 85% lower than conventional jet fuels, as estimated by the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials.

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  • Infineum’s new Global Centre of Innovation creates over 50 specialist jobs in Oxfordshire

    Infineum, one of the world leaders in the formulation, manufacture and marketing of petroleum additives for fuels and lubricants, officially opened their new Global Centre of Innovation on Friday 8 November, at their Headquarters in Milton Hill.

    This multi-million pound investment in their site close to Didcot, has generated more than 50 new jobs for talented chemists and engineers, to research better and more sustainable solutions in the automotive, transmissions and fuels additives business. This influx of talent provides the opportunity for Infineum to accelerate on their journey of creating a sustainable future using innovative chemistry.

    The new state-of-the-art building delivers improved infrastructure that supports their technology leadership, including new laboratories for leading edge research and development, along with a variety of collaborative and agile meeting spaces, and a new restaurant for employees and visitors.

    The new building has been designed with sustainability in mind and includes solar panels on the roof, a roof garden, LED lighting throughout, and water and electricity optimisation and efficiency investments.

    Trevor Russell, Infineum’s Global CEO, welcomed key customers and industry partners to a networking event which enabled guests from around the world to experience the building first-hand through guided tours.

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  • UEIL Sustainability Task Force holds its 3rd meeting

    The UEIL Sustainability Task Force was officially launched on 27 March 2019 during its first meeting in Brussels. Members of the Task Force gathered for a full day of meetings and took this opportunity to introduce themselves and the sustainability strategy of their respective companies, to start an initial discussion on how UEIL should take this concept on board.

    At its Annual Congress in Budapest in 2018, UEIL had announced the formation of a Sustainability Task Force charged with developing a framework to define, develop and measure sustainability in the European lubricants industry. The formation had been introduced by Apu Gosalia, Vice-President for Sustainability (CSO) & Global Intelligence at FUCHS Petrolub, who chairs the Task Force and who explained that the group should work proactively on requirements that the European Union is already beginning to introduce for other industries.

    The membership of the UEIL Sustainability Task Force was designed to fulfill certain criteria and prerequisites and is therefore:

    • composed of EU-headquartered companies;
    • representative of the whole lubricants value chain, including additive suppliers, base oil suppliers, lubricant blenders, and customers;
    • composed of companies that have proved to be willing to engage in the sustainability debate;
    • representative of a mix of European countries.

    Company members of the Task Force include BASF Fuels & Lubricant Solutions, CRODA, EVONIK Oil Additives, LANXESS, NESTE, NYNAS, INEOS, Itelyum, FUCHS Petrolub, BLASER Swisslube, RS Clare, CIPELIA, NOWAL Chimica, Q8, and BOSCH. The Task Force will evolve into a fully-fledged committee of the association at a later stage.

    The overall work of the Task Force is led by three main steps:

    • define what sustainability is for the lubricants industry;
    • develop commitments for key sustainability targets;
    • define how to implement these commitments.

    After June, the Task Force reunited for a third meeting that was held on 11 September. On this occasion, the Task Force Members confirmed their definition of sustainability in the lubricants sector, discussed the prioritisation of relevant Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and further progressed on their work to develop a formal Sustainability Task Force strategy.

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  • Leaders in Industrial Process Fluids Combine to Form Quaker Houghton

    Quaker Chemical Corporation and Houghton International have combined to create Quaker Houghton (NYSE: KWR), the global leader in industrial process fluids to the primary metals and metalworking markets. Along with the new name, the company revealed a new logo and brand representing the combined companies. The company will continue to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange and trade under the “KWR” ticker symbol.

    Quaker Houghton Combination Press Release 08.01.19 FINAL

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  • New Chair for CEC

    ATIEL is pleased to announce that Dr Nick Clague of SK Lubricants has been appointed to the chair of CEC. Nick is a well known member of various ATIEL committees and we are delighted that his company has made sufficient time available to him to carry out this role.

    Nick has worked in the industry for over 20 years since completing his PhD with Adibis in 1998. He has previously worked for both Afton and Lubrizol in various roles developing formulations for many different applications from hydraulic oils through to formulating heavy duty diesel engine oils.

    Nick is the Global Technical Manager for SK Lubricants and is based in the United Kingdom. Nick is responsible for technical matters relating to SK Lubricants YUBASE and YUBASE plus base oils. He also represents SK Lubricants on several ATIEL committees and regularly attends cross-industry meetings. He has been one of ATIEL’s representatives on the CEC Management Board for several years and is therefore well placed to take on the chairmanship. He takes over the role from Frank Stunnenberg of Chevron, who chaired CEC for two years on behalf of ATC, another of CEC’s stakeholders.

    CEC, the Coordination Council for the development of performance tests for fuels, lubricants and other fuels, comprises four stakeholders – ACEA, ATC, ATIEL and Concawe. It is tasked with developing performance tests for fuels and lubricants.

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  • Appointment of New Leader for Shell Aviation

    Anna Mascolo has been appointed Vice President of Shell’s Aviation business, taking over from Anne Anderson who is moving to a senior leadership role in Shell’s Chemicals business.

    “I am so proud of what we have achieved in recent years,” said Anne. “Shell Aviation is a thriving business in Shell’s portfolio, equipped with the right expertise and resources to offer a diverse suite of solutions for our customers. We have a new footprint through growth in new locations, new supply chains, and we are at the forefront of the industry response to climate change. Through collaboration with external partners, we are providing truly add-value solutions, including our industry-first electric pump jet refuelling vehicles, Shell SkyPad – our digital refuelling data capture technology, and sustainable aviation fuel. The business is in an extremely strong position to help our customers’ businesses progress and succeed.”

    Anna will take over from Anne on 1 July 2019. She brings to the Aviation business broad global experience from Chemicals, Fuels and Gas Products. Her career spans over 20 years in customer facing and supply roles.

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