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Lubrizol opens big additives plant in China

By: Scott Suttell
CRAIN’S CLEVELAND BUSINESS

August 21, 2013

Specialty chemicals maker Lubrizol Corp. of Wickliffe, Ohio, said it has opened a 400,000-square-meter additives manufacturing plant in Zhuhai, China, part of a long-term plan to grow operations in Asia.

The plant also is a key part of a 10-year phased investment plan, launched in 2010, to upgrade operations and increase global capacity in additives, Lubrizol said in a news release.

James Hambrick, chairman, president and CEO of Lubrizol, who traveled to Zhuhai for the opening, said the plant "is further confirmation of our ongoing commitment to the region, to the industry and to our customers' success."

Construction on the plant began in October 2010. It will offer select additive component manufacturing as well as additive package blending. Over the coming years, additional capabilities and capacity will be phased in to meet market demand, Lubrizol said in the news release.

"By phasing in select capacity additions in China, we aim to respond to lubricant growth in Asia and to better match our manufacturing footprint with global demand patterns," said Dan Sheets, president of Lubrizol Additives, in a statement. "We believe that a local presence strengthens our ability to partner with our customers to meet their demand by providing shorter lead times while strengthening business continuity plans."

Lubrizol said the site also includes a research, development and testing lab to support the company's engine oils, driveline, industrial and fuel additive businesses. The lab will support field testing in local vehicles under local conditions in China.

Lubrizol, which is part of Berkshire Hathaway, produces lubricant additives for engine oils, other transportation-related fuels and industrial lubricants, as well as additives for gasoline and diesel fuel. It owns and operates manufacturing facilities in 17 countries.