Superior, Wisconsin’s most significant corporation, synthetic-oil producer Amsoil, sealed a deal Jan. 18 with three major Chinese companies to serve wind generation markets worldwide.
Amsoil plans to work with Chinese firms Envision, NGC and CLCP. In order, the partners are a turbine maker, a gear-box manufacturer and a service-and-maintenance enterprise, according to the Duluth News Tribune. Amsoil will serve the Asian market from Singapore, where it has partnered with a manufacturer that is already making Amsoil’s PT series of wind-turbine gear oils.
Why are the Chinese working with a company from northwestern Wisconsin? Amsoil is one of only a few major global suppliers of wind turbine gear lubricants.
The tie to Duluth? The city’s sports arena is named Amsoil Arena and is where the University of Minnesota Duluth hockey team plays. And Amsoil president and CEO Alan Amatuzio proudly gave his new Chinese partners UMD hockey sweaters graced with culturally lucky numbers when finalizing the deal. See the Duluth News Tribune’s story for more details.
Kudos to Amatuzio, who founded this company and in 1972 created the first synthetic oil to meet American Petroleum Institute service requirements. While that sounds great, through the 1970s and early 1980s, most mechanics and auto enthusiasts maintained their belief that synthetic oil was bad for engines. Amsoil pressed on, and today, most oil-change places recommend only synthetic oil for your car if it was made in the last 20 or 30 years.
Why? While they are more expensive than real oil, synthetic oils last about three times as long as conventional oils before they have to be drained and replaced. Additionally, synthetics have lower volatility and, therefore, do not boil off or vaporize as quickly as petroleum motor oils. Synthetics lose from 4 percent to 10 percent of their mass in the high-heat conditions of internal combustion engines, whereas petroleum-based oils lose up to 20 percent, according to Amsoil.