US transformer oil demand keeps Pale 60 base oil market steady

16 October 2012 23:57  [Source: ICIS news]

SCOTTSDALE, Arizona (ICIS)--While demand from many naphthenic base oil applications has been steady to falling during the second half of the year, that for Pale 60 SUS (Saybolt Universal Seconds) oil has held steady, a supplier said on Tuesday.

“60 SUS is used in the transformer oil market and has been strong compared to other grades,” a supplier said on the sidelines of the Independent Lubricant Manufacturers Association (ILMA) annual meeting.

Transmission grids across the US deliver electricity from power plants to distribution networks for consumer use. Transformers make up the grid, and are vulnerable to disruptions from weather and terrorist attacks, and can also wear out and need to be replaced periodically.

The US Department of Homeland Security released a study last year reinforcing the need to get transformers in good condition, which has pushed several states to look at replacing existing transformers, the supplier said.

According to transformer manufacturer ABB, there are approximately 129,000km (80,000 miles) of extra high-voltage (EHV) transmission lines in the US, making up the grid. These are vulnerable to various long-term outages, the costs of which can potentially run into billions of dollars.

The ILMA meeting ends on Wednesday.

By: Heather McGuire Doyle
+1 713 525 2653

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