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ELM’s Biobased Lubricants Debut in Japan

Environmental Lubricants Manufacturing, Inc., a leading US manufacturer of biobased grease and lubricants, announced on January 9, 2018 an exclusive distributor agreement with Chugoku Kogyo Co., Ltd., Hiroshima, as nationwide distributor of ELM products. Prior to this venture, the two companies invested time studying the Japanese lubricants market potential for biobased grease and lubricants in Japan. ELM and Chugoku Kogyo engineers also spent time at each other’s sites for training and information exchange in Iowa and in Hiroshima.

“We found the Chugoku Kogyo management team is committed to environmental stewardship and is determined to sell, and eventually transfer biobased technologies to Japan,” said Dr. Lou Honary, ELM Chairman and President. Additionally, as a respected lubricant manufacturer and supplier in Japan, Chugoku Kogyo Co., Ltd., has a salesforce and the resources in place to deliver biobased products efficiently within diverse Japanese markets.”


Mr. Ryuichi Sakai, President and CEO of Chugoku Kogyo Co., states that “…ELM’s history of biobased lubricants technology, originating from university based research, and their revolutionary microwave based process adds credence to ELM’s ability to support the needs of Chugoku Kogyo clients. Our goal is to work cooperatively toward selling and eventually manufacturing ELM’s biobased products in Japan.”

Both executives believe Japan’s market is ready for biobased products. While there is awareness of environment friendly products, concerns over cost and performance have hindered progress so far. ELM’s patented microwave based grease processing has reduced the cost of biobased greases to parity with their mineral oil counterparts. ELM’s biobased grease products meet some of the most stringent industry standards including the NLGI LB and GC-LB ratings. With the marketing and sales resources of Chugoku Kogyo Co., it is expected that biobased grease and lubricants products will become a growing commodity in Japan.

About ELM:
Founded in 2000 by Professor Lou Honary and the University of Northern Iowa (UNI) Research Foundation to market biobased lubricants and grease technologies transferred from the University’s National Agriculture-Based Lubricants Center (UNI-NABL); also founded by Honary in 1991. In 2014, Honary retired from the University to manage ELM full time. A leading manufacturer of biobased greases in the US, ELM uses a unique patented microwaved-based grease process to manufacture biobased greases along with a wide array of liquid lubricants. Currently headquartered in an 87,000-sq. ft. facility in Grundy Center, Iowa, the company is privately owned and markets its products primarily via established petroleum lubricant manufacturers and distributors under private label and ELM brand:

About Chugoku Kogyo Co., LTD.:
Founded in 1940 in Hiroshima, Japan, the company prides itself with its strict quality control and has Japanese Industrial Standards (JIS) certification for engine oils, turbine and gear oils. The company is privately owned and services the racing industry, construction, agriculture and forestry, die-casting, metalworking, concrete mold, and transformer industry. Headquartered in Hiroshima, Chugoku Kogyo has additional sales offices in Tokyo, Osaka, Hiroshima and Fukuoka, Manufacturing plants are Hatsukaichi and Saiki in Hiroshima. Product brands include Seahorse, Daytona and Daytona Pro Spec for Racing.

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