Nynas AB is a Swedish manufacturer of specialty naphthenic oils and bitumen products. Founded in 1928 as a national oil company with a traditional range of products, the company today also supplies specialist products and niche markets.
The company has sales offices in more than thirty countries and a global distribution network with sixty storage depots. Net revenue for 2013 was almost SEK 20 billion, of which the Swedish market accounts for around ten per cent. The number of employees at present is about 860.
Nynas is owned in equal parts by Finnish company Neste Oil and by State-owned Venezuelan oil company PDVSA.
Until the 1970s Nynas was a traditional oil company, manufacturing and selling a large number of products, from petrol and diesel to heating oil and lubricants. Following the oil crises (1973 and 1979), activity now focuses on naphthenic specialty products and bitumen products.
consist of three different kinds of products:Insulating oils are used primarily to insulate and cool transformers.
Process oils are included in products such as industrial rubber, explosives, car tyres, printing inks, nappies and other hygiene articles, and in thermoplastics for items such as tool handles.
Base oils are suitable for liquids used in metal processing, hydraulic fluids and other industrial lubricants.
are available in various versions depending on which properties are required:Standard binding agents to hold together the stones in asphalt surfaces.
Special binding agents for demanding applications such as noise-dampening asphalt and roads with high traffic intensity.
Binding agents for surface treatment, for example emulsions for roads with little traffic.
Binding agents for cold mix asphalt technology, which has lower energy consumption and is also used to recycle old asphalt surfaces.
Binding agents for industrial use, primarily for roof coverings and to provide anti-corrosion protection for items such as pipes.
Nynas conducts extensive work on product development. This involves not least of all catalyst and hydrotreatment technology, which has resulted in, among other things, the launch of a new kind of transformer oil. Nynas also manufactures oils that comply with the new environmental requirements that come into force in 2010, when the European Union bans aromatic oils in car tyres.
Efforts on the bitumen side have focused on products suitable for various conditions with regard to temperature, stone material and traffic loads. One example is the special bitumen found in noise-dampening asphalt, which results in the noise from traffic being almost halved. Nynas is also the leader in the field of water-based emulsions. These can be used in cold and semi-hot asphalt masses, which means both reduced energy consumption and lower hydrocarbon emissions.
Manufacturing takes place at a number of refineries around the world. Three of these, at Harburg, Gothenburg and Nynäshamn, are wholly owned by Nynas, while the refinery at Eastham is co-owned with Shell. The others, for example Antwerp in Belgium, Naantali in Finland and the Isla refinery on the West Indian island of Curaçao, are linked to the company via various partnership agreements. Nynas is investing heavily in expanded manufacturing capacity. Work at the Nynäshamn refinery have boosted output, but the most significant recent investment is the purchase of the Harburg refinery in 2013, which represents a forty percent increase in the company's supply capability of naphthenic specialty oils.
Traditionally, Nynas primarily uses heavy crude oil from Venezuela as feedstock, as it has properties that are ideal for both bitumen and naphthenic specialty oils, and it also produces relatively few residual products. In recent years the company has also started to buy feedstock from sources including the North Sea, Australia, Canada and Colombia in order to increase feedstock flexibility.
The name primarily associated with the original Nynas is Axel Axelsson Johnson. At an early stage he recognised the opportunities created by car ownership, and in 1928 he had Sweden's first refinery built in Nynäshamn. During World War II, Nynas played a prominent role in supplying energy in Sweden, as the company developed methods for manufacturing oil products made of coal and tar.
The decades immediately after the Second World War were characterised by rapid expansion, and in 1956 the refinery in Gothenburg was opened. At that time Nynas was a Swedish family firm, manufacturing a large number of oil products and also with a national network of petrol stations.
But changes in the outside world soon made it economically unviable to run a small, national oil company. The two energy crises in the 1970s resulted in Nynas suffering a serious cost crisis, as they did not have access to their own crude oil. The only way out was to specialise in a small number of products and to look beyond the borders of Sweden.
In order to grow on the bitumen side, the refinery in Antwerp was bought in 1985, and in 1992 the UK bitumen company Briggs Oil was acquired. The latter acquisition included the refineries in Dundee and Eastham. In parallel with this expansion in the bitumen area, hundreds of million Swedish kronor were invested in turning the Nynäshamn refinery into a modern facility for the production of naphthenic specialty oils.
In September 2013, Nynas received EU approval to takeover the Harburg base oil manufacturing plant and some associated refining facilities of the Harburg refinery in Hamburg, Germany. Conversion from a base oil refinery into a naphthenic specialty oil refinery began in 2014.1928 The refinery in Nynäshamn is built.
1950s Nynas builds up a national network of petrol stations.
1981 The petrol stations are sold to Shell.
1986 Nynas buys a refinery in Antwerp, Belgium.
1992 UK company Briggs Oil is acquired.
2001 The refinery in Nynäshamn undergoes an extensive modernisation process.
2004-2006 Partnership agreements are concluded with US oil companies Valero and Lyondell
2007 The Nova Grades product range is launched
2008: A new bitumen laboratory is built in Antwerp.
2010-2011: A new hydrogen plant is built in Nynäshamn. In summer 2011 the plant starts to run on natural gas instead of naphtha, cutting carbon dioxide emissions by 20,000 tonnes per year.
2012: A new sulphur treatment plant is opened at the refinery in Nynäshamn at a cost of SEK 600 million, cutting emissions from sulphur recovery to one fifth.
2013: Nynas receives approval from the European Commission to take over production and responsibility for the base oil plant and associated production units at the Harburg refinery in Hamburg, Germany.