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Haltermann 50 Year Anniversary Series

Thu, Feb 7th 2013, 10:46 by Wayne Petersen

Haltermann 50 Year Anniversary Series

2013 is a historic year for Haltermann Solutions as it marks our 50th year of formulating, manufacturing and supplying high quality, specialty test fuels. Over this period, Haltermann has amassed a wealth of experience and expertise in this field. In its early days, Haltermann sold specialty fuels into the automotive market. As time passed, other industries recognized Haltermann’s expertise and they also turned to Haltermann for their specialty fuels. Today, Haltermann provides fuels not only for the automotive and heavy duty markets but also the small engine, racing, marine, aviation, aerospace and Primary Reference Fuels (PRF) markets.

I am proud to be associated with the many talented people here at Haltermann. They share a passion for this company, technical excellence and exceptional customer service. Some have even been in our business for over 40 years.

Haltermann Solutions has had a much storied history. While their name has changed multiple times, having had many owners, their focus and growing expertise of providing the highest quality specialty test fuels to the automotive and other markets has remained the same.

During the mid-1950’s, Paul N. Howell founded a small crude oil refinery in San Antonio, Texas which he named Howell Hydrocarbons. The small refinery manufactured a variety of commercial gasoline and diesel products. During their early years, Southwest Research, Inc., a San Antonio-based, nationally recognized research organization, asked Howell if they could make a special diesel blend for a test they were running. Howell saw need for such fuels elsewhere in the industry and, in 1963, Howell started actively selling and marketing automotive specialty test fuels. Howell left a legacy that resulted in a test fuels business that has now spanned 50 years. The evolution to Haltermann Solutions was not yet completed. Since much of their business was in the Houston area, Howell moved their operations to Sheldon Road in Channelview, Texas in 1991. In 1997, Bob Gower, a former executive of Lyondell, purchased Howell Hydrocarbons and ran the newly formed company, Specified Fuels and Chemicals. In 2000, Ascot, a UK-based chemical company, purchased Specified Fuels and Chemicals. They already had a German-based specialty fuels business by the name of Haltermann Products, which they combined with Specified Fuels, resulting in the world’s largest specialty test fuels business. The name of the global fuels business became Haltermann Products. Haltermann Solutions was still not yet done evolving. In 2001, The Dow Chemical Company purchased Ascot. Dow kept the test fuels business and continued to operate it as Haltermann Products. Dow brought many needed disciplines to Haltermann including safety, supply chain and operational excellence, as well as commercial discipline. That helped it to weather the economic downturn that plagued the late 2000’s which lead to bankruptcies of 2 of the 3 “Big Three” US auto manufacturers.

In 2008, the North American and German Haltermann specialty fuels businesses again separated. The Dow Chemical Company divested the North American Haltermann operations to Monument Chemicals. Dow kept the European Haltermann operations and continued to operate it as Haltermann Products. Monument operates this newly acquired North American entity as Haltermann Products, a division of Johann Haltermann, Ltd.

The acquisition by Monument yielded great benefits to the North American test fuels business and its customers. Haltermann kept the large company disciplines so important to efficient, cost effective and safe operations while shedding the large corporation bureaucracy, enabling it to be highly agile and responsive to customers’ needs. The evolution was nearly complete. In 2010, Haltermann Products Test and Reference Fuels, to provide differentiation from the German test fuels entity and to have a name more fitting to its business purpose, re-branded itself as Haltermann Solutions, which is the name it conducts business as today.

The evolution of Haltermann is not finished yet, nor will we ever be.

Over the next few months we will take the time to share with you how Haltermann is preparing for our future. The past 50 years of experience has served us well as it has resulted in ever-improving formulation and blending capability so we can better serve the markets and customers needing custom made test fuels. We hope to continue this tradition for the next 50.

Thank you all for an amazing 50 years!