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Afton Chemical Completes Multimillion Dollar Expansion of Japan Technology Center in Tsukuba

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Afton Chemical Corporation, a global leader in the lubricant and fuel additive market, announced the completion of its Japan Technology Center expansion in Tsukuba. Mr. Jon Heese, City Councilor for Tsukuba, jointly opened the Japan Technology Center with Mr. Teddy Gottwald, Chairman and CEO of NewMarket Corporation and Mrs. Regina A. Harm, President of Afton Chemical Corporation, subsidiary of NewMarket.

The investment provides an expansion of the analytical and mechanical laboratories to increase lubricant additive testing capabilities. This includes standardized and bespoke tests for transmission fluids, gear lubricants, passenger cars, motorcycles, commercial and off-road vehicles engine oils as well as industrial hydraulic oils. The expanded facility will provide its customers with enhanced technical services such as sample blending, physical/chemical analysis and performance testing that comply with international and Japan unique test methods like ASTM, JIS, JPI, JASO and JCMAS.

“We are committed to bringing our Passion for Solutions® model to Japan and the Asia-Pacific region to help our customers differentiate their offerings to meet the needs of the local marketplace. The expanded Japan Technology Center with its integrated technical support and performance testing will further enhance our ability to provide quick and effective solutions to our customers in Asia, and will provide customized solutions 'Made For' key Japan OEM projects,” said Mrs. Regina A. Harm, President of Afton Chemical Corporation.

“Afton Japan is a unique market with different needs and challenges. The 'Made For' strategy is built on the intent to understand the dynamics of each individual market and ensure we are developing the correct solutions from a product and services perspective. We constantly keep track of the local and global trends impacting the market and partner our customers to develop innovative additive solutions that exceed industry standards,” said Mr. Sean Spencer, Vice President and Managing Director of Afton Chemical Asia.

The expanded capabilities of the Japan Technology Center, with its integrated technical support, will enhance our capability to help customers:

  • perform validation tests that comply with OEM, industry standards and specifications
  • develop Afton proprietary tests that focus on the needs of Asia Pacific
  • support and deliver their differentiated product performance claims promptly

With the Japanese government’s recent announcement further reducing the average vehicle fuel economy standards by 32% by 2030, Japanese automobile manufacturers will have to sell more electric and hybrid cars. “EV and Hybrid vehicles are equipped with transmission like CVT, one-shift ATF as well as gear and bearing to transfer and assist motor torque to wheels. Ultra-low viscosity oil is one of the solutions to lower fuel economy. Afton is working proactively with key OEMs worldwide to develop the technology and lubricant needs for electric/hybrid vehicles. Afton is ready and will have the most advanced additives to meet these new requirements. Our additives will continue to help the automotive industry reduce emissions, improve fuel economy, and extend the useful life of fluids and equipment,” said Togawa Takayuki, R&D Group Lead.

The Japan Technology Center’s state-of-the-art chemistry and mechanical laboratories operate with lean processes and tests run are in full compliance with ISO 9001/14001 safety, environmental and quality standards. The state-of-the-art facility houses a team of 17 R&D managers, formulators, technologists, technician and administration staff, increasing the workforce by 100% since the last decade.

Afton has an extensive network of research and development and testing facilities in the United States, China, India, Japan and the United Kingdom. At these facilities, testing is conducted to ensure products meet or exceed the latest performance requirements of both OEM and industry specifications. Proprietary tests are developed and field trials are designed to create compelling proof of performance data that helps our customers’ products stand out in their markets.

About Afton Chemical Corporation:

Afton Chemical Corporation is part of the NewMarket Corporation (NYSE: NEU) family of companies. Afton Chemical Corporation uses its formulation, engineering and marketing expertise to help their customers develop and market fuels and lubricants that reduce emissions, improve fuel economy, extend equipment life, improve operator satisfaction and lower the total cost of vehicle and equipment operation. Afton Chemical Corporation develops and sells an extensive line of unique additives for gasoline and distillate fuels, driveline fluids, engine oils and industrial lubricants. Afton Chemical Corporation supports global operations through regional headquarters located in Asia Pacific, EMEAI, Latin America and North America. Afton Chemical Corporation is headquartered in Richmond, Virginia. For more information, visit www.aftonchemical.com.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements:

Some of the information contained in this press release constitutes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Although NewMarket’s management believes its expectations are based on reasonable assumptions within the bounds of its knowledge of its business and operations, there can be no assurance that actual results will not differ materially from expectations.

Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations include, but are not limited to, the availability of raw materials and distribution systems; disruptions at production facilities, including single-sourced facilities; hazards common to chemical businesses; the ability to respond effectively to technological changes in our industry; failure to protect our intellectual property rights; sudden or sharp raw material price increases; competition from other manufacturers; the gain or loss of significant customers; current and future governmental regulations; failure to attract and retain a highly-qualified workforce; the occurrence or threat of extraordinary events, including natural disasters and terrorist attacks; risks related to operating outside of the United States; the impact of substantial indebtedness on our operational and financial flexibility; the impact of fluctuations in foreign exchange rates; an information technology system failure or security breach; resolution of environmental liabilities or legal proceedings; political, economic, and regulatory factors concerning our products; limitation of our insurance coverage; our inability to realize expected benefits from investment in our infrastructure or from recent or future acquisitions, or our inability to successfully integrate recent or future acquisitions into our business; the underperformance of our pension assets resulting in additional cash contributions to our pension plans; and other factors detailed from time to time in the reports that NewMarket files with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the risk factors in Item 1A. “Risk Factors” of our 2018 Annual Report on Form 10-K, which is available to shareholders upon request.

You should keep in mind that any forward-looking statement made by NewMarket in the foregoing discussion speaks only as of the date on which such forward-looking statement is made. New risks and uncertainties arise from time to time, and it is impossible for us to predict these events or how they may affect the Company. We have no duty to, and do not intend to, update or revise the forward-looking statements in this discussion after the date hereof, except as may be required by law. In light of these risks and uncertainties, you should keep in mind that the events described in any forward-looking statement made in this discussion, or elsewhere, might not occur.

Contact information

AP: Chong Kit Lee on +65 6739 6330 or KitLee.Chong@AftonChemical.com

EMEAI: Kate Edrupt on +44 1344 356823 or Kate.Edrupt@AftonChemical.com

NA: Lauren Packard on +1 804 788 6081 or Lauren.Packard@AftonChemical.com

JAPAN:  Kyodo PR on +81-(0)3-3571-5258 or afton-pr@kyodo-pr.co.jp

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