Universal Lubricants building at center of lawsuit

The Texas construction company that built a lubricant recycling facility in Wichita is suing to foreclose on the facility.

J.V. Industrial Cos. of Pasadena, Texas, said in a lawsuit that Universal Lubricants and the mortgage holder on the project, Ares Capital, owe it $1.9 million.

According to the suit, the work was completed Sept. 2, 2009. According to a lien filed earlier by J.V. Industrial, Universal has paid for most of the work, which is valued at $11.6 million.

Neither Universal Lubricants nor the attorney representing J.V. Industrial returned messages to comment.

The company, at 2824 N. Ohio, built the re-refinery to process used lubricants. The re-refining facility, which is built on a 5-acre site south of Universal's existing operations, collects used oil from its industrial customers and a variety of other service shops.

In an Eagle story last year prior to the re-refinery opening, Universal CEO Mike Maloney said it would produce a base oil, which is further processed at the company's existing plant. It is then made into a variety of finished lubricants, including motor oil and transmission fluid. The "green" lubricants are sold under the brand name of Eco Performance.

In the story Maloney said the facility was expected to take in about 12 million gallons of used oil annually, and employ 40 workers — generating an economic impact of $40 million.

The company is one of the nation's oldest lubricant manufacturing and marketing companies, supplying the agriculture, construction, trucking and mass transit industries.