South Coast Terminals LP

Houston’s third-party provider for specialty chemicals and lubricant additives
Written by: 
Molly Shaw
Produced by: 
John Carioti

For more than 50 years, South Coast Terminals LP (SCT) has been a reliable partner and service provider for major oil and chemical companies. Amoco, BP, Chevron, Dow, Eastman Chemical, ExxonMobil, Lubrizol, Shell, Shrieve Chemical Products and many more depend on SCT as a third-party provider.

SCT provides out-plant services for major industry players as one of the largest independent manufacturers of specialty chemicals and lubricant additives on the Gulf Coast. In operation since 1964, SCT has a proven track record of environmental compliance, safety and integrity.

Located throughout the Houston commercial zone, SCT has been expanding at a steady pace since its inception. “Our average growth rate has been 10 to 12 percent over the last decade,” shares James J. Griffin, director of business development for SCT.

Griffin, who also served as terminal manager for eight years prior to coming to SCT, has been with South Coast for over three decades and he is not alone; the average tenure for employees is over 11 years. Having a stable and established work force allows South Coast to operate at consistently high levels. “In my many years here, we’ve never lost a client due to quality issues,” he details.

Uniquely positioned

SCT was able to thrive while other companies were struggling due to its unique role as a third-party provider for large-scale oil and chemical companies “SCT has developed a niche in the market, utilizing a partnership approach with Fortune 500 companies that extends their capacity and improves their ability to service their end-use clients,” tells Griffin. “We actually do well through a downturn because large companies will attempt to consolidate and move more production off site to improve operating logistics. In a tough economic environment the larger industry leaders seek out a third-party like SCT that can perform more efficiently.”

SCT has been filling the need for quality third-party toll processing, bulk terminal storage, warehousing and packaging since it started in 1964. “The company was founded by Tony Wilson and Bill Holt in 1964,” says Griffin. “With their background in the lubricant market, we started off in the ‘60s and ‘70s running three plants for lubricant manufacturing and downstream processes for Chevron, Amoco and another private label for motor oils.”

Things started to really heat up for SCT in the early 1980s when the company developed major expansion contracts with Exxon and Monsanto. “In the early years we were basic in motor oils, transmission fluids and industrial oils, but things started to change in 1983 and we moved toward the middle of the supply chain and began to make intermediates and additives,” notes Griffin. “We now provide services for major oil and chemical companies’ that may be too labor intensive or the process may be too complex based on their existing plant layout.”

The shift proved to be beneficial. “It was a perfect transition for us because we had made finished products for many years for Amoco and Chevron,” continues Griffin. “We understand the importance of the functionality of the individual building blocks, as well as the careful handling, precision measurement and care they require while in storage.”

In-house quality control

With three facilities in the greater Houston area, SCT provides custom chemical manufacturing and lubricant services supported by a fully-certified laboratory, experienced operators and superior logistics support. The quality control lab contains a full range of equipment designed for confirmation analysis and quantitative testing, including FTIR, ICP, gas chromatography, sulfur analyzer, viscometers, dielectric strength, cold crank, rust and emulsion testing and many more defined by client specifications.

The SCT lab received military approval in 1990 and ISO certification in 1993. “Some of our work is relatively high risk,” considers Griffin. “When we’re making fuel additives for the military, sometimes 100,000 gallons at a time, we have to adhere to stringent quality standards because you can’t have jets dropping out of the sky because the fuel additive is incorrect.”

Griffin details that SCT has a 99.8 percent on-time delivery record, allowing for greater control over inventory and resulting in improved supply chain logistics.

“We have an excellent on time delivery record,” he elaborates. “That is critical to our customers, but it is not good enough to be reliable. You have to balance that performance with safety and security. SCT has received the SOCMA national safety and improvement award for the last 12 consecutive years. We have on-site safety and compliance professionals reporting directly to the site general manager on a daily basis, as well as computerized safety training modules and HAZMAT certifications.”

Bulking up storage

With three fully-equipped sites centrally located in the Houston commercial zone, SCT is capable of receiving inbound products or raw materials from vessels, rail cars, tank trucks, ISO containers, drums and totes.

“The SCT Marine Terminal has direct dedicated dock-line access to a Port of Houston dock and is fully permitted for storage and processing of a wide variety of fuel additives and specialty chemical products,” details Griffin. “Our Wallisville Road site has 350,000 square feet of warehousing space and more than 200 rail spots that can be utilized for direct truck to rail, rail to truck or ISO to rail movements.”

SCT’s Wallisville and Strang Road plants provide batch processing and direct transfer service for viscous, moisture sensitive, hazardous and non-hazardous products. The Strang road site provides specialized handling equipment for low flash, odiferous and low T.L.V. materials. Systems include; explosion proof transfer equipment, remote video monitoring, fire suppression systems, inert gas and closed loop transfer equipment and two enclosed, high speed filling cabinets for drumming.

“We’re in the process of expanding the Wallisville Road facility and plan to double our viscosity improver manufacturing capabilities,” adds Griffin. “A major capital expansion is also underway at the Strang Road plant that will include new bulk storage and processing capabilities.”

As a trusted third-party storage source for chemical and lubricant additive manufacturers, major customers continue to turn to SCT for reliable service and production. “After 50 years in the industry, our revenues are going strong,” Griffin says proudly. “As a private company, we are uniquely structured to quickly adapt to the fluid needs of our customers. We are totally debt-free and have the ability to grow congruently with the demands of our customer’s business and quickly navigate through changes in the industry that allow our partners to be more competitive in their marketplace.”

Since 1964 South Coast Terminals LP has demonstrated capability as an industry leader for high-quality terminal storage, warehousing, packaging, custom manufacturing and processing services for a big-name customer base.

Strategic Partnership(s): 
Southen Bracing Systems