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SBJ Editor Eric Olson interviews AGC International CEO Jerry Nichols for the business journal’s 12 People editorial series.
SBJ photo by Wes Hamilton
SBJ Editor Eric Olson interviews AGC International CEO Jerry Nichols for the business journal’s 12 People editorial series.

AGC International pivots toward marine industry

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AGC International LLC is pivoting its focus from the land to the sea in 2018, a move CEO Jerry Nichols says will be a boon for the Springfield-based umbrella company working in the oil industry.

Speaking this morning as Springfield Business Journal’s guest for the 12 People You Need to Know live interview series, Nichols said the parent of AGC Refining & Filtration LLC recently filed its second patent to use its re-refining technique in the marine sector.

“2018 will be a big year for us,” he said. “I’m betting very heavily on marine.”

Through AGC’s approach, waste oil is re-refined to its initial components that are useable materials. Re-refining recycles used oil and doesn’t leave behind a carbon footprint, according to SBJ reporting.

For the marine industry, Nichols and AGC discovered that after water treatment facilities at ports clean dirty bilge water — containing oil, among other things — from ships, they dump the remaining clean water back into the ocean. What’s left on the ships is bilge sludge, which according to Nichols, “nobody knows what to do with.”

“Civilized countries take it to a refinery. Others, they don’t want to tell you what they do with it — it just disappears,” he said.

Through AGC’s new technique, the bilge sludge is re-refined into 40 percent diesel and 40 percent base oil, with the remainder being water. AGC can use the materials for a variety of purposes, but in the marine industry, it can be turned directly into fuel for ships.

“The beauty of it is, when we put them together, we get the exact specifications for marine diesel oil,” Nichols said. “We put one of these in a port, and we take the garbage away from them and turn around and put the fuel back onto the ship — and get paid twice.”

AGC currently is in discussions with ports in Amsterdam — the largest in the world, Nichols said — and Norway.

“They’ve already been here several times and they’re ready to go,” he said, noting Amsterdam officials first want to see the process work in its entirety before purchasing. “We’re just working out the final details.”

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