A West Yorkshire oil company has been given a royal seal of approval after opening a new £500,000 research and development centre.

It is the culmination of several years of investment to keep Millers Oils at the forefront of lubricant and fuel additive technology.

The Duke of Kent visited the Brighouse base of the specialist oil developer and producer to unveil a plaque commemorating the firm’s Queen’s Award for International Trade to mark the company’s significant growth in exports over the past three years. The royal accolade also coincided with its 125th anniversary of lubricants manufacturing.

The Duke toured the site, including the new research centre where the historic company develops its innovative products.

Established in 1887 in Brighouse by John Watson Miller, the firm was the first to offer diesel specific engine oil for cars and remains a world leader in low friction technology.

In 2012, Millers Oils launched nanotechnology engine oils, which recorded 33 per cent lower friction at operating temperatures of 110°C.

Millers Oils uses the expertise gained in motorsport and performance car development to apply to commercial vehicle oils, classic vehicle oils and industrial lubricants Nevil Hall, joint managing director, said: “Receiving royal recognition for our innovative work in oil development is a great honour for Millers Oils. We feel very privileged to be able to demonstrate to the Duke of Kent the expertise which supports the company’s ongoing development and how this leads to the production of market-leading products such as our Nanodrive range.

“Winning awards like this helps us to put oil back on the map and increase awareness of how important it is for oil development to keep pace with advances in modern drivetrain technology. We want to get people thinking about oils and what is the most suitable and efficient product for their car.”

Miller Oils’ development of nanodrive engine oils has also been recognised by the Motorsport Industry Association, which gave the company the Business Excellence Award for Technology and Innovation.

The technology has been developed further to provide a range of engine lubricants and is being evolved for future application in commercial vehicles.