| Ineos Boosts PAO Capacity |
By George Gill
Ineos Oligomers last week announced a 10 percent increase of its global production capacity for polyalphaolefins through expansion at its two PAO plants, in Texas and Belgium.
“This capacity addition represents the first phase of a previously announced capital investment program that will ultimately add over 50 thousand metric tons per year of PAO production capacity by 2010,” said Jeff Seed, operations director. Ineos Oligomers has PAO manufacturing facilities in LaPorte, Texas and Feluy, Belgium. Ineos originally announced the expansion last October.
The Feluy and La Porte plants each had capacity to produce 75,000 tons per year at the time of last October’s announcement. Ineos said then that most of the three-phase expansion will take place in Europe, though the company did not disclose the exact breakdown or cost of the project.
“The expansions were at both the Belgium and Texas plants,” Kevin Ratliff, Ineos Oligomers market manager Americas LAP/PAO, told Lube Report. The next steps will focus more on the Belgium plant, Ratliff added.
Factors driving the demand for PAO include continuing demand for energy efficiency and formulators’ desire to differentiate their products, according to Ratliff. “The markets that we see as growing include the industrial market as well as the automotive transmission and gear market,” he said.
Joe Walton, Ineos Oligomers business director, said its Durasyn brand and range of PAO products are in strong demand. “This expansion program emphasizes our commitment to PAO and provides security of supply to our lubricant customers with respect to their future PAO needs,” said Walton.
Ineos became one of the world’s largest producers of linear alphaolefins, the building blocks for PAOs, when it acquired olefins supplier Innovene. Ineos consists of 18 divisions that supply diverse specialty and intermediate chemicals, including chlorine, phenols, silicas and vinyl. The Ineos Oligomers division makes and sells a variety of products, including PAO.
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