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INEOS Oligomers Plans to Build the World's Largest Single Train Low Viscosity PAO Plant

INEOS Oligomers, September 13, 2016

INEOS Oligomers, a producer of specialty and intermediate chemicals including Polybutene, Linear Alpha Olefins, Polyalphaolefins, and specialty Oligomers, has announced plans to significantly grow its low viscosity polyalphaolefin (PAO) business. Investment by the business will significantly increase the supply of low viscosity PAO to a growing market.

The industry needs an increased supply of high quality base oils, such as PAO, to formulate the next generation of advanced lubricant products.” said Bob Learman, INEOS Oligomers CEO. “INEOS is making the commitment to invest in both the PAO capacity and the necessary LAO feedstock supply to ensure PAO is a viable and secure long term formulation option for our customers.

Plans to build the world’s largest single train low viscosity polyalphaolefin plant are progressing well and the business expects the 120 ktpa unit to be on-stream in the first half of 2019.

The new plant will provide additional capacity and security of supply. In addition it will make our overall production capability more flexible, which is important in supporting new products we plan to introduce to the market in the coming years to keep pace with evolving customer needs.” said Joe Walton, Business Director INEOS Oligomers.

The business has also completed a debottleneck of its La Porte, TX plant, producing low viscosity grades and has optimised production runs at its plant in Feluy, Belgium. The projects have successfully increased its global low viscosity PAO capacity by approximately 15%. INEOS also has an engineering project to mechanically debottleneck the Feluy PAO plant which presents the business with a valuable option to add a further 15% to their capacity by early 2018.

End applications for polyalphaolefins have continued to grow across both high and low viscosity grades. These products are increasingly used in industrial and automotive applications including passenger car motor oils, lubricants for wind turbines, heavy-duty diesel engine oils, and other specialty fluids.

Synthetic motor oils based on polyalphaolefins (PAOs) from INEOS Oligomers can help reduce engine wear and extend the service intervals compared to conventional petroleum based oils.

In addition to investment in its low viscosity grades, INEOS Oligomers has also previously announced a new 20 ktpa high viscosity PAO unit at its La Porte plant in Texas, to be commissioned in the first quarter of 2017. The unit, which is being built at the company’s existing PAO facility in La Porte, TX will use INEOS’ metallocene high viscosity PAO technology and will benefit from several site synergies.

In comparison to conventional material, our decene-based products have a number of superior attributes such as: higher viscosity indexes, lower pour points and lower Brookfield viscosities. Customers like the options our products give them in the development of advanced new lubricant formulations” said Walton.

In support of its investment to grow its capacity across its polyalphaolefins (PAO) facilities, INEOS has also confirmed that it has decided to build a 420 ktpa LAO unit at Chocolate Bayou, TX. This unit will provide the raw materials (including up to 85 ktpa of decene-1) used by its polyalphaolefins units.

Our customers have told us that they value our back integration into the manufacture of Linear Alpha Olefin (LAO), which provides a secure supply of the essential raw materials for our PAO production,” said Walton.


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