Afton Chemical Corp. announced today that it completed a $70 million expansion at its lubricant additive factory in Sauget, Illinois – a project that enables the plant to make additives for new types of fluids for electric vehicles, along with increased amounts of products for transmission fluids.
Officials said advances in lubricants and fluids are needed to enable innovations by original equipment manufacturers of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and those powered solely by battery.
“The rapid pace of change in HEV and BEV development brings additional lubricant demands and opportunities for enhanced performance, neither of which should be overlooked,” Afton eMobility Marketing Manager Adam Banks said in a news release. “Close supplier partnerships are vital to ensure that electrified transmission fluid enables OEMs to keep driving powertrain designs forward without being held back.”
Banks said the company is also investing at facilities in the United States, the United Kingdom, China and Japan in equipment that can be used to develop and test formulations for lubricants and fluids used in EVs.
Additives for automatic transmission fluids is a core focus of Afton, which provides products used to formulate fluids for a range of transmissions, from traditional step-type automatics to newer technologies such as dual-clutch transmissions and continuously variable varieties.
The Sauget facility has operated since 1975. Afton’s headquarters is in Richmond, Virginia.
The news release did not specify what the $70 million was spent on, but said it improved “the overall efficiency of our manufacturing footprint to ensure supply continuity for our customers.”