Singapore Venture Will Make VI Improvers

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Dutch additive supplier BRB International is partnering with a Singapore engineering firm to build a viscosity index improver factory that will open next July.

The plant will be built and operated by Viscotech Asia Pte., a joint venture with Ban Guan Chemical. BRB officials said the project will allow it to expand in Asia while at the same time freeing capacity at the companys existing viscosity modifier plant in Duisburg, Germany.

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We are reaching capacity at our plant in Germany, and next year we expect to be at capacity just from our business in Europe, Roger Dohmen, vice president for BRBs lubricant, additives and chemicals unit, told Lube Report Asia. So we can use the new facility to supply customers in Asia, where were also growing. Well be closer to that customer base and well also have greater flexibility with a second plant.

BRB owns 65 percent of the new joint venture and Ban Guan, a subsidiary of Singapore engineering services provider Malayan Daiching Co., owns the other 35 percent. The companies did not disclose the cost or capacity of the plant, which Ban Guan will operate, but Dohmen said it will be the same size as BRBs Duisburg factory.

BRB, which is headquartered in Ittervoort, Netherlands, will market the olefin copolymer viscosity modifiers through its Singapore office, BRB Singapore Pte. It sells the chemicals under the brand name Viscotech, hence the name of the joint venture.

BRB also supplies other types of lubricant additives – including pour-point depressants, total base number boosters and additive packages for gear oils, automatic transmission fluids and hydraulic fluids – finished lubricants and specialty silicone products. Dohmen said the joint venture with Ban Guan will probably produce some of those in the future.

Other products are more complex to produce, so thats one reason we started with these, he said. We will probably bring [production of] other products to Singapore in the future.