Infineum Opens Plant in China


Infineum announced Thursday the opening of its first wholly owned lubricant additive production site in China, a 100,000 metric ton per year blending plant in Zhangjiagang, Jiangsu province.

Although growth of Chinas lubricants market has slowed, officials said the countrys demand for lube additives continues to rise, and that the new facility will help it compete for that business.

The plant is an important milestone to further serve our ambitious strategy in China, Infineum Global CEO Xavier le Minter said in a press release.

Infineum previously produced additives in China through Shanghai High-lube Additive Co., a 50-50 joint venture with Sinopec formed in 2001. The joint venture built a 40,000 t/y plant in Shanghais Pudong district, producing additives primarily for engine oils. At one time, state-owned Sinopec claimed that it was the largest additive factory in China.

Infineum officials did not say if the new plant will affect the joint venture.

Infineum, which is based in Milton Hill, United Kingdom, and is one of the worlds four leading lubricant additive suppliers, has taken several steps the past two years to expand its operations in Asia-Pacific. In May 2014 it completed a large expansion of its additive factory in Singapore, and two months later it opened a research and development center in Shanghai.

In addition to Singapore, Infineum has manufacturing sites in the United States, France, Germany, Italy and Brazil.

For more than a decade, China has been one of the development engines for the worlds lubricant market, but growth has slowed the past couple of years along with the nations overall economy, and some analysts say lubricant demand in China actually shrank in 2015.

Still, the market retains some attractiveness for additive suppliers. In addition to being one of the worlds two largest lubricant markets, performance demands for lubricants in China are escalating, raising the volume and value of additives needed there.

Zhangjiagang is located northwest of Shanghai on Yangtze River. Infineum officials said the new plant will improve the reliability and flexibility of its supply of additives in China.

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