Chevron Oronite announced Tuesday its final investment decision to build a wholly-owned additive manufacturing plant in Ningbo, Zhejiang province, with commercial production anticipated to begin in 2021.
The company said it anticipates groundbreaking will take place in the fourth quarter of 2018 with an estimated completion date in late 2020. The investment amount and plant production capacity were not disclosed.
Oronite has experienced first-hand the steady increase in additive demand throughout the Asia-Pacific region, and especially China, over the past several years, and we believe that growth will continue for the forseeable future, Chevron Oronite President Bruce Chinn said in a news release. After a steady stream of expansion projects at our Jurong Island manufacturing facility in Singapore since it was commissioned in 1999, this investment in a new facility in Ningbo demonstrates, one more time, the seriousness of our commitment to meeting the needs of our customers and the demands they face in the region.
The company signed an initial investment agreement in China in March 2015 and later that year created a wholly foreign-owned enterprise based in Ningbo. The project came about in a deal with the Ningbo Economic & Technical Development Zone.
In December 2016, Oronite announced it had advanced to the engineering and design phase of the project. The company over that time also expanded its technical support and product development capabilities at its technology center in Shanghai.
Construction of this manufacturing facility will not only help us keep pace with our customers future needs, but also forge new relationships throughout China that we expect to endure for years to come, Koon Eng Gohk, general manager, manufacturing and supply chain, Asia-Pacific Region, Chevron Oronite, said in the news release. Oronite said the additive plant will be built in stages. Initially the facility will blend lube additive packages. Later the company plans to install operations to manufacture additive components, but a timeline for that has not been disclosed.
Oronite officials previously noted that while most of its Singapore plants production is for export to the Asia-Pacific region and the world, China is a major growing market, so the company anticipates much of the Ningo plants products will be consumed locally.