Cepsa JV Mulls Palm Chemicals Expansion

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Cepsa JV Mulls Palm Chemicals Expansion
An aerial view of Sinarmas Cepsa Pte Ltd.'s production site in Lubuk Gaung, Indonesia. Photo courtesy Cepsa

The Sinarmas Cepsa Pte joint venture will expand production of biobased chemicals at its fatty alcohol plant in Indonesia, under an agreement announced last week. The company’s vegetable-derived products used in lubricants include fatty alcohols, oleic acid and stearic acid.

The project still requires a final investment decision, the joint venture said in its Nov. 8 announcement, and the amount of additional production capacity was not disclosed.

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Established in 2014 and headquartered in Singapore, Sinarmas Cepsa is a 50:50 joint venture between Singaporean palm oil company Golden Agri-Resources and the chemicals business of Cepsa. The joint venture and the partner companies signed a memorandum of understanding to expand the Sinarmas Cepsa site in Lubuk Gaung. The existing facility, which began production in 2017, is fully utilized, according to the joint venture.

Sinarmas Cepsa said it has a strong ambition to grow along the fatty alcohols value chain, with sustainable development at the heart of its strategy and operations. Among the factors driving global demand for fatty acids and natural alcohols is an increasing demand for sustainable, biobased solutions.

“Sustainably sourced, biobased alternatives are key requirements for our customers and the markets we serve,” CEO Kung Chee Wan said in a news release.

The products of Sinarmas Cepsa include fatty alcohols, with applications in lubricants, metalworking, the petroleum industry and agricultural chemicals. Its fatty alcohol ethoxylates are used as surfactants in oil formulations. The company also makes oleic acid and stearic acid, which are used in lubricants.

Sinarmas Cepsa’s oleochemicals are fully derived from vegetable raw materials, such as palm kernel oil and other palm oil fractions. The company also produces fractionated fatty acids and high purity glycerine. In addition to the Indonesia plant, the company has operations in Singapore and Germany, where its plant produces surfactants for the European market.