Innov Expands Singapore Additives Plant

Innov Oil completed an expansion at its Singapore lube additives plant - a project aimed at helping it meet growing demand for its olefin copolymer viscosity modifiers and viscosity index improvers.

Singapore-based Innov announced last week that it has recently expanded annual capacity at its copolymer additives facility in the Yishun district from 8,000 metric tons to 12,000 tons. Innov Oil strives to become the leading independent producer of polymers [used as viscosity modifiers and viscosity index improvers] in the lubricant industry and the significant investment made to increase our capacity will help us to expand our role as a long-term supplier, said Global Sales Manager Marcus Arthur.

The expansion was needed to help us increase our volume capabilities for the long term while also giving us more flexibility and precision in the manufacturing process, Arthur told Lube Report Asia. The facilitys new technology helps Innov produce polymers with better stay-in-grade performance and longer-life.

Innovs VI products come in the form of bales, pellets and powder. As a manufacturer, we are able to cater to customers requirements, Arthur explained. Therefore, we offer most of our range of VI polymers in both bales and pellets. In specific cases, some of our polymers are not capable of being pelletized due to their amorphous nature, but overall, its entirely customer-dependent.

In addition to helping Innov meet existing demand, the increased capacity may help Innov expand its geographical reach. We have a solid footprint in western Europe, Asia and the Middle East, Arthur noted. Our goal is to expand our visibility in the North American, South American and eastern European markets. He said the firm may also focus on finding additional agents and distributors in the Americas and in Australia and New Zealand as well.

Although its core products are VI polymers, Innov Oil also produces a wide range of formulated lubricant additive packages for automotive, industrial, marine and specialty applications. We produce the VI polymers in-house [in Singapore], Arthur explained. However, we have our own range of specially-formulated additive packages toll-blended in the United States.

Olefin copolymers were the most prominent type of chemical used in viscosity improvers in 2015, accounting for around 75 percent of total market consumption, according to a report from research firm Technavio released that year titled, Global Lubricant Viscosity Improvers Market 2015-2019.

Dutch additive supplier BRB International also makes olefin copolymer VIs in Singapore through its 65-35 Viscotech Asia Pte. joint venture with Ban Guan Chemical.

Photo: Innov Oil