JXTG Delays Construction of PIB Plant

JXTG said it has delayed construction of a polyisobutylene plant in Kanagawa Prefecture, south of Tokyo, Japan. Announced in mid-2016, the plant was originally scheduled to start commercial production in October this year.

We are still in the assessment stage and therefore have not started construction yet, the company said in an email response to Lube Reports query on the projects progress.

In a June 2016 press release, the company announced plans to build a new polyisobutylene production plant in Kawasaki City, Kanagawa Prefecture. Construction was scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2018, and commercial production was projected to start in October this year. The plants capacity was expected to be 5,000 metric tons per year.

Highly reactive PIB is a chemical intermediate used in the production of high-performance lubricant and fuel additives, including additives for sludge prevention. It speeds the producing of derivatives like detergents and dispersants used in lubricants. PIBs can also be used as base stock substitutes for bright stock and have seen growing demand in recent years as bright stock supply has declined. PIB-based polymer technology is frequently used to replace API Group I bright stock and high-viscosity base oils in automotive driveline and industrial markets.

JXTG markets PIB under its Tetrax brand name.

Currently, JXTG's PIB plant in Kawasaki has a production capacity of 7,000 t/y. The company estimates global demand for PIB at about 35,000 t/y.