Japans Mitsui Chemicals plans to build a second plant in Japan for the production of its ethylene alpha olefin viscosity modifiers, according to a press release issued last week. This move will double the companys capacity to make the fluids, which are marketed under the Lucant brand name.
The new facility will be located in Ichihara, in eastern Japan, have a capacity of 20,000 tons per year, and is expected to open in February 2021.
With a growing demand for fuel efficiency, sales of Lucant to the lubricant industry have been increasing, and we decided to substantially increase production capacity in order to grow the business and secure a stable supply, the press release said.
Lucant – developed by Mitsui Chemicals – is a hydrocarbon-based synthetic fluid. According to the company, the transparent and viscous liquid has higher shear stability, higher viscosity index and an increased film thickness than alternatives such as high-viscosity polyalphaolefin and polymethacrylate. In addition to its use as a viscosity modifier, it can also be used as a base stock.
The Tokyo-based company has an existing plant in Iwakuni-Ohtake in the Yamaguchi prefecture, western Japan with a capacity of about 18,000 metric tons per year. United States-based lubricant additive supplier Lubrizol has an exclusive deal to market Lucant products to the lubricants industry worldwide, while Mitsui Chemicals markets the product for plastics and resins applications.