Perstorp began construction of a world-scale pentaerythritol production plant in Gujarat, India, in October, to improve its ability to meet demand for the chemical – used in synthetic lubricants, antioxidants and coatings – especially in Asian markets.
The company plans to start commercial production from the new plant in the first quarter of 2022. The investment will significantly expand Perstorps penta production capacity, designed to produce 40,000 [metric] tons of penta per annum from 2022, Perstorp said in a Nov. 7 news release.
Penta has a vast range of application areas, the company said, serving as an essential building block ingredient in synthetic lubricants, antioxidants, paintings, coatings, inks and adhesives. The Gujarat investment will reinforce Perstorps ability to meet growing demand, particularly in Asian markets, as well as offering various penta qualities, including penta mono and di-penta, and additionally, calcium formate, the company stated.
Malmo, Sweden-based Perstorp was new to the penta market in 2015, having acquired its penta business from Japans Koei Chemical Co. in July 2015. Perstorp has three existing penta production sites in Sweden, Germany and the United States.
In February 2016, Perstorp signed a memorandum of understanding with Maharashtra Industrial Development Corp., as a step in evaluating the opportunity to invest in a new world scale production plant for penta in the country, Ulrika Andersson, executive vice president for business area specialty polyols and solutions, said in the news release. However, after a thorough evaluation process, Gujarat was selected as the location.
In signing the MoU in 2016, Perstorp specifically cited growth in Indias coatings market as a motivating factor in the push to build a penta plant in Asia, but Andersson told Lube Report in March 2016 that continued growth and geographical expansion within synthetic lubricants is a key driver for the investment in monopenta, as well as di-penta.
Pentaerythritol, which is commonly known as penta, is a family of crystalline polyhydric alcohols, some of which are used as building blocks in the manufacture of synthetic ester base stocks for lubricants. Typical lube applications include aviation lubricants, refrigeration lubes and other synthetics that need to perform across a wide temperature range. Other applications include coatings, polyurethanes and explosives.