Sanyo Chemical Industries Ltd. is investing 900 million (U.S. $8 million) to expand one of its two additive plants in Japan by October, a spokesman told Lube Report Asia.
Sanyo not did disclose which of its four factories in Japan – two in Aichi Prefecture, one in Ibaraki Prefecture, and one in Kyoto – produce lube additives nor which location is undergoing the expansion. The spokesman explained that the expansion will help Sanyo supply its Aclube-branded viscosity index improvers to international customers. Aclube, made of polymethyl methacrylate-based polymers, is used in engine oils, hydraulic fluids and gear oils.
Sanyo had planned to invest about 4.5 billion in new production facilities in China, the U.S. and Southeast Asia from 2015 to 2018. However, the company is still in the process of studying expansion plans for additive production in Asia, the spokesman noted. The company invested about U.S $42 million to open a V.I. improver plant in Jiangsu province, China, in January 2016. That plant, along with those in Japan and its United States location, give Sanyo capacity of around 60,000 metric tons per year. Its unclear how much additional capacity the new project will add.
In October, the company set up a lubricant additive department by combining marketing, research and development, and production staff under one roof. In its latest financial results report, it said the consolidation would help it make decisions faster and develop the business more efficiently.
Asias demand for lubricant additives will continue growing thanks mainly to substantial growth in vehicle sales and rising lubricant standards in India, Indonesia and China, according to U.S. specialty chemical producer Lubrizol Corp. The growing vehicle parc is going to utilize more complex hardware, requiring higher performance lubricants and innovative chemistry, said Roy Mah, product manager of engine oils, Southeast Asia, at an industry conference in Singapore last month.