Chevron Phillips to Add New PAO Unit


Chevron Phillips to Add New PAO Unit
Chevron Phillips Chemical's Beringen plant in Belgium. © Photo courtesy of Chevron Phillips Chemical

Chevron Phillips Chemical said today it will build a new polyalphaolefins unit in Beringen, Belgium, in response to growing global demand for the fluids. The company is targeting a 2024 startup for the unit, which will double its PAO production capacity in Belgium to 120,000 metric tons per year.

“Increased production from this new investment will be critical to support growing demand at a time of great innovation in several sectors that require PAOs,” said Antoine Janssens, Europe Africa region general manager.

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The new unit will make low-viscosity PAOs, as does the existing facility.

PAOs help reduce energy consumption through efficient lubrication – by reducing friction, they can lower fuel consumption and emissions. “The growing demand for PAOs is fueled by the performance of these molecules at extreme temperatures, and also by new applications such as electric and fuel-efficient vehicles and heat transfer fluid,” the company said.

Based in Woodlands, Texas, Chevron Phillips Chemical already operates PAO units in Beringen and in Baytown, Texas. “The construction of a new unit near our existing assets will allow us to benefit from strong local expertise and leverage Belgium’s central position to meet customer needs globally,” Mitch Eichelberger, executive vice president of polymers and specialties, said in a news release.

The company markets its PAOs under the Synfluid brand. Made from alpha olefins, PAOs are used in many synthetic products, the company noted, including lubricants, greases and fluids. They are also used in other automotive, industrial, cosmetics, technology and military applications.

Around 90 percent of all PAO supply is produced by three market players: ExxonMobil, Ineos and Chevron Phillips Chemical.