Oxea to Add NPG Capacity

Oxea will increase its European production capacity for neopentyl glycol - a polyalcohol that can be used as a building block in lubricants - by early 2020 through a debottlenecking project now underway at its factory in Oberhausen, Germany, the company announced last week.

The Monheim, Germany-based company did not disclose the amount of additional capacity.

We are convinced that the NPG market is growing, Matthias Freitag, Oxeas global commercial business director for polyols and plasticizers, said in a news release.

But while capacities for NPG are being added in Asia, European capacities are not expanding in-line with demand growth. We are responding to our customers increase in demand for high quality NPG. We will further improve our already high reliability to supply our markets. Based on customer requirements, we will yield NPG molten, 90 percent slurry and flakes - for small to large industrial customers.

This project will make our network more flexible, improve product choice and will make us more agile in supporting our home and export markets, Oxea CEO Salim Al Huthaili said in a news release.

NPG can be used in making products such as synthetic lubricants, greases, hydraulic fluids and metalworking fluids.

Other large manufacturers of NPG include German chemical giant BASF, Sweden-based Perstorp, United States-based Eastman Chemical and Mitsubishi Gas Chemical of Japan.

The most recent major NPG capacity expansion - which was announced last December - was a 40,000 metric tons per year project by BASF and Sinopec for their joint venture facility in Nanjing, China. That expansion will double the JV plants current capacity by the end of 2020.