Chemtura Grows in Europe, China


Chemturas plans to bring on line high viscosity PAO capacity in the Netherlands and synthetic grease capacity in China are on target for the second half of 2013.

Chemtura will benefit in the second half of this year from the European high viscosity PAO plant for synthetic lubricants in the Netherlands and the synthetic grease capacity coming on line later in the year in our Nantong, China facility, Chemtura President, CEO and Chairman Craig Rogerson said during a recent quarterly earnings conference call.

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In 2011, Chemtura announced it began engineering work to produce high-viscosity polyalphaolefin in the Netherlands by 2013. The company said it would produce its Synton 40 and Synton 100 high-viscosity PAO brands at its facility in Ankwerweg, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The products are used as high-performance base stocks and viscosity improvers in synthetic lubricant formulations such as gear oils and engine oils. Earlier in 2011, the company announced expanded production capacity for the same 40 and 100 grades at its Elmira, Ontario facility.

During the conference call, Rogerson said the significant new capacity in the high viscosity PAO lines at the Netherlands facility will supply the European market. The Netherlands plant will come on line in the second half of the year, and then therell be qualification because right now, a lot of that product is being supplied out of North America, Rogerson said. So itll start to impact the fourth quarter, but itll be a bigger deal in full year 2014.

What it does provide is this long-term competitive advantage being locally supplied – locally meaning in Europe, where the big market is, especially in the automotive market, with a lot of the European luxury cars using synthetic lubricants, he continued. This product being produced there will give us a strong position as we grow that business going forward. But traditionally and currently, were supplying that out of North America.

Chemtura also announced plans in 2011 to build a multi-purpose manufacturing facility in Nantong to serve its petroleum additives and urethanes businesses and provide additional capacity for other Chemtura businesses. According to the company, the petroleum additives business required local manufacturing and storage capabilities in China for some of its product lines to meet customer demand. That included synthetic finished fluids (refrigeration lubricants, air compressor lubricants and gear oils) and calcium sulfonate grease.

Rogerson said the grease from the plant in Nantong that will start up in the second half of 2013 will be a product that will be critical to our Asia Pacific strategy in the petroleum additives business.

The Nantong plant, similarly, will be in the second half [of 2013], and the first product to come out will be the grease product from Petroleum Additives in the third quarter.

Chemtura, headquartered in Philadelphia, Pa., does not disclose the new PAO or grease capacities because it is considered proprietary information, a company spokesman told Lube Report.

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