CP Chem to Boost NAO Capacity

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Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. LP plans to expand normal alpha olefin production capacity at its Cedar Bayou plant in Baytown, Texas, by 100,000 metric tons per year.

The company said Monday it received approval for the project from its board of directors and obtained the necessary environmental permit from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, with construction completion anticipated in July 2015.

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This investment decision reflects Chevron Phillips Chemicals strategy to leverage North American shale gas development by continuing to grow our U.S.-based olefins and polyolefins footprint, Mark Lashier, executive vice president of olefins and polyolefins, said in a news release.

NAOs and their derivatives are used extensively as polyethylene co-monomers, synthetic lubricant base stocks, and in a wide range of specialty applications.

Chevron Phillips Chemicals Cedar Bayou plant has 48,000 tons per year of low viscosity polyalphaolefin capacity. To build a PAO molecule, processors start with NAOs and build them into longer chains. Chemists can use decene (C10), octane (C8) and dodecene (C12), or a blend of such NAOs, to reach the molecular weights and performance targets their customers want.