JX Nippon Ups U.S. Blending Capacity

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JX Nippon Oil & Energy USA Inc. will increase its lubricants blending plant capacity in Alabama from 34 million liters per year to 56 million liters per year by the end of 2015, the company recently announced.

Car sales and production have been increasing, and we expect lubricant demand for automatic transmission fluid and continuously variable transmission fluid and energy saving high efficiency engine oils from Japanese and Korean automobile manufacturers to grow, JX Nippon said in a statement.

Japanese models accounted for 35 percent of U.S. sales of light-duty vehicles in the first half of 2013, according to a November report by Melinda Zabritski, of Experian Automotive. Korean manufacturers claimed 8 percent of sales during the same period.

Located in Childersburg, the fully-owned JX Nippon Oil & Energy USA plant started operations in October 2006, built on a 20-acre site. At the time, the company said it chose to build the plant in Childersburg because it was conveniently located close to Alabama factories operated by Toyota, Honda and Hyundai, all of which were supplied by JX Nippon. The company had a sales office in Chicago and had been selling lubes – toll-blended by third-party suppliers at that time – to Japanese car companies in the United States since 1980.

Currently, the Childersburg plant produces industrial and automobile lubricants and 800 tons per year of grease. The company also has a research and development center in Alabama for the development of lubricant products for the domestic market.

Tokyo-based JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp. is one of Japan’s largest petroleum companies.