CP Chem to Add PAO Capacity


Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. LP yesterday announced a study to expand its low-viscosity polyalphaolefin capacity by 10,000 metric tons per year at its 48,000 t/y Cedar Bayou plant in Baytown, Texas.

The company said it has also filed the necessary environmental notifications with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

Chevron Phillips Chemical would seek final project investment approval from its board of directors in the second quarter of 2015, and targets project completion for 2016.

The company recently began construction of its 100,000 t/y expansion of normal alpha olefin capacity at the Cedar Bayou plant, with completion expected in July 2015.

The NAO expansion at Cedar Bayou is providing more feedstock to be able to study the expansion of the PAO capacity, Miles Oberton, Chevron Phillips Chemicals global business manager of polyalphaolefins, told Lube Report.

PAO molecules are made by assembling NAOs 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.

In terms of factors impacting PAO demand, Oberton said there is increasing demand for synthetic lubricants in automotive and industrial applications due to the growing focus on lubricants that improve energy efficiency. In general, we see PAO demand increasing in all regions of the world, particularly the United States, Europe and Asia-Pacific.

Chevron Phillips Chemical markets PAOs under the brand name Synfluid, which includes both high- and low-viscosity PAOs. They are considered well-suited for a variety of automotive and industrial applications, including gear oils, greases and automotive lubricants.

Chevron and Phillips 66 each own 50 percent of Chevron Phillips Chemical.