Neste Idles PAO Plant


Neste Oil has shut down its 60,000 metric tons per year polyalphaolefins plant in Beringen, Belgium for four weeks in July-August, the refiner announced Thursday in its second quarter interim report.

The PAO plant is temporarily closed for a four week period as PAO demand has still not fully recovered from the demand drop experienced in late 2008, Virpi Saranpaa, vice president of base oils for Neste Oil, told Lube Report. The temporary shutdown started two weeks ago and impacts more than 15 persons in the PAO production. Saranpaa confirmed the company had previously shut down the PAO plant in May for three to four weeks.

The Beringen PAO plant has operated since 1991, Saranpaa said, adding that the company expanded the plants capacity by 20 percent in 2008 from its previous capacity of 50,000 tons per year.

Demand for base oils has shown a slight recovery, but margins have weakened, the company noted in Thursdays interim report.

According to Nestes web site, the Beringen plant has a total of 66 employees and produces high-quality PAO base oils (API/ATIEL Group IV) from ethylene derivative using Neste Oil technology. Marketed under the Nexbase brand, the PAO serves as a raw material in the manufacture of premium quality motor oils. The global customer service center at the Beringen site takes care of the order-delivery process of all Nexbase base oil products.

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