Oxea and Eastman to expand plasticiser feedstock capacity in Texas

US-based Eastman Chemical plans to again expand a 2-Ethylhexanol (2-EH) capacity at its Longview, Texas, site. The expansion will increase capacity by approximately 20,000 tonnes/year. The company expects to complete the expansion in the fourth quarter of this year. In support of the 2-EH expansion, a 25,000-tonne expansion of butyraldehyde will also occur at the site. The company completed a 32,000-tonne expansion of 2-EH at the site in April of 2012.

“In the short time since our last 2-EH capacity increase, we have seen strong demand growth for this product,” said Juan Moncada, business unit director of Eastman’s Oxo Chemicals business unit of the Specialty Fluids & Intermediates business segment. “We are committed to reliable supply for our 2-EH customers, while also supporting internal growth for products like our Eastman 168 non-phthalate plasticisers.”

Oxea also building 2-EH capacity in Texas
Meanwhile, in a move to better serve its customers in North and Latin America, Germany-based Oxea has started basic engineering for 2-EH and a Propanol unit at its world-scale production plant at Bay City, Texas. Both units are scheduled to come on stream in late 2016. Key elements of the basic engineering work will also be utilised for the construction of Oxea’s future Asian oxo chemicals platform in Duqm, Oman.

The new units will further add to Oxea’s most recent capacity expansion of the Bay City plant, which will increase current output of Butanol and Propanol by 25%. This additional volume is planned to come on line in the second half of 2014.

“Oxea is a leading merchant supplier of Oxo products such as alcohols, aldehydes, and acids. We continue to significantly invest into our production platforms to support the growth of our customers and meet the rising demands of the markets. Once on line, our customers of 2-EH in the Americas will be able to benefit from our enhanced delivery capability for this important chemical,” said Miguel Mantas, Member of Oxea’s Executive Board and responsible for Marketing and Sales. “We also continue to invest in Propanol to support our customers’ growth,” he added.

“The new facilities for 2-EH and Propanol in North America not only support our strategy of growing the business and enhancing the efficiency of our operations. It also emphasises our confidence in the competitiveness of the US petrochemical industry and reinforces our commitment to the North and Latin American markets,” commented Dr. Martina Flöel, spokesperson for the Oxea Executive Board, who is also responsible for Production and Technology.

Oxea is a global manufacturer of oxo intermediates and oxo derivatives, such as alcohols, polyols, carboxylic acids, specialty esters, and amines. These products are used for the production of high-quality coatings, lubricants, cosmetics and pharmaceutical products, flavourings and fragrances, printing inks and plastics. In 2012, Oxea generated revenue of about EUR1.5 billion with its over 1,400 employees worldwide. Oxea is owned by government-owned Oman Oil Company S.A.O.C.

An oxo derivative, 2-EH is used in end products such as plasticisers, like Eastman’s 168 non-phthalate plasticiser, 2 ethylhexyl acrylate, and additives for fuels and lube oils. End markets for 2-EH include building and construction, transportation, medical, consumables, and durable goods manufacture. It also serves as a solvent in the paint and coatings industries. Propanol is used to manufacture products such as cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, printing inks, coatings and adhesives.


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