Ineos Oligomers to expand output for LAO/PAO in the US

Ineos Oligomers growth plans for its Linear Alpha Olefin (LAO) and Polyalphaolefin (PAO) products lines, originally announced in 2013, have seen fruition with a 10% debottleneck of the Joffre, Alberta site completed at the end of 4th quarter 2014, according to Karel Brabant, Operations Director. “Additional debottleneck opportunities still exist at this unit as it was originally designed to be expandable by 50% of its original design capacity,” he added.

“Our plan to build a new 350,000 tonnes/year world scale LAO unit on the USGC continues to advance,” said Joe Walton, Ineos Oligomers Business Director. “We continue to believe our market and technology focus on Polyethylene comonomers and PAO, combined with our access to USGC ethylene economics, make this an attractive opportunity,” he explained. “The early phases of the engineering work were successfully completed with the assistance of Jacobs Engineering Group Inc.” elaborated Project General Manager Peter Steylaerts. “We have now moved forward into a different phase of work with the support of Woods Group Mustang and the unit start-up date is now targeted for 3rd quarter 2017.”

According to Walton, the expansion of the LAO capacity will also provide significant additional feedstock supply to support the anticipated long term growth of the PAO business. “Our low viscosity PAO business continues to benefit from lubricant reformulation activity to both attain better fuel economy and to lower carbon emissions. Ineos Oligomers is the world’s largest merchant supplier of low viscosity PAO and our investment plans will ensure we maintain this position,” he added.

“We expanded our LaPorte, TX facility back in 2013 and another debottleneck will be completed by the end of 2015,” explained Brabant. “Furthermore, we have a project engineered for a 15% debottleneck at Feluy that can be utilized if necessary.” He also said that the incremental capacity additions will allow the company to support PAO growth until it adds an additional new world scale train in 2018, potentially up to 80,000 tonnes/year of additional capacity.

“Our leadership position in low viscosity PAO is complemented by our expanding footprint in high viscosity PAO products,” outlined Walton. “We began supplying the market with new high performance products a couple of years ago, primarily at the urging of existing customers who were experiencing supply issues for high viscosity PAO,” he added. “To date, the business has been a great success story for us, given the strong demand for wind turbine and other industrial applications,” he concluded.

The company says it is in the implementation phase of its long term growth strategy for these key businesses.


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