UpdatePIB capacity expansion to meet customer demand - TPC Group

08 February 2013 16:45  [Source: ICIS news]

(Releads and updates throughout)

HOUSTON (ICIS)--A spokesperson for US-based TPC Group said on Friday that the planned expansion of its production capacity for polyisobutylene (PIB) will be based on its customers' demands.

"We intend to size the expansion to meet market growth for the next five to seven years," said Sara Cronin of TPC Group.

TPC Group currently produces 240m lb/year of PIB from its Houston facility, Cronin said. Projections for the proposed additional capacity have not been determined, she said.

TPC Group announced on Thursday that it has started engineering to expand production capacity of PIB.

The expansion is to meet growing demand for highly reactive PIB (HR-PIB) products due to upcoming changes in the technical standards for lubricating oils that favour the use of the material, as well as increasing demand for its use in automotive sealants and industrial lubricants, TPC said in a press release.

TPC Group’s expected production increases or current production numbers for PIB and HR-PIB were not available.

In September 2012, TPC Group’s board of directors approved plans to restart an idled dehydrogenation unit in Houston to produce isobutylene. The unit, which the company says is set for start-up in 2014, is expected to produce up to 650m lb/year (295,000 tonnes/year) of isobutylene from isobutene.

The dehydrogenation unit will provide feedstock for the Houston, Texas-based company's performance products and fuels business, which included polyisobutylene, methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE), high purity isobutylene and diisobutylene, the company has said.

Additional reporting by Stefan Baumgarten

By: Jeremy Pafford
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