US INEOS to build 350,000 tonne/year LAO plant in Gulf Coast area

27 June 2013 16:19  [Source: ICIS news]

US INEOS to build 350,000 tonne/year LAO plant in Gulf Coast areaHOUSTON (ICIS)--INEOS plans to build a 350,000 tonne/year linear alpha olefin (LAO) plant in the US Gulf Coast area, the US petrochemicals producer said on Thursday.

With completion targeted by the end of 2016, the plant would be capable of a further 50% expansion so ultimate capacity could reach over 500,000 tonnes/year, said Bob Learman, CEO of INEOS Oligomers.

INEOS Group already has a significant footprint on the Gulf so we have ready access to key resources,” Learman said. “We have been working on this project for the past year, and it is now ready to scale up for a new phase of activity.”

The company’s focus on polyethylene comonomers and polyalphaolefins (PAO) and its access to cheaper ethylene makes the project a “very attractive opportunity”, said Joe Walton, business director at INEOS Oligomers.

In addition, INEOS is evaluating incremental expansion opportunities at its Joffre site in Alberta, Canada, with a project underway to increase LAO capacity by 10%.

The expansion will be completed by the end of Q1 2014 to provide additional feedstock supply to support the anticipated growth of its PAO business.

“The global demand for lubricants has been impacted by the current difficult conditions in both the European and Asian automotive sectors,” Walton said. “Despite this backdrop, our PAO business has been quite resilient. It will continue to benefit from lubricant reformulation activity to attain better fuel economy and to lower carbon emissions.”

INEOS built a new PAO train at its Feluy facility in Belgium in 2009 and has a project engineered for a 15% debottleneck there. More recently, it completed a 10% debottleneck at its LaPorte facility in Texas.

“These incremental capacity additions will allow us to support PAO growth until we add an additional new train, the size and timing of which will be aligned with the development of the market,” said Karl Brabant, operations director at INEOS Oligomers.

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By: Tracy Dang
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