AFPM '14: US TPC plans another PIB debottlenecking project

31 March 2014 16:49  [Source: ICIS news]

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (ICIS)--TPC Group plans to undertake another debottlenecking project for its polyisobutylene (PIB) operations, increasing capacity by another 15%, the CEO of the US-based company said on Monday.

Last year, the company successfully increased capacity by 15%, said Michael McDonnell, CEO. He made his comments on the sidelines of the International Petrochemical Conference (IPC).

The second debottlenecking project will take place over the next two years, he said.

Meanwhile, the company is adding another PIB plant, as announced earlier.

Demand for PIB is expected to increase because of the new GF-6 specifications for motor oil used in automobiles, McDonnell said.

The new specifications are causing companies to re-formulate additive packages for lubricants, McDonnell said. These new formulations typically require more PIB.

The new oil specification is being developed in part to increase fuel efficiency of automobiles. The US has adopted more ambitious standards for its corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) rules.

For passenger cars and light trucks, fuel efficiency standards will rise from 30.5 miles/gal (13 km/litre) in 2013 to 35.5 miles/gal in 2016 and 54.5 miles/gal in 2025.

PIB also is used to reduce particulate emissions from diesel engines.

TPC produced both conventional and highly reactive PIB (HR-PIB). The latter is the type valued by producers of fuel and lubricant additives.

Hosted by the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), the IPC runs through Tuesday.

By: Al Greenwood
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