New PAO Plant for CPChem in Belgium

14.06.2022 - Chevron Phillips Chemical (CPChem) is planning to build a new polyalphaolefins (PAO) plant in Beringen, Belgium, to meet growing demand. The “significant investment” will see the company’s PAO capacity in Belgium double to 120,000 t/y when it starts up in 2024.

“The construction of a new unit near our existing assets will allow us to benefit from strong local expertise and leverage Belgium’s central position to meet customer needs globally,” said Mitch Eichelberger, executive vice president of polymers and specialties.

The company regards itself as a leading producer of PAOs, which it markets under the Synfluid brand. Made from alpha olefins, PAOs are used in many synthetic products, such as lubricants, greases and fluids, as well as in automotive, industrial, cosmetics, technology and military applications.

PAO also can help reduce energy consumption through efficient lubrication, which reduces friction and enables lower fuel consumption and emissions. CPChem said the growing demand is being fueled by the polymers’ performance at extreme temperatures and also by new applications such as electric and fuel-efficient vehicles, and heat transfer fluids.

“Increased production from this new investment will be critical to support growing demand at a time of great innovation in several sectors that require PAOs,” said Antoine Janssens, Europe Africa region general manager.

CPChem also operates a PAO plant in Baytown, Texas, USA. The Beringen plant was originally owned by Neste Oil – CPChem bought the facility in November 2011.

Author: Elaine Burridge, Freelance Journalist