INEOS Oligomers advances ambitious growth plans

Today, INEOS Oligomers provided an update on its ambitious growth plans for its Linear Alpha Olefin (LAO) and Polyalphaolefin (PAO) products lines. These plans were originally announced in 2013.

“The planned 10% debottleneck of the Joffre, Alberta site was completed at the end of 4thquarter 2014, and coincided with the LAO unit’s recent TAR” stated Karel Brabant, INEOS Oligomers 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 thousand metric ton per year world scale LAO unit on the USGC continues to advance” declared 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” he concluded.

“The expansion of our LAO capacity will also provide significant additional feedstock supply to support the anticipated long term growth of our PAO business” stated Walton.  “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 added.   “These incremental capacity additions will allow us to support PAO growth until we add an additional new world scale train in 2018, potentially up to 80 thousand metric tons per year of additional capacity” concluded Walton.

“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.  “We increased our supply capability by 50% in 2ndquarter 2014 just to stay ahead of sales and we are evaluating additional increases” added Brabant.

“We are now firmly in the implementation phase of our long term growth strategy for these key businesses” declared Bob Learman, INEOS Oligomers CEO.  “We continue to enjoy the support of our INEOS Group Chairman Jim Ratcliffe, who views these investment plans as a key component of the company’s vision for growth in North America.   “The scale of these new capacity additions underlines our commitment to keep pace with our customers expanding need for these products.” He concluded.

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