INEOS Oligomers starts up low viscosity PAO plant in Texas
INEOS Oligomers has started up its new 120,000-tonne-per-annum low viscosity poly alpha olefin (LV PAO) unit at Chocolate Bayou, Texas, U.S.A., positioning the company as the world’s largest merchant supplier of LV PAO. This facility is the world’s largest single PAO train and complements existing units in La Porte, Texas, U.S.A., and Feluy, Belgium.
The new low viscosity PAO plant will meet the increased demand for improved efficiency from low viscosity low volatility engine oils, electrical transmission fluids and heat transfer fluids for data servers and electrical batteries.
The new Chocolate Bayou LV PAO unit is fully integrated into INEOS’ production of linear alpha olefin (LAO), the raw material used for PAO. Its feedstocks are also supplied from the adjacent LAO plant that started up in 2020 and from its Joffre, Canada LAO unit.
“Our new LV PAO unit comes at the right time to fulfill increasing needs from the lubricant industry for low viscosity low volatility engine oils, electrical transmission fluids and heat transfer fluids for data servers and electrical batteries. It also brings state of the art technology allowing a step change in efficiency of production,” said Peter Steylaerts, business director, INEOS Oligomers.
Low viscosity PAOs are used in various lubricants such as engine oils, gear oils, transmission fluids, hydraulic fluids and greases. They offer excellent thermal and oxidative stability, better flow properties and better energy efficiency leading to reduced fuel consumption, reduced emissions, less frequent oil changes and improved reliability of machineries. They are also used in other applications such as processing aids, polymer modification and cosmetics.