TPC Group has commenced engineering to expand production capacity of polyisobutylene (PIB), the US-based company said on Friday.
TPC, formerly known as Texas Petrochemical, uses proprietary technology to produce both highly reactive PIB (HR-PIB) products, which are used in lubricant and fuel additives, and PIB products for conventional applications such as adhesives, caulks, sealants, and coatings.
TPC says its technology is unique in that it can produce both types of products in a wide range of molecular weights within the same unit.
The need for expansion is driven by the growing demand for HR-PIB due to upcoming changes in the technical standards for lubricating oils that favor use of HR-PIB based dispersants, as well as an increasing demand for the wide variety of other end uses, including automotive sealants and industrial lubricants, according to the company.
"TPC Group is committed to maintaining its position as the premier supplier of PIB in North America," said CEO Michael McDonnell. "As the leading merchant producer of PIB, we are focused on meeting the needs of our customers for high quality products delivered through our extensive logistics network.
"We back our commitment to our customers with the security of multiple production units and multiple sources of feedstock supply, including our own isobutylene production unit targeted for startup in 2014."
TPC Group first entered the polyisobutylene market in May 2000 with the startup of its patented process to produce a wide range of PIB products.
Since that time, the company has grown significantly through multiple expansions to become the largest producer in North America. TPC supplies the market from its Houston production facility as well as product terminals in Houston and near Chicago.