Chevron Phillips adds new growth beyond Houston expansion project

Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. said Tuesday it will keep growing locally beyond its $6 billion petrochemical expansion in the Houston area by adding capacity to produce more high-performance lubricants for the automotive and industrial industries.

Chevron Phillips — the petrochemical joint venture between Chevron and Phillips 66 — already is expanding significantly at its Baytown campus east of Houston and at its Old Ocean facilities southwest of Houston.

The project announced Tuesday will expand its low-viscosity polyalphaolefins, or PAO, capacity at its Cedar Bayou plant in Baytown by 10,000 metric tons per year, or by about 20 percent. Chevron Phillips declined to release the cost. The company said there’s increasing demand for performance lubricants used in the auto and other industries to help boost energy efficiency.

Chevron Phillips markets its polyalphaolefins under the Synfluid brand for use in engine oils, gear oils, greases and more.

Construction will begin shortly in April with an expected startup in mid-2017. The project will create 135 temporary jobs, in addition to ongoing construction at the Baytown campus.

Chevron Phillips is currently building a new ethane cracker in Baytown to produce more ethylene, which is the primary building block of most plastics.