Poly alpha olefin market size is set to grow at a robust pace between the period 2021 and 2027 on account of the higher prevalence of engine wear and tear as well as the incessant need for thermal and hydrolytic stability in industrial operations. The rise in offshore drilling activities has led to the growing emphasis by numerous regulatory bodies on environment protection. In addition, there is a paradigm shift towards high-grade lubricants over conventional mineral oils in countries, including India and Brazil.
Poly Alpha Olefins are mainly colorless lubricants comprising hydrogen and lithium soap, that offer enhanced oxidative stability. Rising investments in the automotive vertical, urbanization and the hiking per capita consumer incomes are other factors that will substantially contribute to the overall poly alpha olefin market growth.
Based on applications, synthetic lubricants will record optimum penetration of poly alpha olefins driven by the increasing advancements in the automotive sector. The growing requirements to ramp up the drain intervals and seal protection has increased the demand for industrial oils and metalworking fluids. On account of their physical & chemical features, such as low volatility, synthetic lubricants are increasingly preferred over their Esters, PAG, and Group III counterparts.
With regards to end-use, the automotive sector is expected to record a significant revenue share through 2027 owing to the rising efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions. The product marks extensive penetration in automotive fluids, hydraulic, gear, and bearing oils, on account of its ability to operate in extremely hot or cold climatic applications. Apart from this, poly alpha olefins are also used as base fluids in various wide temperature ranges of greases.
In terms of regional segmentation, the North America is anticipated to gain remarkable proceeds owing to the rising need for petrochemicals. The higher ethylene manufacturing along with the higher shale oil & gas production across the region will act as significant contributors to the poly alpha olefin market share. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), around 2.67 billion barrels of crude oil were generated directly from shale oil resources in the country in 2020.
The demand for poly alpha olefins in the APAC region is slated to grow exponentially with the growing demand for synthetic-based lubricants and expanding automotive sector in the region.
Some of the major players in the poly alpha olefin market industry include Chevron Phillips Chemical (Parent organizations: Chevron U.S.A. Inc., Phillips 66 Company), Sasol, ExxonMobil Corp., Shell Chemicals (Royal Dutch Shell), and Q-Chem.
These chemical entities are actively indulging in inorganic marketing moves, such as investments, acquisitions, capacity expansions, partnerships, along with new product development and differentials to amplify their geographical presence while attaining a competitive edge.
For instance, in June 2019, INEOS entered a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Saudi Aramco and Total to construct a 400,000-tonne LAO (linear alpha olefin) plant and associated world-scale PAO (poly alpha olefin) facility in Saudi Arabia.
In another instance, Axens inked an agreement with Baltic Chemical plant LLC, in September 2020, to supply its alpha-olefins production technology as part of its gas chemical complex construction project on the shore of the Gulf of Finland.
Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the poly alpha olefins (PAO) market trends
The ongoing COVID-19 outbreak tremendously hit the global economy. Its effect was substantially felt on the olefins sector on account of the alarming influence on supply, trade, demand, pricing, costs, and margins. The pandemic also drew a transformational impact on the demand for poly alpha olefins, bringing a surging need to reshape the industry dynamics.
However, the gradually rising production and supply of the product given the resumption of operations in most industrial sectors, mainly automotive will favor the growth of the market in the post-pandemic period.