Oil and gas group Total has opened its high purity special fluids facility in Bayport, near Houston, Texas.

The French company has invested $100 million in the new hydro de-aromatization (HDA) plant, which will produce 40 different fluids and solvents with applications in a wide range of industries including water treatment, pharmaceuticals, crop protection, printing inks, paints and coatings, and cosmetics.

With an annual production capacity of 250,000 tons, the facility will also produce synthetic biodegradable fluids for on- and off-shore drilling.

The Bayport HDA plant uses a catalytic reaction process that, when combined with high pressure and distillation, enables the production of very specific high purity fluids, which are odorless, colorless, stable and with ultra low aromatic contents. These high purity fluids are customized to meet the needs of various industrial applications.

“Our new Bayport operation illustrates Total’s commitment to our business in the United States,” said Philippe Boisseau, a member of Total’s executive committee and president of Marketing & Services.

“We will work closely with the Total refining facility in Port Arthur, which will provide some of the feedstock required to produce the high purity special fluids our customers want and need, as well as the Total Polyethylene facility at Bayport with whom we share the site,” he said.

Boisseau said: “The innovative, clean technology we will provide to our customers from Bayport is the result of a concerted and combined effort of several Total global business activities including refining and chemicals and marketing and services with knowledge and expertise transfer from engineers in our plant in France.”