SINGAPORE - TOTAL Oil Asia-Pacific launched its new lubricants oil-blending plant in the Singapore Lube Park in Tuas South on Friday.
The facility, which is the company's largest in the world and its first two-storey plant, will produce lubricants for automotive, industrial and marine applications mainly for the Asean market, but also for markets in China and India for products not manufactured there.
The plant, which took 750 workers 19 months to build, will have a capacity of 310,000 metric tons, replacing the two existing plants in Pandan and Pioneer, which had hit their peak production capacities in 2011.
Fully operational by October, the plant will double Total's lubricant production here, and increase its regional capacity by 30 per cent.
"With the opening of this vast plant, we are well positioned to boost our growth towards doubling our sales in the region," said Mr Francois Dehodencq, the company's senior vice president and chief executive officer of marketing and services in the Asia Pacific region.
Demand for lubricants in Asia is expected to grow by 18 per cent, hitting 20 million tons by 2025, almost half of the global demand.
Singapore was chosen to house such a facility because of the business-friendly environment and logistics infrastructure, and it is also the strategic hub for Total Group in Asia.
Deputy prime minister, coordinating minister for national security and minister for home affairs Mr Teo Chee Hean, who was the guest of honour at the launch ceremony, said the energy and chemicals industry is a key sector in Singapore, forming "a third of Singapore's manufacturing output".
"It also employs some 26,000 people in manufacturing jobs, and is one of the highest-paying manufacturing sectors," he said.
Mr Teo also said Total's growth here is in line with Singapore's economic restructuring - Growing using less land, raising productivity through automation, and improving environmental standards.
"It is evidence of Singapore's friendly business environment that allows industry leaders to come together and develop new operating models. We look forward to more innovative industry solutions being set up in Singapore."