Total opens $150m plant

Located at the jointly operated Singapore Lube Park in Tuas, Total's new lubricant plant doubles its production capacity in Singapore.
Located at the jointly operated Singapore Lube Park in Tuas, Total's new lubricant plant doubles its production capacity in Singapore.PHOTO: TOTAL OIL ASIA-PACIFIC

French oil and gas giant's largest lubricant plant expected to double its regional sales

Total Oil Asia-Pacific launched a $150 million lubricants oil-blending plant in Tuas South yesterday.

The facility - part of the jointly operated Singapore Lube Park - is the French oil and gas giant's largest in the world and its first two-storey plant.

The plant, which took 750 workers 19 months to build and has a capacity of 310,000 tonnes, replaces two plants in Pandan and Pioneer.

The plant will produce lubricants for automotive, industrial and marine applications mainly for the Asean market, and also for China and India for products that are not manufactured there.

To be fully operational by October, the plant will double Total's lubricant production here and lift regional capacity by 30 per cent.

The facility will employ 104 workers, with productivity increased through automated operations.

Semi-robotic lines will fill 1,700 cartons an hour, up from 900. Three automated guided vehicles will replace five forklifts, reducing the likelihood of injuries.

A shared tank farm - also a world first - holds 95 storage tanks belonging to Total and its neighbours, Shell and Sinopec, the other partners operating the Lube Park.

Other than optimising land use, this saves cost through sharing utilities such as heating.

Environmental standards are improved through the use of natural gas, instead of diesel, to power its production systems.

"With the opening of this vast plant, we are well positioned to boost our growth... doubling our sales in the region," said Mr Francois Dehodencq, the company's senior vice-president and chief executive of marketing and services in the Asia Pacific.

Demand for lubricants in Asia is expected to grow by 18 per cent, hitting 20 million tonnes by 2025, almost half of the global demand.

Singapore was chosen to house the facility because of its business-friendly environment and logistics infrastructure. It is also Total Group's strategic hub in Asia.

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, who is also Coordinating Minister for National Security and Minister for Home Affairs, was guest of honour at the launch.

He said the energy and chemicals industry contributes a third of Singapore's industrial output.

"It also employs some 26,000 people in manufacturing jobs, and is one of the highest-paying manufacturing sectors," he said.

He said Total's growth is in line with Singapore's economic restructuring - by using less land and 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," said Mr Teo.

"We look forward to more innovative industry solutions being set up in Singapore."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 04, 2015, with the headline 'Total opens $150m plant'. Print Edition | Subscribe