Green restroom firm Rigel Technology breaks ground on new HQ

Fresh from receiving a capital injection from a Temasek-linked fund, homegrown green restroom firm Rigel Technology has broken ground on a new global headquarters at Changi Business Park.

The firm, which has designed "intelligent" restrooms for places such as Changi Airport and Marina Bay Sands, will be dedicating about half of the space at the new $35 million facility to research and development (R&D) activities.

Upon completion in the third quarter of next year, the headquarters will be more than five times the size of Rigel's current offices in Kaki Bukit Techpark II.

Earlier in March, Heliconia Capital Management, a wholly-owned unit of Temasek Holdings focusing on SMEs, had invested in a "significant minority position" in Rigel.

Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony on Monday, Minister of State for Trade and Industry, Mr Teo Ser Luck, said the investment will be used mainly to ramp up Rigel's R&D capabilities, manufacturing facilities, and expand regional sales and customer service.

The investment had been made under the Government's SME Co-Investment Programme. Under the programme, government funds managed by Heliconia are used to match private sector investments to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) expand into new markets abroad.

Rigel managing director Christopher Ng said in a statement that the new headquarters "marks the start of the next phase of our growth story" as the firm embarks on 30 to 50 new projects.

The company projects that with global expansion, revenue will grow by 50 per cent in the next three years, while headcount will likely increase by 50 per cent, from 100 staff today.

Mr Teo said Rigel Technology was an excellent example of an SME that has been "farsighted in identifying opportunities in green growth" and has positioned itself very well for this global trend.

Rigel, established in 1991, has operations across Asia, the Middle East and even Latin America. This includes offices in Malaysia, China, and Vietnam, with manufacturing plants in Ningbo and Szechuan, China.

Over 200 of its products, such as self-cleaning antibacterial toilet bowls and intelligent restroom systems, are used in over 30 countries. Notable projects include Changi Airport, Marina Bay Sands, Kuala Lumpur International Airport, the Tianjin Eco-City in China and Mall Plaza Egana in Chile.