Energy giant ExxonMobil is undertaking a multibillion-dollar expansion of its Jurong Island integrated manufacturing complex, the company announced yesterday.
The expanded facilities will enable the company to convert fuel oil and other crude products into higher-value lube base stocks and distillates.
Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing said yesterday that he was happy and proud that the Economic Development Board, JTC Corporation and economic agencies have secured the investment.
"This investment by ExxonMobil signals its continued confidence in Singapore and our petrochemical industry," he wrote in a Facebook post, adding that it will also create opportunities for Singapore companies and workers.
"Singapore's strong and trusted brand name, skilled workforce and pro-enterprise environment have allowed us to distinguish ourselves from the competition and remain attractive to major foreign investors," he said.
The American company expects the project to significantly increase site downstream and chemical earnings potential.
The investment will raise the facility's capacity to produce an additional 20,000 barrels a day of its Group II base stock oil and 48,000 barrels a day of cleaner fuels with lower-sulphur content.
Its fuels with reduced sulphur will include those that enable customers to meet the International Maritime Organisation's 0.5 per cent sulphur requirement.
ExxonMobil Fuels & Lubricants Company president Bryan Milton said the demand for high-quality fuels and lubricants will increase as the global economy expands.
"By using a combination of proprietary catalyst and process technologies, we will increase the site's competitiveness and help meet growing demand for high-performance lubricants and cleaner fuels," he said.
Engineering, procurement and construction activities for the expansion have started, with operations expected to begin in 2023.
The project represents the latest and most significant in a series of recent ExxonMobil investments in base stock production.
Previous investments include a 2015 expansion in Singapore and the setting up last year of a world-scale, enhanced hydro-cracker unit in Rotterdam.
Mr Gan Seow Kee, chairman and managing director of ExxonMobil Asia Pacific, said: "This is the latest in a series of major investments in Singapore and builds on our commitment to enhance our growth and competitiveness in the Asia-Pacific region."
Energy companies recorded enormous profits last year, with the five "supermajors" - Chevron, ExxonMobil, BP, Royal Dutch Shell and Total of France - earning nearly US$80 billion (S$109 billion) in total net profit.