F&N building $80m smart integrated facility in Tuas

F&N's dedicated R&D centre will help to accelerate the translation of innovative ideas and concepts into finished products.
F&N's dedicated R&D centre will help to accelerate the translation of innovative ideas and concepts into finished products.PHOTO: F&N FOODS

New base for production, warehousing and R&D can help save costs and lift productivity

Food and beverage giant Fraser and Neave (F&N) is building a new $80 million facility here that will serve as a base for production, warehousing and a beefed-up research and development (R&D) programme.

The F&N Foods centre will also enable the firm to consolidate most of its Singapore non-alcoholic beverage operations under one roof to save costs.

F&N Foods is a wholly owned subsidiary of Singapore-listed F&N, which is an associate of Thai Beverage Public Company. It has been present here for more than 130 years.

The company broke ground on the facility yesterday at Tuas Link.

Its existing Pandan Loop manufacturing plant will move to Tuas after the new facility is completed in late 2021, the company told The Straits Times.

Staff members who need to operate the new systems will be retrained.

Mr Koh Poh Tiong, chairman of the F&N board executive committee, said: "Our investment in this new facility marks our confidence in Singapore's future, as well as its ability to meet rising global and local challenges.

"This investment also affirms our belief that Singapore has the best resources, infrastructure and talent to sharpen F&N's competitive edge locally as well as in the international marketplace."

The facility will also be a smart factory designed with state-of-the-art automated storage and retrieval systems that will improve connectivity within the supply chain.

ENHANCE CAPABILITIES

The new facility will enhance F&N's capabilities to innovate and contribute to the vibrancy of Singapore as a food innovation hub.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT BOARD CHAIRMAN BEH SWAN GIN

This in turn will help the company to have greater synergy between manufacturing and warehouse systems, which can lower production costs and lift productivity.

The centre will be among the first in the region to use this integrated system for manufacturing, warehousing and distribution of chilled products, Mr Koh noted.

It will also be more sustainable, with targets such as recovering 30 per cent of its water used and getting at least 10 per cent of its energy from renewables such as solar. It aims to get the Building and Construction Authority green mark platinum award, a rating system to evaluate a building's environmental impact.

Economic Development Board chairman Beh Swan Gin said at yesterday's ceremony: "We are particularly delighted that through F&N, Thai Beverage is growing its footprint and operating base in Singapore."

He added that continued innovation is important to meet evolving consumer needs, such as the demand for healthier products. F&N has launched zero sugar variants of products such as 100Plus, F&N Orange and F&N Sarsi drinks.

"The new facility will enhance F&N's capabilities to innovate and contribute to the vibrancy of Singapore as a food innovation hub."

F&N is also present in 11 countries across the Asia-Pacific, Europe and the United States, and employs over 7,700 people worldwide.

Earnings surged 23.5 per cent to $152.6 million for the 12 months to Sept 30, while revenue rose 3.7 per cent to $1.9 billion.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 05, 2019, with the headline 'F&N building $80m smart integrated facility in Tuas'. Print Edition | Subscribe