F&N building $80m smart, sustainable facility in Tuas that will also boost its R&D capability

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
F&N Foods is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Singapore-listed F&N, which is an associate of Thai Beverage Public Company.
F&N Foods is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Singapore-listed F&N, which is an associate of Thai Beverage Public Company. ST PHOTO: TIMOTHY DAVID

SINGAPORE - Food and beverage giant Fraser and Neave (F&N) is building a new smart and sustainable facility in Singapore which will cost more than $80 million.

The F&N Foods facility will span 375,000 square feet and expand its capabilities across all aspects, from production and warehousing to strengthening the firm's research and development (R&D) capabilities to expand its beverage offerings with sustainable packaging solutions.

It will also enable F&N to consolidate most of its Singapore non-alcoholic beverages operations under one roof, for operational synergy and to create economies of scale.

The dedicated R&D centre will help to accelerate the translation of innovative ideas and concepts into finished products.

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 over 130 years.

The company celebrated the groundbreaking of its facility on Wednesday (Dec 4) at Tuas Link, which marked the start of its construction. F&N's existing Pandan Loop manufacturing plant will move to Tuas after the new facility is completed in late-2021, the company told The Straits Times.

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 that is designed with state-of-the-art automated storage and retrieval system, which will support improved vertical integration and connectivity within the supply chain. This will help the company to have greater synergy between manufacturing and warehouse systems, which can lower production costs and up productivity.

 
 

It is among the first in the region to use this integrated system for manufacturing, warehousing and distribution of chilled products.

The facility will also be more sustainable, with solar panels and targets such as recovering 30 per cent of its water used and getting at least 10 per cent of its energy from renewable sources. It aims to get the BCA green mark platinum award, which is a rating system to evaluate a building's environmental impact.

The groundbreaking was witnessed by Singapore Economic Development Board chairman Beh Swan Gin, Frasers Property group chief executive Khun Panote Sirivadhanabhakdi, who is also a board member of the Thai Beverage Public Company, and JTC Corporation assistant chief executive Alvin Tan.

Dr Beh said: "We are particularly delighted that through F&N, Thai Beverage is growing its footprint and operating base in Singapore. Thai Beverage is a leading Asian family business that is building on its traditional strength in the markets of Indochina to expand into the rest of Southeast Asia and beyond.

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," he said.

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