SINGAPORE - Energy giant Shell has opened a lubricants plant in Tuas that is among the world’s largest and will boost Singapore as a globally competitive location for the industry.
Minister for Trade & Industry (Industry) S Iswaran said Shell’s investment in the new plant “is a clear demonstration of the organisation’s continued confidence in Singapore as a location for high value-added E&C (energy and chemicals) manufacturing”.
“Demand for lubricants is expected to experience strong growth, and Singapore is well positioned to benefit from the growth in the Asia-Pacific region,” said Mr Iswaran at the plant’s opening on Wednesday (Nov 1).
The global marine lubricants market is estimated to expand at an annual growth rate of 4.17 per cent and reach US$3.33 billion (S$4.5 billion) by 2024, said the minister.
“Asia-Pacific accounted for over 51 per cent of this market in 2015, and will likely drive future demand, he added.
Shell’s new plant is located in the Singapore Lube Park, the first of its kind in Asia with shared facilities, including an import-export jetty, common pipelines, and shared tank infrastructure. The park is a joint venture between Shell Eastern Petroleum, Sinopec Lubricant (Singapore) and Total Oil Asia Pacific.
Mr Iswaran noted that Shell’s new plant has adopted state-of-the-art production technologies with high levels of automation. For instance, the plant uses a fully automated drum filling line, which can produce up to 100 drums per hour with one worker - a sixfold increase in productivity compared with Shell’s previous facility in Woodlands North.
“We encourage more companies to take advantage of advanced manufacturing technologies to raise their productivity and strengthen their competitiveness,” said the minister.
The Government last month launched the Industry Transformation Map for the energy and chemicals industry. The plan has a target to create 1,400 new jobs by 2025 and achieve a manufacturing value-added of S$12.7 billion.
Mr Iswaran, in his speech, commended Shell “for its continued commitment to invest in our people”.