US energy firm Baker Hughes opens its first regional chemical facility on Jurong Island

Baker Hughes chief executive and chairman Lorenzo Simonelli and Trade and Industry Minister Gan Kim Yong at the facility. PHOTO: COURTESY OF BAKER HUGHES

SINGAPORE - American energy tech firm Baker Hughes opened its first chemicals facility in the region on Jurong Island on Tuesday (Aug 16).

The plant is part of its recent strategy to source and produce chemicals close to key markets, the firm said in a press release.

The facility will optimise manufacturing and ensure faster delivery of fit-for-purpose chemical solutions.

It spans about 40,000 sq m and will manufacture, store and distribute chemical solutions in the region and boost Baker Hughes' localisation efforts.

Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong, who was a guest at the opening, said in a LinkedIn post on Tuesday: “The plant is well aligned with Singapore’s focus on capturing growth in the high value-added specialty chemicals sector and building a strong talent pipeline locally for the sector. 

“As Baker Hughes’ first chemicals facility in the Asia-Pacific region, the plant will also add to Jurong Island’s thriving ecosystem of energy and chemicals companies.”

The facility is tech-driven and automated to help the company reduce its carbon footprint and support Singapore's Green Plan 2030.

The green plan is a national sustainability movement to tackle climate change and build a sustainable future with net-zero emissions.

The facility's overall process design also reduces the need for road transport and handling of chemicals, the firm said.

The company's executive vice-president for oilfield services, Ms Maria Claudia Borras, said: "The opening of the Singapore chemicals manufacturing facility significantly expands our ability to serve the Asia-Pacific region's oilfield services industry.

"It is aligned with our vision of supporting customers' needs and investing for growth in the increasingly important chemicals sector."

Baker Hughes chief executive and chairman Lorenzo Simonelli said: "Baker Hughes has a longstanding commitment to localisation in the region. By investing in this facility, we are enabling job creation, enhancing supply chain practices and streamlining our operations."

Apart from the chemicals operations, Baker Hughes has more than 800 employees in Singapore.

The firm declined to disclose financial information regarding the new facility.

Economic Development Board chairman Beh Swan Gin, who was at the opening, said: "We warmly welcome Baker Hughes' investment in a new facility to produce oilfield services chemicals from Singapore.

"It is testament to Singapore's attractiveness to the high-value downstream specialty chemicals sector and will enable the company to address the growing demand from their customers in the Asia-Pacific."

In his LinkedIn post, Mr Gan also thanked the company for its vote of confidence in Singapore and its commitment to completing the plant despite the pandemic.

“Singapore will continue to work with like-minded companies like Baker Hughes to grow the energy and chemicals sector in a manner that is consistent with our climate ambitions,” he said. 

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