Petroleum products giant opens $222m expansion on Jurong Island

Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing at the opening of Afton Chemical Corporation's expansion of its manufacturing plant on Jurong Island. PHOTO: AFTON CHEMICAL CORPORATION

SINGAPORE - American petroleum products firm Afton Chemical officially opened a $222 million expansion of its manufacturing plant on Jurong Island on Wednesday (Sept 19).

The extension kick-starts the production of advanced ashless dispersants and anti-wear components, which are critical in several of the firm's products.

"Our Jurong Island plant now has the full capability to produce core engine oil additives that we need for the Asia-Pacific region," said the firm's president, Mrs Regina Harm.

The products will help passenger and commercial vehicles meet performance standards of the future, added a company spokesman.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing called Afton Chemical's investment significant.

He said in partnering some of the local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and their suppliers, "this will create quality jobs for our people in Singapore".

The firm began its manufacturing operations in Singapore in May 2016, when it announced the first phase of its plant with an initial investment of $158 million.

With the opening on Wednesday, the firm has invested a total of $380 million.

To do well in the energy and chemicals industry, Singapore's competitive advantage can come from its ability to translate research into enterprise, Mr Chan said.

"We need to connect our research with our enterprises so that we do not have to compete on price but on the quality of our products and the innovation in our system," he added.

Mr Sean Spencer, Afton Chemical Asia's vice-president, said: "We continue to invest in Singapore because we see it as a central hub of the region."

"It has a strong record of safety, security and integration - conditions we value," he added. "Furthermore there is a strong talent pool and retention is very positive."

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