SINGAPORE - French energy giant Total S.A. reaffirmed its commitment to Singapore as a strategic hub by opening its regional headquarters in Frasers Tower in Cecil Street to manage its businesses across Asia Pacific.
"Today, we mark yet another milestone of Total's partnership with Singapore," said Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean on Monday (Dec 9) at the inauguration ceremony of the office which will have 500 employees.
"This opening is a testament to Total's significant growth in Singapore and its commitment to our partnership."
Starting its operations in 1982 with oil trading and lubricant products sales, the international oil and gas company has steadily expanded its presence in the Republic retailing petrochemicals, marketing petroleum products and related services.
Total's lubricants blending plant at Singapore Lube Park in Tuas is its largest and most modern in the world.
"Total's new regional headquarters is a signal of our continued strong confidence in Singapore as an attractive business destination and talent hub for our diverse business including exploration and production, gas, renewable and power, refining & chemicals; marketing and services; trading and shipping; and Total Global Services," said Mr Christian Cabrol, president and chief executive of Total Asia Pacific, and Country Chair Singapore.
Mr Teo recounted Total's recent ventures in the country that include the company's partnership with Singapore's Pavilion Energy to build up the liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkering eco-system, and with the Adani Group to supply and market LNG in India.
Total is the second-largest private global LNG player, with a global market share of 10 percent.
Total sells LNG in markets worldwide, with stakes in liquefaction plants in the Middle East, Africa, the United States and Australia.
Singapore is one of the first movers in providing LNG as an alternative to High Sulphur Fuel Oil for bunkering fuel for ships, said Mr Teo.
The switch to LNG would help shipping companies meet the International Maritime Organisation's regulation to reduce the global sulphur limit for marine fuel from the current 3.5 per cent to 0.5 per cent from January 2020.
Mr Teo said to date, Singapore has supplied LNG to 170 vessels using tanker trucks and its first LNG bunker vessel is slated to arrive in the third quarter of 2020.
The bunker vessel will enable catering of LNG as marine fuel to large vessels, he added.
Total has joined Singapore in efforts to deploy more renewable energy in the country's energy mix, said the minister.
The company equipped its Tuas lubricant plant to meet 35 percent of the site's energy needs through solar energy, and avoid up to 528 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions a year.
Singapore recently announced an ambitious target to deploy 2 Gigawatt peak of solar energy by 2030, which is about 10 per cent of Singapore's peak daily electricity demand today.
Said Mr Teo: "We will also support energy companies that are moving into renewables, by streamlining our regulations and promoting innovation and research & development."
Singapore is also Total's hub for its renewable energy business in Asia.
Through Total Solar DG Southeast Asia, a wholly owned affiliate of Total Solar Distributed Generation, the Group is one of the major international providers of fully integrated solar solutions for commercial and industrial customers in Southeast Asia.
Earlier this year, Hutchinson SA, a subsidiary of Total, set up a "Digital Research Lab for Asia" which will have more than 10 data scientists and Internet Of Things (IOT) engineers working on deploying innovative rubber- and thermoplastics-based product solutions for the automotive and aerospace industries.
The opening of Total's regional HQ signifies Total's confidence in Singapore as a strategic hub for its operations in the region, said Mr Teo.
"I hope that your significant presence in Singapore will open more doors to explore further avenues for growth in business, innovation and Research and Development to build an innovative and sustainable energy sector, and contribute new solutions to global climate action together."