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Shell opens lubricants plant in Tuas, among world's largest

Energy giant Shell has opened a lubricants plant in Tuas that is among the planet's largest and will boost Singapore as a globally competitive area for the industry. Minister for Trade & Industry (Industry) S Iswaran said Shell's investment in the new plant has been a clear demonstration of the organisation's continued confidence in Singapore as a location for high valueadded E&C (chemicals and energy) manufacturing.

Demand for lubricants is forecast to see strong growth, and Singapore is well positioned to benefit from the growth from the Asia-Pacific region, said Mr Iswaran at the plant's launching. The international marine lubricants market is projected to expand at an annual increase rate of 4.17 percent and reach US$3.33 billion (S$4.5 billion) by 2024, said the Union.

Asia-Pacific accounted for more than 51 per cent of the forex market in 2015, and will likely induce prospective demand, he added. Shell's new plant is situated in the Singapore Lube Park, the first of its kind in Asia with shared facilities, for example an importexport jetty, shared pipelines, and also shared tank infrastructure. The park is currently a joint venture between Shell Eastern Petroleum, Sinopec Lubricant (Singapore) and Total Oil Asia Pacific.

Mr Iswaran noted that Shell's fresh plant has embraced innovative manufacturing technologies with high levels of automation. For instance, the plant utilizes a fully automated drum filling line, which can produce upto 100 drums per hour with one worker - a sixfold increase in productivity compared with Shell's previous centre in Woodlands North. We encourage more organizations to make the most of advanced manufacturing technologies to improve their earnings and strengthen their competitiveness, said the minister.

The Government last month established the Industry Transformation Map for the electricity and chemicals industry. The master plan has an aim to create 1,400 new jobs by 2025 and accomplish a production worth of S$12.7 billion. Mr Iswaran, in his speech, praised Shell because of its continuing commitment to invest in our own people.