Channel NewsAsia 8 Jan 14;
SINGAPORE: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said Singapore will continue to support the energy and chemicals industry and that the government stands fully behind petrochemicals companies here to help them succeed.
Mr Lee was speaking on Wednesday at the opening ceremony of ExxonMobil's Singapore Chemical Plant expansion in Jurong Island.
While Asia's continued growth will fuel demand for chemical products, Mr Lee added that there are several challenges too.
Among them, growing competition from other petrochemical hubs in US, China and Europe, rising global concern over carbon emissions and domestic constraints such as the cut in foreign labour as well as more expensive land.
Mr Lee said bold decisions like Jurong Island have enabled Singapore to overcome its constraints and forge a leading position in the energy and chemicals industry.
He added that Singapore supplies a third of Southeast Asia's total fuel needs and is one of a few countries capable of producing low sulphur automotive and bunker fuels.
To maintain Singapore's lead in the industry, Mr Lee outlined several strategies.
They include what Mr Lee called - Jurong Island version 2.0 - the upgrading of Jurong Island to make it more competitive and sustainable so as to attract new investment.
There are also efforts to upgrade capabilities through workforce training and research and development.
Mr Lee said Singapore will continue to play its part in helping to tackle climate change even as it grows the industry by working with the industry to reduce emissions and other pollutants.
The energy and chemicals sector contributes to a third of Singapore's manufacturing output.
It also provides many positive spill-over effects in the services sector, logistics, innovation and enterprise.
Mr Lee added that jobs in this industry are the highest paid within the manufacturing sector and many Singaporeans have built successful careers in the industry.
With the expansion, the Singapore Chemical Plant is now ExxonMobil's largest integrated refining and petrochemical facility in the world.
ExxonMobil said its Singapore Chemical Plant is positioned to serve growth markets from China to the Indian subcontinent and beyond.
ExxonMobil's total investment in Singapore across its various operations amounts to over US$10 billion.
ExxonMobil’s largest petrochemical complex unveiled
Government will help to make the industry more competitive and sustainable, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong says
Wong Wei Han Today Online 8 Jan 14;
SINGAPORE — ExxonMobil today (Jan 8) unveiled its latest expansion at the Singapore Chemical Plant, officially completing a project that more than doubles the plant’s production capacity to meet rising demand in Asia Pacific.
The expansion, which began in November 2007 and ended last month, also made the facility ExxonMobil’s largest integrated petrochemical complex globally, chief executive Rex Tillerson said.
“With this project complete, our regional capacity has been expanded by more than 50 per cent, and we have added production capacity across six product lines,” he said at the opening ceremony at Jurong Island today.
The expansion centres on a new world-scale steam cracker — the plant’s second — and its peripheral units, producing chemicals like ethylene and polyethylene that are crucial for a broad range of manufacturing processes.
And as Asia’s consumer demand soars, the added capacity will position ExxonMobil to tap that growth.
“We expect global chemical demand to grow at a faster pace than GDP ... and two-thirds of that growth in chemical demand will be here in Asia Pacific,” Mr Tillerson said. “This expansion establishes a world-scale integrated platform ... to meet the demand growth across this region.”
Also speaking at the ceremony was Prime Minister Mr Lee Hsien Loong, who complimented ExxonMobil’s role in Singapore’s energy and petrochemical industry.
The sector, which makes up one third of manufacturing here, also empowers various industries along the supply chain while creating rewarding careers for Singaporeans, he added.
ExxonMobil currently hires around 3,300 people in Singapore, including 2,000 at its refinery and chemical plant here.
“We will continue to support the industry. First, we will upgrade Jurong Island … taking a bigger step to make it more competitive and sustainable,” Mr Lee said. “Second, we are also upgrading our software and capabilities, growing our pipeline of science and engineering graduates (and) promoting continuous education and training.”
Singapore will also be committed to helping tackle climate change, working closely with the industry to be more environmentally friendly, the Prime Minister added.
Singapore aims to keep lead in chemicals, energy sectors: PM
Today Online 9 Jan 14;
SINGAPORE — The Government will continue to support the energy and chemicals industry here, ensuring Singapore retains its status as a major global hub for the sectors.
Several initiatives are underway to achieve that goal, including the enhancement of the infrastructure on Jurong Island, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said yesterday at the official opening of ExxonMobil’s expanded chemical plant.
Dubbing the programme of initiatives Jurong Island Version 2.0, Mr Lee said a key development is the introduction of alternative feedstock sources such as LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) to increase competitiveness and reduce the costs for the plants here. Another strategy is to use waste heat for water desalination to save energy, he said.
As a feedstock — or raw material — for chemical manufacturing, LPG is gaining popularity as an industry alternative and Singapore needs to make sure it can deliver what companies such as ExxonMobil require.
To ensure Singapore continues to attract new investments, a new LPG terminal will be built on Jurong Island, the Economic Development Board’s Director For Energy and Chemicals Eugene Leong told TODAY.
“The new terminal will allow LPG to be stored and distributed to plants on Jurong Island … We’re in the final stages of discussion and expect to make an announcement in the first quarter this year,” he said.
Other developments on the island include Tuas Power’s Tembusu Multi-Utilities Complex to provide cost-effective utility services for industries and the launch of Jurong Island Terminal last year to reduce dependence on trucking, Mr Leong added.
Besides hardware, Singapore is also keen on upgrading its capabilities through workforce training and research and development.
“A skilled workforce is an important part of this. We’re growing our pipeline of science and engineering graduates ... promoting continuous education and training ... and creating knowledge through research and development,” he said.
“At the same time, we want to assure all the energy and petrochemicals companies in Singapore that the Government stands fully behind them,” Mr Lee added. “Companies like ExxonMobil depend on us to maintain a predictable environment for their investments to succeed.
Home to many petrochemical companies such as BASF, Mitsui Chemicals, Shell and Sumitomo Chemicals, Singapore’s openness, transparency and free trade were key factors in ExxonMobil’s decision to expand its chemical plant here, Chief Executive Rex Tillerson said at the opening ceremony yesterday..
ExxonMobil’s expanded plant is Singapore’s largest manufacturing investment to date. Its chemical plant expansion takes its total investment in Singapore to more than S$10 billion
The multi-billion-dollar investment — which transforms the chemical plant into ExxonMobil’s largest integrated refining and petrochemical complex globally — will allow the American energy giant to double its finished product capacity in Singapore.
Completed in December 2012, the five-year project further enables ExxonMobil to tap Asia’s booming economy and demand for energy and petrochemical products, Mr Tillerson said.
“By the year 2040, the overall economy of Asia is likely to triple in size,” he said. “We expect global chemical demand to grow at a faster pace than gross domestic product as people seek higher standards of living … Two-thirds of that growth in chemical demand will be here in the Asia-Pacific region and the Singapore chemical plant is uniquely positioned to serve these growth markets.”
Channel NewsAsia 8 Jan 14;