Sinopec opens $136m lubricant plant in Tuas

PHOTO: Sinopec opens $136m lubricant plant in Tuas

SINGAPORE - Chinese energy and chemical giant Sinopec opened its first lubricant manufacturing plant outside China in Tuas on Thursday.

The company has invested about 650 million yuan (S$136 million) in the lubricant production facility, which will also serve as its Asia-Pacific hub for logistics and service.

The new plant, a key part of Sinopec's global expansion plans, is to better serve customers across Asia, particularly South-east Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

The plant is expected to employ between 140 and 150 people.

Sinopec Lubricant Singapore general manager Pei Wenjun said that in the next two years, the firm is aiming for bumper growth rates of between 40 per cent and 50 per cent annually.

"We'll slow down after that but we'll try to maintain this growth rate. I can't give specific numbers but I expect to grow faster than our competitors," said Mr Pei at a media briefing where he spoke through an interpreter.

Over 60 per cent of the jump in global petrochemical demand by 2020 is set to come from Asia, the firm said, citing a recent research report on the global petrochemical industry, by management consultant Roland Berger.

The local facility is in response to the rising Asian demand and is an important part of the company's global expansion plans.

The plant, on the south-western tip of Singapore, is more than 240,000 sq m and will have an initial annual production capacity of 100,000 tonnes of lubricant.

Sinopec is China's largest supplier of refined oil products and petrochemical products and is ranked fifth on business magazine Fortune's global top 500 companies last year. Its products and services are available in more than 50 countries.

Mr Yeoh Keat Chuan, managing director of the Economic Development Board, said Sinopec adds to the growing energy and chemicals industry.

Last year, this sector contributed $100 billion in manufacturing output, which is about 34 per cent of Singapore's total manufacturing output, said Mr Yeoh, who spoke at the plant's opening.

Sinopec's investment in Singapore is complemented by other related functions such as logistics, customer account management, base oil trading and finance here.

"We see an increasing number of companies such as Sinopec Lubricant, that integrate headquarter functions with their manufacturing assets," he added.

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