Toll Group opens $300m facility

PHOTO: Toll Group opens $300m facility

SINGAPORE - Australian logistics giant Toll Group on Friday opened a $300 million facility here after five years of redeveloping a Loyang site.

The facility, Toll's latest among more than 10 that the company operates here, employs 160 people and will be a supply base for vessels in the offshore oil and gas industry.

It will operate round the clock and can service more than 11 vessels at once, including large vessels such as drill ships.

The Toll Offshore Petroleum Services facility also offers in-house documentation and Customs clearance and a multi-storey ramp-up warehouse.

There are also designated areas for the safe storage of dangerous goods.

Toll leased the site - then known as the Singapore Offshore Petroleum Services facility - in 2006. In 2008, it won approval to re-develop it.

Part of Toll's investment was put towards maximising the use of land, so the site now takes up only 32ha of land, down from 52ha.

The unused land was returned to landlord JTC Corp.

"Global spending on deepwater is expected to double from over US$100 billion (S$125 billion) in the last five years to over US$200 billion in the next five years," said Minister in the Prime Minister's Office and Second Minister for Trade and Industry S. Iswaran. "Asia is expected to lead the growth in the number of deepwater wells drilled, with a growth rate of 20 per cent."

All these mean that companies will need an efficient base in Asia to undertake activities such as repair and maintenance of specialised offshore equipment, as well as re-supply and mobilisation of offshore vessels, said Mr Iswaran.

He noted that the marine and offshore sector provides good career opportunities for Singaporeans in roles such as engineering personnel, project managers and project supervisors.

Still, global competition is intensifying and countries such as China and South Korea are aggressively growing this sector. Mr Iswaran said firms in this space will need to continue innovating and improving their operations.

He cited some innovative solutions Toll implemented at its facility. For example, the ramp-up warehouse is designed to allow 12m-long trailers to mount as high as four storeys. This means bulky freight and equipment - typically handled at ground level - can now be stored at higher levels.

Economic Development Board executive director Lim Kok Kiang said Toll's "significant investment" has upgraded Singapore's offshore logistics capabilities. The investment is part of Toll's strategy of establishing a successful presence in the region, said the company's managing director Brian Kruger.

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