Total Oil Asia-Pacific launched a $150 million lubricants oil-blending plant in Tuas South yesterday.
The facility – part of the jointly operated Singapore Lube Park – is the French oil and gas giant’s largest in the world and its first two-storey plant.
The plant, which took 750 workers 19 months to build and has a capacity of 310,000 tonnes, replaces two plants in Pandan and Pioneer.
The plant will produce lubricants for automotive, industrial and marine applications mainly for the Asean market, and also for China and India for products that are not manufactured there.
To be fully operational by October, the plant will double Total’s lubricant production here and lift regional capacity by 30 per cent.
The facility will employ 104 workers, with productivity increased through automated operations.
Semi-robotic lines will fill 1,700 cartons an hour, up from 900. Three automated guided vehicles will replace five forklifts, reducing the likelihood of injuries.
A shared tank farm – also a world first – holds 95 storage tanks belonging to Total and its neighbours, Shell and Sinopec, the other partners operating the Lube Park.
Other than optimising land use, this saves cost through sharing utilities such as heating.
Environmental standards are improved through the use of natural gas, instead of diesel, to power its production systems.
Demand for lubricants in Asia is expected to grow by 18 per cent, hitting 20 million tonnes by 2025, almost half of the global demand.
Singapore was chosen to house the facility because of its business-friendly environment and logistics infrastructure. It is also Total Group’s strategic hub in Asia.