JASUBHAI GROUP      ABOUT CHEMTECH     ADVISORY BOARD     AWARDS       EVENTS     PUBLICATIONS     CONTACTUS    
Chemical & Processing
EPC
Oil & Gas
Refining
Automation
Pharma Biotech
Shipping
Power
Water
Infrastructure & Design

Jurong Island: New Home to Specialty Chemical Companies
Lee Eng Keat, International Director - Asia Pacific, SEDB. Specifically, under JI v2.0, the Singapore government is working closely with industry at a systems level, to optimise valuable resources such as energy, carbon and water. This is especially relevant in todayís global resourceconstrained environment. For example, one of the projects includes working with a cracker cluster on Jurong Island to identify system level energy and water efficiency projects.

The energy and chemicals industry is a key pillar of Singapore s economy. It has consistently been one of the largest contributors to its manufacturing sector, contributing almost 30 per cent of total manufacturing output in 2010. In an email response to CEW, Lee Eng Keat, International Director, Asia Pacific at Singapore Economic Development Board, said, "With the rapidly developing Jurong Island, which is home to major chemical & petrochemical companies, Singapore s energy and chemicals sector is set to grow at a faster speed."

Jurong Island, a self-contained hub offering a plug and play environment at the heart of Singapore s energy and chemicals sector, has successfully attracted investments in excess of USD 35 billion.

For 2011, out of the total USD 13.7 billion in Fixed Asset Investments into Singapore secured by the EDB, USD 2.5 billion (18%) was contributed by this sector.

Investment in Jurong Island
Commenting on the 'investments' in the Jurong Island, Keat said, "In addition to the reclamation of Jurong Island, significant investments are being made into improving the infrastructure for the energy and chemicals industry. Specifically, the Very Large Floating Structure (VLFS) and Jurong Rock Cavern (JRC) are projects helmed by JTC Corporation (JTC), to provide innovative storage solutions to companies on Jurong Island."

The VLFS are a series of seaborne platforms for oil and petrochemical storage. Keat believes that these platforms are expected to provide storage capacity of up to 300,000 cubic metres. "Feasibility studies, as well as other studies such as environmental impact and sea current monitoring have already been completed. Currently, discussions with potential customers on interest levels and a sustainable business model are ongoing," he added.

Keat said, "Phase 1 of the JRC will create 1.47 million cubic metres of storage capacity. A second phase is also being explored, which will potentially double JRC's storage capacity. JRC's first tenant will be Jurong Aromatics Company, whose shareholders include SK Energy and Jiangsu Sanfanxiang."

Jurong Island: A Hub of Oil, Petrochemical and Specialty Chemical Companies
Today, Jurong Island is home to more than 95 oil, petrochemical and specialty chemical companies, undertaking a range of activities across the entire value chain. Highlighting the benefits, Keat said, "The benefit Jurong Island provides to companies has always been due to its high level of integration - companies located on Jurong Island are able to both obtain critical feedstock as well as supply finished products to companies co-located with them on the island."

When asked about the focus under Jurong Island version 2.0 (JI v2.0), Keat said that under JI v2.0, the Singapore government is working closely with industry at a systems level, to optimise valuable resources such as energy, carbon and water. This is especially relevant in today s global resource-constrained environment. For example, one of the projects includes working with a cracker cluster on Jurong Island to identify system level energy and water efficiency projects.

All these developments - the reclamation of Jurong Island, building up the base of companies, as well as moving into JI v2.0, are tremendous progress, especially since the chemicals sector was first identified as a vehicle for Singapore's economic growth only in the 1980s.

In a very short span of time Jurong Islands has become one of the world's largest chemical clusters with the presence of major chemical & petrochemical companies from the globe. Keat commented that in addition to chemical companies' physical manufacturing and R&D presence on Jurong Island, will boost trading activities in future. Petrochina, ChinaOil. Shell, Chevron, BP, Gazprom and ExxonMobil are some of the companies that are already engaged in trading activities in the country.

Keat said, "Singapore is already the price discovery centre for oil products in Asia, as the third largest trading hub in the world after London and New York. The critical mass of traders also facilitates deal making and information exchange. Additionally, Singapore has gained prominence as a trading hub for LNG, with at least 12 global players establishing LNG trading teams here over the past three years."

How SEDB Addressed the Challenges?
Convincing companies to invest in the Island was the major issue, faced during the conceptualisation of the project. According to Keat, "This was because reclamation works had barely begun, and many of the land sites were still under water. The trust companies placed in Singapore then is now evident, with many of the world s largest chemical companies, such as DuPont, ExxonMobil, Mitsui Chemicals, Sumitomo and Vopak all having operations on Jurong Island."

Keat further explains that the authorities had to address very specific challenges from the companies, which already had operations on the island before reclamation. For example to provide ExxonMobil, which had existing operations, a contiguous plot of land next to their cracker on Jurong Island, a stretch of Jurong Island Highway had to be diverted and realigned, together with 17 pipelines and 4 core fibre optic cables. During the diversion and realignment process, JTC worked closely with affected companies to minimise disruption to their business operations on the island.

Skilled Professionals are Key to Success As Singapore s energy and chemicals sector continues to grow, SEDB will ensure right talent within the companies operating in the Island. "Our efforts focus both on graduates from local universities, just entering the industry, as well as continuous training for the 8,000 skilled professionals already in the industry," explained Keat.

Singapore government is determined to cultivate fresh chemical engineers. Keat informed that the government also already invested into a live kerosene splitter for training purposes on Jurong Island. This facility within the Chemical Process Technology Centre (CPTC) provides students the invaluable opportunity to simulate start-up, shutdown, and safety procedures.

"Workforce Development Agency (WDA) works closely with companies on Jurong Island to offer training courses for the existing professionals within the industry," he added.