Infineum Expands Singapore Plant


SINGAPORE – Infineum unveiled a major expansion at its plant here Wednesday, and the chemical additive company said it is already planning additional capital investments in Asia.

The U.S. $150 million project inaugurated last week included construction of the companys first salicylate plant outside Europe. Salicylates are used as detergents in engine oils and other lubricants.

This is only the first of many such initiatives in this region, which is our prime focus for growth, said Xavier le Mintier, chief executive officer of Infineum International Ltd.

Officials declined to reveal details about future initiatives, but they did indicate that room remains for further expansion at the site here. We want to grow in this region, and there is still enough space [at the Singapore site] for expansion, said Xavier Leleux, Infineum venture manager. There is absolute optimization of the facility design by building upwards. The new facility is up to five or six stories high, so space on the ground is optimized. Total area of the new plant is about 2,000 square meters.

The company also declined to quantify the size of its business in Asia, butExecutive Vice President Trevor Russell said in a press briefing, We have met the existing needs, and there is enough to meet growing needs. Industry global demand growth is about 2 percent [annually], but in Asia growth is higher than average, with the top-tier engine oils growing faster than the average of Asia.

Located on Jurong Island, the Singapore plant will become part of Infineums global supply chain for salicylates. The plant, which started operating last month, gets the bulk of its feedstock from ExxonMobil and olefins from Qatar.It makes calcium salicylates that Infineum uses in top-tier passenger car lubricants, heavy-duty automotive applications and in four-stroke marine oils for container ships.

S. Iswaran, a minister of the Prime Ministers Office, attended the ceremony and noted that Jurong Island hosts regional manufacturing facilities of the globes top four lubricant additive suppliers, including Infineum, Lubrizol Corp., Chevron Oronite and Afton Chemical Co. The Chevron Oronite and Afton plants are also undergoing expansions.