SINGAPORE - Evonik Industries AG announced last week the completion of an expansion that nearly doubled capacity at its oil additives factory in Singapore. The Jurong Island facility is now the German companys largest additive plant.
Evoniks new six-story building is located next to its existing plant, on its five-acre site. The company did not disclose the cost of the two-year project, nor the plants total capacity. It did note, however, that the expansion makes the Singapore facility the most modern of its five oil additives plants in the world, and the largest - accounting for 40 percent of its global capacity.
The company said it plans to expand more in the Asia-Pacific region. Asia is one of the most important growth regions, and there is huge growth potential for oil additives in Asia, said Evonik Industries CEO Patrick Wohlhauser.
In 2012, we started an ambitious investment program for which we made 5.5 billion (U.S. $6.1 billion) available, Wolhauser added. About two-thirds of the total amount has been earmarked for growth business - especially in growth regions such as Asia-Pacific. Of the 3.3 billion we have invested around the world in the last three years, almost one third (more than 1.1 billion) went into this region.
This expansion will not be the last one in Asia, said Ralf Dussel, head of business line oil additives. For the mid-term, five-year plan, we are thinking of [building] another facility in Asia.
The Singapore Economic Development Board also attested to the value of Asias lubricants market. Asia-Pacific will be the fastest-growing [lubricants] market, representing 40 percent of global demand, said chairman Beh Swan Gin at Evoniks press conference. With an estimated compound annual growth rate of 2.5 percent, [Asias] lubricants market size is expected to reach U.S. $70 billion by 2020.
Beh reminded attendees that Singapore Lube Park Pte., which is a venture between Shell, Sinopec and Total, will open in nearby Tuas by the end of the year.
Evonik also noted that it will debottleneck and add capacity to the newly inaugurated expansion plant in the coming years. The Singapore plant is currently producing 50 different products, and this will increase by another 15 more in 10 years, as there is an increase in automation and a debottleneck [process carried out] by modifying piping to make the process flow more smoothly, said Peter Moore, of Evonik Oil Additives Asia Pacific Pte.
There is potential to add on, as there is space for expansion, added Plant Manager Thilo Krapfl.
Evoniks Singapore facility, which produces lubricant additives for the global market, also has a technical service center and quality assurance laboratory where new applications for oil additive products are tested and developed. Oil additives are used in finished automotive lubricants and other industrial applications to help improve the performance of engines and transmissions.
Evonik Industries is a German specialty chemicals company with more than 33,000 employees. It has oil additives plants in the United States, Canada, France and Germany. Company sales for 2014 werearound 12.9 billion, with 19 percent contributed by the Asia-Pacific region.