Afton Chemical gets green light to expand new Singapore plant

Richmond, Va., U.S.A.-based global additive manufacturer Afton Chemical Corp. has received approval from parent NewMarket Corp. to begin construction of the new second phase of its petroleum additive manufacturing plant on Jurong Island, Singapore. The construction of the first phase of the plant, which was  announced in July, 2012, is scheduled to be completed by the end of this year. The second phase, which includes the construction of additional component production units will more than double Afton’s investment on Jurong Island for a total of approximately SGD 400 million (USD 285 million). This new phase is scheduled to be completed in 2017.

“Our Asia Pacific customers have unique sets of challenges that require unique solutions. This investment will allow us to fulfill our vision of making customized solutions for the region in the region,” said Rob Shama, president, Afton Chemical.

“This additional capacity in combination with our new R&D center and expanding team makes it easier to deliver our promise of giving our customers a competitive advantage in their markets.”

Upon completion of this investment, Afton will own and operate regional manufacturing in Suzhou, China and Jurong Island, Singapore. In addition, Afton has technical centers in Tsukuba, Japan and Suzhou, China and commercial offices in Tokyo, Japan; Beijing, China; Guangzhou, China; Seoul, South Korea; Sydney, Australia; Bangkok, Thailand; and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Afton maintains its regional headquarters in Singapore.

“The Singapore location provides a great central location to serve the broader ASEAN region with access to China and the Middle East for customer supply,” said Gina Harm, vice president, supply. “This is a significant investment, which is a key component of our long-range plan to improve our business continuity plan and security of supply for all of our customers, particularly our global and multinational customers,” she said.

“After the completion of these two phases, the plant will have full capability to produce all of the engine oil additives we need for the APAC region and will be scalable to allow Afton to grow as demand warrants. Longer term, additional units, such as specialty dispersants, may be added to produce other petroleum additive products in line with market and our customer’s needs,” she said.

“Afton’s decision to construct a second phase of their new chemical additive manufacturing facility in Singapore reinforces our value as a strategic base for companies to chart their regional growth,” said Cindy Koh, director, energy & chemicals, of Singapore’s Economic Development Board. “Asia’s industrialization and its booming demand for automotives have made it the fastest-growing regional engine oil additives market in the world, and we will continue to grow this market as a key vertical within the higher value-added specialty chemicals sector.”