Total Oil Asia Pacific’s new lubricant blending plant, its largest in the world, located in a reclaimed land in Singapore, was officially launched on 3rd July by Teo Chee Hean, deputy prime minister of Singapore, and top Total executives.
With a capacity of 310,000 metric tonnes per year, using a production area of merely 14,000 square meters (sq. m.), the plant was lauded by Teo for raising productivity by 300%.
“Total has deployed the latest automation technologies in this new plant, to bring about a step change in productivity,” he said. “In the past, five workers were required to operate a filling line that produces 160 drums per hour. Today, automated filling lines only require two workers to produce 250 drums per hour.”
Located in the Singapore Lube Park, the only such park in the world, Total shares tanks and a jetty with two of its competitors, China’s Sinopec and Shell. The state-of-the-art plant boasts many firsts. It is the first two-storey lube blending plant in the world, with the warehouse and the blending facilities on the ground floor, and the filling and packaging lines on the second level. Aided by robots, empty bottles are brought to the second level to be filled, capped, labeled and boxed, and brought down again to the ground floor by another robot to be palletized. Another unique feature of the plant is the use of Automated Guided Vehicles (AGV), which replaced five traditional forklifts, reducing the likelihood of worker injuries. The AGV is the industrial version of the driverless passenger car.
The plant was completed in 19 months, 1.3 million man-hours, with an average of 750 workers a month. The total land area of the plant is 53,018 sq. m. and the total built-up area is 28,500 sq. m., included dedicated tankage and loading stations. Total invested USD 155 million in this plant.
“Singapore was an obvious choice. Its strategic position, its business-friendly policies and its superb logistics infrastructure make it the best location for Total to drive our growth in the entire region,” said Francois Dehodencq, senior vice president of Total Marketing & Services Asia-Pacific.
He said the plant will supply 27 countries in the Asia-Pacific region, and will produce the entire gamut of Total lubricant products, including automotive, industrial and marine.
It will replace Total’s two existing plants in Singapore, located in Pandan and Pioneer, which combined produce 180,000 metric tonnes of products per year. The new plant will boost Total’s regional capacity by 30% and will help Total capture new growth opportunities in the region, which Tan Pai Kok, vice president lubricants, marketing & services Asia-Pacific, placed at around 1.7% per year.