Lubricants

Total to close two older lube blending plants in Singapore by end of 2015

Total Oil Asia Pacific said it will close its two older lube blending plants in Singapore with a combined capacity of 180,000 metric tonnes (MT) by the end of this year, following the opening of its new lube blending plant in Tuas which has a capacity of 310,000 MT.

The two plants, located in Pandan and Pioneer, have around 160 employees combined who will be transferred to the new facility at the Singapore Lube Park in Tuas.

The new plant is touted as super efficient, “producing high volume in a small piece of land.” The lube plant can produce 120,000 litres per hour and 250 drums per hour with fewer people. The new facility will only need 100 workers despite producing 30% more products.

Total executives said the impetus for building the new plant is to expand capacity, having maxed out capacity at its two older plants, as the company is “growing faster than our competitor.”

The French company said 75% of its global lubricant production is sold outside Europe and Asia represents one-third of this volume. It has five main logistics hub, including Singapore. Although global lubricant demand growth is slower than previously expected, “we think it will grow 0.6-0.7% for the next 10 years,” according to Philippe Charleux, Total’s vice president for lubricants.

He said Total is looking at doubling its volume in Asia-Pacific by 2025, by which time Asia-Pacific is expected to represent 40% of the total global lubricants market. “Europe will be less because the market is shrinking even though we are growing in market share.”

Total is ranked number nine in Asia-Pacific, “because there are a lot of national oil companies in Asia-Pacific who are very strong,” said Pai Kok Tan, vice president, Lubricants Marketing and Services Asia Pacific, for Total Oil Asia-Pacific. “Moving forward, we should be on the top of the second tier, positioned between fourth and seventh,” he said.

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