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Shell opens new lubricant plant in Tuas

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New facility is third largest of its kind in the world

Energy giant Royal Dutch Shell has ramped up its investment here with the opening of a high-tech plant in Tuas - about the size of 25 football pitches - that will serve as a springboard for expanding its presence across the region.

For Shell, the facility is the third largest of its kind globally.

It will produce up to 430 million litres (390,000 tonnes) of industrial lubricants and greases a year - enough to change the engine oil of 12,000 cars every hour, every day for a year.

The products that will roll out of the plant to be shipped to more than 40 countries, mainly in the Asia Pacific, include Shell Helix motor oil and the heavy duty engine oil known as Shell Rimula.

The state-of-the art facility replaces the company's plant in Woodlands, which has an annual output of 240,000 tonnes.

Now it will produce 50 per cent more with the same 100-odd staff and contractors as at Woodlands.

Mr Huibert Vigeveno, executive vice-president for Shell global commercial division, said: "It serves as a strategic production hub, and will be the centrepiece of our lubricants supply chain network to reliably supply our world-class lubricants to millions of customers in the region."

The Asia-Pacific region accounts for more than 40 per cent of the global market for finished lubricants.

Shell operates 50 lubricants blending and grease manufacturing plants globally, including 16 in Asia.

Three out of its five base oil plants are also in this region.

The new plant is next to the Singapore Lube Park in Tuas.

This shared-facilities joint venture between Shell, Sinopec and Total has an import-export jetty, pipelines and a 159,000 cubic metre tank farm.

Sinopec opened a $134 million facility, similar to Shell's, on an adjacent site in 2013 with an annual output of up to 100,000 tonnes.

Total launched a $150 million blending plant in 2015.