The Chemical Industry in Singapore is huge, varied and is growing at a fast rate. According to Singapore's Economic Development Board, Singapore is among the top 10 petrochemical hubs in the world. It is a global leader in oil refining and is among the world's top three oil trading locations. Singapore provides a conducive environment to this sector with its available infrastructure and integrated approach. In 2011, the chemical industry accounted for 30% or about S$ 81 billion of Singapore's total manufacturing output. Over 23 thousand workers or 5.7 per cent of the manufacturing workforce is in the chemicals sector. Total exports of chemicals & cemical products for the year 2011 were S$ 64.7 Billion.
Singapore's position as a global chemicals hub has grown in tandem with the extensive development of Jurong Island. The total investment made by almost 100 companies on Jurong Island in 2011 totalled more than S$ 42 billion. The island is an integrated complex housing many of the world's leading energy and chemical companies, among them include BASF, Celanese, Exxonmobil, Dupont, Mitsui Chemicals, Chevron Texaco, Shell and Sumitomo Chemical. New additions like CIBA, Huntsman, Natural Fuel, Nexsol and Tate & Lyle have also set up manufacturing facilities on Jurong Island. The Institute of Chemical and Engineering Sciences (ICES) undertakes world class research programmes in developing new processes and applications for the chemical industry. Jurong Island has been selected by several top 50 Global companies and big names in the industry as the operation base.
Global companies are confident to set up their operations in Singapore because the country is recognized as a world-class energy and chemicals hub, a trusted location for investors to implement their projects successfully, and for having excellent linkage to end markets. To strengthen Singapore's appeal as the choice investment destination for global chemicals companies, the government continues to ensure that the country stays at the forefront of the industry's advancement. Development initiatives focus on enhancing the nation's position as a competitive location for development of petrochemicals, advanced materials as well as speciality chemicals. As Asia becomes an increasingly important consumer of chemicals products, Singapore continues to be a strategic base for companies looking to invest in Asia for the long run.
Further, with the largest of its chemical investments to date, German firm Evonik Industries is investing more than 500 million euro (about S$760 million) in a plant producing amino acid for animal feed. The plant is set to open in the third quarter of 2014 and is expected to create over 200 jobs in engineering and technology. So far, Singapore has earmarked S$16.1 billion between 2011 and 2015 to encourage innovation in research and development. This is also expected to provide support for the chemicals industry.
Also, since the Japanese chemicals giant Mitsui Chemicals first arrived on Singapore's shores over 30 years ago, it has invested over S$900 million S$600 million) to expand its operations in the country in a number of activities ranging from research & development to manufacturing of Elastomers and Phenols.
The Singapore chemical sector, built on the back of its strategic location and proactive government policies, has enjoyed incredible growth in the past few decades and is expected to witness magnificent growth in the coming years.
(Source: Insight Alpha)