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31 January 2013
Tallest xylene splitter installed at Jurong Aromatics Corporation

 

31 JAN 2013 – Jurong Aromatics Corporation (JAC) successfully installed the Tallest Xylene Splitter at their US$2.4 billion aromatics project at Jurong Island.

The Xylene Splitter is designed for extracting xylene for the manufacturing of aromatics. The most important aromatics product is paraxylene which is a raw material used for the production of fabric and plastic bottles. Designed and built in Korea, the Xylene Splitter is 108 metres in height, 1,147 tonnes in weight and has a diameter of 8.0 metres. The Xylene Splitter is approximately the height of Shaw Centre building in 1 Scotts Road. Owing to the size of the splitter, it took 6,500 tonnes of water to conduct the hydro test and 12 hours to travel 6 kilometers to JAC facility by SPTV (Self-Propelled Transport Vehicles) after arriving on Jurong Island.

“The Xylene Splitter is one of the tallest, if not the tallest, fractionation column in the Singapore petrochemical industry. This event is an important milestone for JAC, as we move our construction progress beyond the 60% mark. More significantly, it is a reflection of the diligent effort and good co-operation among the owner and the contractor teams,” said Mr. Simon Lam, CEO of JAC.

JAC is scheduled to start-up in Q2 2014 and will be a world scale aromatics plant. The plant will produce 1.5 million tonnes of aromatics – comprising 800,000 tonnes of paraxylene, 200,000 tonnes of orthoxylene and 450,000 tonnes of benzene to meet the strong demand for aromatics in Asia.

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In the News

Media
3 September 2014
JAC starts up in August 2014

Refinery: Jurong Aromatics, Singapore
Owners: Jurong Aromatics Corp. and shareholders
Overall capacity (b/d): 100,000 condensate feedstock

Units affected: New petrochemicals complex
Unit capacities: Aromatics capacity

Paraxylene 800,000 mt/year
Benzene 438,000 mt/year
Orthoxylene 200,000 mt/year

Petroleum products capacity:

Jet fuel 783,000 mt/year
Light naphtha 647,000 mt/year
Diesel 662,000 mt/year
Propane/Butane (LPG) 283,000 mt/year
Fuel oil 35,000 mt/year
Pure hydrogen 46,000 mt/year
Heavy aromatics 18,000 mt/year

Duration: Startup was in August 2014

Notes: JAC began the startup of its $2.4 billion condensate-based aromatics plant on Singapore’s Jurong Island in August, a source with knowledge of the matter said Thursday.

“Startup has happened in August, it is progressing well as planned,” the source said.

About 11 companies will offtake 100% of JAC’s production when it becomes fully operational, and the agreements will last for about seven years, Platts reported in 2011 quoting JAC CEO Mehdi Adib.

Among the 11 are BP, Glencore International, South Korea’s SK International Investment Singapore and China’s Sanhai International Development Co. Ltd., Platts reported then.

As a result of the offtake deals, JAC will not have any spot cargoes to offer. The company will use condensate provided by SK Energy, BP and Glencore, Platts reported earlier. The expected feedstock consumption is about 100,000 b/d, with 50,000 b/d to be provided by BP and 25,000 b/d each from SK Energy and Glencore. The feedstock will primarily come from Australia and the Middle East.

The JAC shareholding structure is: SK International Investment (30%), Sanhai (25%), Houston-based Arovin (10.5%), Glencore International (10%), Shefford Investments (9.5%), UVM Investment (5.1%), Singapore’s EDB Investments (5%)and Essar Projects (India) (4.9%).

Source: Source with knowledge of the matter
–Daniel Colover, daniel.colover@platts.com

Reproduction with permission from Platts

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28 July 2014
The Straits Times: Challenge of attracting ‘pioneers’ to a start-up

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The Executive Seat explores human resource issues, corporate management and hiring. This week, Rachael Boon speaks to Pwee Bun Min, head of human resources at Jurong Aromatics Corporation.

AS THE new kid on the block, Jurong Aromatics Corporation (JAC) needed the right HR strategies and policies to attract talent.

The privately held firm that makes aromatics and oil products has an upcoming plant on Jurong Island that will produce 1.5 million tonnes of aromatics and 2.5 million tonnes of transportation fuel a year.

Mr Pwee Bun Min, 41, JAC’s HR head, decided to appeal to potential staff by promoting the idea that working at a start-up would be an attractive job experience.

His efforts paid off, with headcount growing from 45 employees in 2011 to 220 today. Mr Pwee, who has 18 years of experience in HR, honed his craft in major companies such as Chevron Oronite and Nokia Siemens Networks.

What drew you to HR?

I was thinking of a career when I was in university, and I talked to my older sister, a HR professional, to find out more. She said she liaises with people, helps them address issues and I thought it sounded interesting. I’m an extrovert and like talking to and interacting with people, so I thought it’d be the career for me.

How did your people skills come in handy in life?

I was in the National Police Cadet Corps in secondary school and was the best unit cadet. In my pre-university days, I was a co-opted councillor. The tutor said my classmates picked me for that role, and I was involved in programmes like orientation.

In the army, I was also selected to be an officer and was the second person in-charge of the company.

During my reservist stint, I was assigned to the applied behavioural sciences department. It was a unit run by psychologists, where they assess recruits to see if they are suitable for officer cadet school, for example.

There I was, as an officer assessor, trying to see if recruits could be future leaders and subsequently, I was promoted to captain and lead assessor, which is very much like my job today.

You’ve had 18 years experience, with time at Chevron Oronite from 1998 to 2007. How did that shape your HR career?

That was probably a changing point in my career. It’s a huge American multinational and an established player in the energy sector. You are exposed to how a multinational functions and to good HR practices; how they roll out programmes and policies.

I was given the opportunity to revamp the recruitment selection process to make it more robust.

We (as a team) added things such as a behavioural structured interview process, where you’re trying to understand a person’s past behaviours. That’s the best indicator of how a person would behave in any circumstance, as all of us are creatures of habit.

We also introduced things like computer-based simulation training to assess a person in competencies like multitasking and to see how a person reacts under stress.

For example, the operation technician needs to address issues that pop up on the console or computer screen that shows different parts of the plant.

What have you brought to JAC as its HR head?

JAC is a new greenfield start-up so we didn’t have a parent company to pass down corporate policies.

I brought the knowledge that I have from being in Chevron and Nokia Siemens to explore what policies are suitable for this company, and how to partner the business in running the company.

HR has evolved from being the personnel department that just does the payroll, to doing consulting work. You have to understand the business and how to support it with solutions.

What is your strategy for JAC?

It needs to be aligned with the company’s strategy. One of our goals in 2011 was to start up the facility this year and we needed to hire talent to support this.

We understand the labour market conditions of this industry, which is very tight as every company is vying for the same pool of people. So we defined and established a very strong compensation philosophy and benefits structure.

With this attractive package, we can hire the right people to support the company’s growth.

For example, the leave system is a bit different. We take into account your past working experiences even if it’s not relevant to the company and give you a higher leave entitlement. Why should we discount a person’s career when they’ve worked for so long?

We also offer comprehensive medical insurance coverage, not just for the employee, which is common, but also for the immediate family members. Coverage is at no cost to the employee.

I’ve an employee with seven kids, and he was very happy when we told him.

And it may be simple, but we provide lunch for our staff at the plant every day, including the weekend. These are some of the things we do because we are focused on people.

How do you hire?

We were thinking how to attract people in such a way that they would even want to send their resume to us, because we’re a new company, unlike a multinational.

We are a greenfield start-up, and what that means is that we’re building a plant from scratch. Not many people have this experience, and to have such an experience is valuable. You’re going to be pioneers of the company, you will know what you need to do to set up a company, its processes and see the plant coming to completion.

So we decided to focus on that and broadcast messages with words like “pioneer” to indicate that people who join us are going to be pioneers of a greenfield start-up, through full-page colour job ads and media interviews.

I was surprised by the number of applicants as we are not a big company and it showed our strategy worked, because many told us they wanted to be in a start-up.

CHANGING ROLE

HR has evolved from being the personnel department that just does the payroll, to doing consulting work. You have to understand the business and how to support it with solutions.

– Mr Pwee Bun Min
Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission.

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20 May 2014
Business Times: Jurong Aromatics complex set to start up soon: chief exec

[SINGAPORE] With project construction practically wrapped up, the US$2.4 billion Jurong Aromatics Corporation (JAC), Singapore’s newest integrated refinery/aromatics complex, is set to start up anytime now.

JAC’s chief executive officer, Dai Yu, disclosed in a message on the corporation’s newly established website that “our baseline schedule set at the commencement of the project in 2011 is to start up in August 2014. However, we have been targeting to start up earlier and I am pleased to see it is happening soon.”

“We have achieved operational readiness and are fully geared for start-up and commercial operations,” he added. This includes staffing, where JAC is now at full strength, with all departments working together seamlessly, and employees well-trained for their roles, he said.

Located on a 58-hectare site on Jurong Island, the JAC complex includes a 100,000-barrels-per-day condensate splitter which – unlike an oil refinery processing crude oil – will process natural gas condensates from the Middle East into naphtha for its main aromatics complex.

The complex’s “main value driver” will be its production of 1.5 million tonnes per annum of aromatics, comprising 800,000 tonnes of paraxylene, 438,000 tonnes of benzene and 200,000 tonnes of orthoxylene. The aromatics have a wide range of applications across myriad industries which include textiles and clothing, construction, tyres, sports equipment and plastics.

“Demand for these aromatics products, which are key raw materials used in a wide range of end applications, is steadily increasing, particularly in China and India,” JAC said.

Other high-value products co-produced in the process include jet fuel, ultra-low sulphur diesel, light naphtha, liquefied petroleum gas, hydrogen and fuel oil. When the plant is fully operational, a total of 2.5 million tonnes of petroleum products will be produced each year.

JAC’s start-up will also trigger the first-time use of the $1.7 billion Jurong Rock Cavern, as the aromatics complex is the first customer for the underground oil storage. It will occupy most of JRC’s first two caverns of 480,000 cubic metres.

Despite the challenging times, what has supported the project is that JAC is practically “underwritten” by its eight shareholders, made up of international feedstock suppliers, petrochemical product offtakers, trade and financial investors, as well as the Singapore government.

These are SK Group, Jiangsu Sanfangxiang Group, Arovin of Vinmar Group, Glencore, Shefford Investments, UVM, EDB Investments and Essar Group.

“Our portfolio of suppliers and offtakers are reputable industry players with established track records and solid credit ratings. Most importantly, our condensate suppliers are also significant product offtakers. This alignment of interests amongst the stakeholders provides additional security of feedstock supply.”

“All of JAC’s supply and offtake volumes have been contracted on long-term agreements, thereby ensuring the company’s long term viability,” JAC said.

Source: The Business Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission.

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30 April 2014
Platts: Jurong Aromatics Complex on track for August 2014 start-up

Refinery: Jurong Aromatics, Singapore
Owners: Jurong Aromatics Corp., or JAC, and shareholders
Overall capacity (b/d): 100,000 condensate feedstock

Units affected: New petrochemicals complex

Unit capacities: Aromatics capacity
Paraxylene 800,000 mt/year
Benzene 438,000 mt/year
Orthoxylene 200,000 mt/year

Petroleum products capacity:

Jet fuelLight 783,000 mt/year
Light naphtha 647,000 mt/year
Diesel 662,000 mt/year
Propane/Butane (LPG) 283,000 mt/year
Fuel oil 35,000 mt/year
Pure hydrogen 46,000 mt/year
Heavy aromatics 18,000 mt/year

Duration: New complex to startup August 2014

Notes: JAC, which is building the $2.4 billion condensate-based aromatics plant on Singapore’s Jurong Island, is on track to startup in August 2014, a JAC spokesman said in an e-mail Wednesday.

“Jurong Aromatics Corporation is on track. Since we commenced construction of the $2.4 billion complex in 2011, our baseline schedule is to start-up in August 2014,” the spokesman said.

“We are working hard to start-up earlier and this important milestone is just around the corner,” he added.

About 11 companies will offtake 100% of JAC’s production when it becomes fully operational, and the agreements will last for about seven years, Platts had reported in 2011 quoting JAC’s chief executive officer Mehdi Adib.

Among the 11 are BP, Glencore International, South Korea’s SK International Investment Singapore and China’s Sanhai International Development Co. Ltd., the report had said then.

As a result of the offtake deals, JAC will not have any spot cargoes to offer. The company will use condensate provided by SK Energy, BP and Glencore, Platts had reported. The expected feedstock consumption is about 100,000 b/d, with 50,000 b/d to be provided by BP and 25,000 b/d each from SK Energy and Glencore. The feedstock will primarily come from Australia and the Middle East.

The JAC shareholding structure is: SKII (30%), Sanhai (25%), Houston-based Arovin (10.5%), Glencore International (10%), Shefford Investments (9.5%), UVM Investment (5.1%), Singapore’s EDB Investments (5%) and Essar Projects (India) (4.9%).

Source: JAC spokesman

–Daniel Colover, daniel.colover@platts.com–Edited by Haripriya Banerjee, haripriya.banerjee@platts.com

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29 January 2014
Business Times: Jurong Aromatics complex to start up ahead of schedule

JURONG Aromatics Corporation’s (JAC) US$2.4 billion, integrated refinery/aromatics complex is set to start up in May/June, a couple of months ahead of schedule, BT understands.

“Prices are still holding,” a market observer noted. “But demand (for its petrochemicals and oil products) has to come from Asia, especially China. And the question is whether this will pick up or just maintain.”

The JAC project will be the latest major plant to come up on Jurong Island, adding to the integrated mega refinery/petrochemical complexes of ExxonMobil and Shell, the Singapore Refining Company refinery and Petrochemical Corporation of Singapore’s complex.

It comprises a 100,000-110,000 barrel-per-day condensate splitter, which is essentially a refinery that processes natural gas condensates instead of crude oil, and which will supply the main aromatics complex with the necessary raw materials.

The JAC complex proper will produce 1.5 million tonnes per annum (tpa) of aromatics such as paraxylene and benzene, and 2.5 million tpa of transportation fuels, including jet fuel, ultra-low sulphur diesel and fuel oil.

Despite the still-cloudy market outlook, one big positive is that JAC’s production is “underwritten” by its shareholders, who are also buyers of its products. The latter include BP Singapore – which has a US$10 billion plus deal with JAC to supply feedstock and also take some of its products – SK Energy, Swiss commodity giant Glencore and Chinese polyester producer Jiangsu Sanfangxiang.

The condensate raw materials, which will mainly come from the Middle East, will be sourced by the shareholders, sources said.

While JAC has done some preliminary planning on expanding the project, its focus now will be to commission the plant.

“The future plan is to debottleneck the complex to boost output by some 15-20 per cent,” a source said. “This will cover some additional plants needed, plus also what the market wants.”
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When it starts production, JAC will be the pioneer customer of the underground Jurong Rock Cavern storage, taking up almost all of the 480,000 cubic metres provided by JRC’s first two caverns.

Source: The Business Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission.

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16 March 2013
The Straits Times: Focus On People

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JAC encourages personal growth and career development with a team-oriented culture, says Mr Kim

Chemical engineer I J Kim gets room to grow, learn and hone his skills in Jurong Aromatics Corporation

AFTER graduating as a chemical engineer, Mr I J Kim, 53, started his career as a project engineer working in the process design and operations technical services in SK Energy, Ulsan, South Korea, which belongs to South Korea’s SK Group – Korea’s largest oil refinery.

His love for his job — one that requires him to look into the details to ensure the safe and smooth operation of an oil manufacturing plant – led him to Singapore to take up his latest role as the Chief Manufacturing Officer of Jurong Aromatics Corporation (JAC).

Mr Kim says: “As an engineer, it is always exciting to take on new projects from which I will get to gain new knowledge, experience new technologies, meet new colleagues and boost my knowledge and experience to another level.’’

Other than overseeing the overall operations of JAC’s manufacturing plant, he also ensures that all safety procedures are correctly and accurately followed, and production goals are achieved.

JAC is a new start-up private company that manufactures aromatics and oil products on its Jurong Island plant. Its shareholders include SK Group, Jiangsu Sanfangxiang Group, Glencore, Arovin of Vinmar Group, Shefford Investments, UVM, EDBi and ESSAR Group.

JAC aims to be a cost effective producer of petrochemical and petroleum products through the efficient design and operation of a safe, reliable, and environmentally sound facility that would meet their customers and shareholders‘ expectations and motivate their employees.

Says Mr Kim: “We will produce around 1. 5 million tonnes of aromatics and 2. 5 million tonnes of oil products when the plant starts operating. At present, we have recruited most of the people required for the company and they are mainly for the technical, operations, engineering, maintenance and corporate functions.’’

Nurturing new hires

Being a new start-up and to stay ahead of competition, JAC believes in the need to create a strong culture of its own, to be shared and aligned by all. Hence, it wants to create an environment that is people focused, and with values of trust, respect and team work, that will encourage all employees to grow to their maximum potential. In the same vein, JAC encourages personal growth and career development with a culture that is team oriented — something Mr Kim who joined JAC a year ago, can attest to. Says Mr Kim: “We are focused on delivering real measurable results while still maintaining a friendly and respectful work environment. My job allows me to work both by myself and with others to achieve the end results.’’
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“Being self-motivated, I am interested in working in an atmosphere like JAC where I can continuously learn new things and improve my skills. This allows me to grow within the organisation,’’ he says.

JAC provides appropriate training programmes for all new employees. For instance, new technicians get to undergo training in an overseas “live” process plant which is similar to the one JAC is building.

“We benefited from lessons learnt during this tralning which provided a good learning experience for our new technicians,’’ he says.

Becoming the biggest

On the future challenges that JAC may face, Mr Kim says: “JAC is a new opportunity and venture, and it will be one of the biggest aromatics plants.

“Being the biggest, the actual operations and equipment requirements will differ from existing operating plants which are designed and built on a smaller scale.’’

Other challenges concern human capital. “We have people from different culture, nationality and values. To steer and move all of them towards one goal, one company and one culture, is going to be exciting,’’ he says.

With the world class oil and petrochemical hub being developed on Jurong Island, career opportunities for technical skills look set to grow and be broadened to encompass a much wider field of petrochemicals and fine chemicals.

Being a new start-up, JAC will offer plenty of career opportunities within the organisation, especially positions for the operations of the plant. To excel in JAC, one needs to possess a pioneering spirit, one who believes that he or she can achieve and deliver, says Mr Kim.

Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission.

 

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5 February 2013
The Straits Times: Giant structure goes up on Jurong Island

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The 108m tall xylene splitter weighs 1,147 tonnes with an 8m diameter. It has been installed at Jurong Aromatics Corporation’s US$2.4 billion aromatics project on Jurong Island.

A NEW towering structure is dominating the Jurong Island skyline.

The 108m tall xylene splitter, used in the petrochemicals industry, was installed by the Jurong Aromatics Corporation at its US$2.4 billion (S$3 billion) aromatics project on Jurong Island last Friday.

Believed to be among the tallest structures on Jurong Island, the Korea-built splitter weighs 1,147 tonnes with an 8m diameter.

It is designed to extract xylene for the manufacturing of aromatics. The most important aromatics product is paraxylene, a raw material used to make fabric as well as plastic bottles. Owing to the size of the splitter, it took 12 hours to travel 6km to the facility by self-propelled transport vehicles after arriving on Jurong Island.

“The xylene splitter is one of the tallest, if not the tallest, fractionation column in the Singapore petrochemicals industry,” said Jurong Aromatics chief executive Simon Lam.

“This event is an important milestone for (us), as we move our construction progress beyond the 60 per cent mark.”

The complex is set to start-up in the second quarter of next year, and will be a world-scale aromatics plant.

It will produce about 1.5 million tonnes of aromatics – comprising 800,000 tonnes of paraxylene, 200,000 tonnes of orthoxylene and 450,000 tonnes of benzene – to meet the strong demand for aromatics in Asia.

Jurong Aromatics is a privately held business with interest in manufacturing and sales of aromatics and oil products.

Its shareholders include SK Group, Jiangsu Sanfangxiang Group, Glencore, Arovin of Vinmar Group, Shefford Investments, UVM, EDB International and ESSAR Group.

Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission.

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17 January 2013
The Business Times: Jurong Aromatics eyes output boost

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Mr Lam: JAC recruited some of its operators/engineers from the Philippines and M’sia to avoid straining the tight market here.

Paraxylene yield at US$2.4b complex, under construction, may rise 15-20%

JURONG Aromatics Corporation (JAC) – which is more than midway through building its US$2.4 billion aromatics complex on Jurong Island – is already mulling an expansion project to boost its paraxylene output amid strong demand for the raw material from countries such as China and South Korea, its CEO, Simon Lam, told BT.

“We are looking into the possibility of boosting JAC’s output of 800,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) of paraxylene by another 15 to 20 per cent,” he said, adding that JAC is exploring some project ideas, as well as availability of feedstock. But as it is still preliminary, there are no cost estimates for the expansion at this point.

Mr Lam – who was previously Shell Singapore chairman – said that the expansion plan follows strong North-east Asian demand for paraxylene, which is a raw material used for end-products such as clothing fibre and plastic bottles.

But his priority is still to complete the initial JAC project, which is designed to produce 1.5 million tpa of aromatics such as paraxylene and benzene, and 2.5 million tpa of transport fuels including jet fuel, ultra-low sulphur diesel and fuel oil.

Following the initial groundbreaking in late August 2011, some 16 months ago, “the project is now 75 per cent complete in total, with construction work 56 per cent done”, he said. This puts it well ahead of its original schedule, with the complex now set for completion in Q1 next year, with start up in Q2, 2014.
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As part of the construction, JAC next week will install the project’s, as well as the Singapore petrochemical industry’s, tallest-ever fractionation column, measuring some 108 metres, with the South Korean-fabricated column specially designed for extracting xylene in the manufacturing process.

On the manpower front, JAC last weekend also conducted another recruitment exercise for what Mr Lam described as the final batch of personnel it needs – with positions ranging from financial analysts to lab technicians.

“We already have most of the 240-290 people required, comprising mainly plant engineers and operators, having recruited them last year, and these are the final 20 or so positions remaining,” he said.

To avoid straining the already tight market here, JAC went to the Philippines and Malaysia to recruit some of its operator/engineers, Mr Lam added.

When JAC starts up, it will be the third aromatics complex here, after two smaller ones operated by ExxonMobil.

Its stakeholders include BP Singapore – which has a US$10 billion-plus deal with JAC to supply feedstock and also take some of JAC’s end-products, SK Energy (with a 30 per cent JAC stake) and Swiss commodity giant Glencore (10 per cent). Another stakeholder, Chinese polyester producer Jiangu Sanfanxiang (with 25 per cent), is also a potential customer.

‘We already have most of the 240-290 people required, comprising mainly plant engineers and operators, having recruited them last year.’

Source: The Business Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission.

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14 July 2012
The Straits Times: A Brighter Tomorrow

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Mr Lam’s company JAC, which manufactures aromatics and oil products, is building a world-class US$2.4 billion aromatics complex on Jurong Island.

The petrochemical industry brims with opportunities as new players like Jurong Aromatics Corporation gear up for operations

SINGAPORE’S success story in the oil and gas industry began with a slew of investments in oil refining starting from the early 1970s. This led to a flurry of investments in the area of petrochemicals that fuelled the development of a world-class oil and petrochemical hub in Jurong.

These developments mean new opportunities will continuously surface, and the level of technical skill set be broadened to a much wider field of petrochemicals and fine chemicals, according to Mr Simon Lam, CEO of Jurong Aromatics Corporation (JAC).

JAC, a private company that manufactures aromatics and oil products, is building a world-class US$2.4 billion (S$3 billion) aromatics complex on Jurong Island. Its stakeholders include industry players from Asia, Europe and North America.

On completion in early 2014, the complex will process each year 4.5 million tonnes of condensate feedstock to produce 1.44 million tonnes of aromatics — comprising 800 kilotonnes of paraxylene, 200 kilotonnes of orthoxylene and 400 kilotonnes of benzene.

In addition, it will produce 2.47 million tonnes of oil products. JAC will also be the first company in Singapore to use the Jurong Rock Cavern to store its feedstock underground.

Armed with extensive experience in the petrochemicals industry, Mr Lam joined JAC early this year after its former CEO retired. Formerly the chairman of Shell Singapore and manufacturing director of Shell Eastern Petroleum, he had led the development of two of Shell’s petrochemical complexes — one in Nanhai, China and the recently completed Shell Eastern Petrochemical Complex in Singapore.

“We aim to be a cost-effective producer of petrochemical and petroleum products through efficient design and operation of a safe, reliable, and environmentally sound facility that will meet our customers, and stakeholders’ expectations and motivate our employees,” explains Mr Lam.

As a new start-up, JAC offers plenty of career opportunities within the organisation with roles across all functions — HR, IT, finance, operations, maintenance and technical.
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In fact, JAC is ramping up its recruitment to employ more than 200 staff at the plant and head office. It is currently recruiting positions mainly for its plant operations such as engineering manager, process engineers, laboratory manager, maintenance management engineer, safety specialist, operations technician, board operators — to boost its current staff strength of about 70 employees.

“We are looking for people with the unique qualities of being talented and innovative, possess a pioneering spirit and who believe they can,’’ says Mr Lam.

“Operating a new world-scale petrochemical production facility to a high standard of efficiency and reliability requires a deep understanding of its design and compliance with sound operating procedures,” notes Mr Lam when asked about the challenges ahead.

Hence, the candidate should possess “a strong sense of diligence and quality awareness. Beyond this, we will continuously seek improvements to our business and best practices, for which an innovative attitude is key to our success,’’ he says.

The appropriate training will be provided to all new employees who join the company. “In some cases, it will include overseas training in a similar “live” manufacturing plant. Beyond the start-up, training and development will continue to be an important part of the growth of our staff,’’ assures Mr Lam.

Still, workers can look forward to being part of the team to build up a strong company culture at JAC.

“Being a new start-up, and to be able to stay ahead of competition, we believe in the need to create a strong culture of our own, to be shared and aligned by all. We want to create an environment which is people-focused, and with values of trust, respect and team work — one that will encourage all employees to grow to their maximum potential,” says Mr Lam.

Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission.

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27 August 2011
The Straits Times: $3 billion in advance orders in upcoming plant

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Joining Minister for Trade and Industry Lim Hng Kiang (centre) at the ground-breaking ceremony of Jurong Aromatics Corporation (JAC) are (from left) ChemOne Holdings chief operating officer Ng Sik Suan, Dr Beh Swan Gin, SK Global Chemical chief Cha Hwa Youp, South Korean Ambassador Oh Joon, Mr Mehdi Adib, ChemOne vice-chairman M.Y. Ling, JTC Corp chief Manohar Khiatani and Export-Import Bank of Korea executive director Sul Young Whan

Jurong plant to reinforce nation’s status as major aromatics producer

AN AROMATICS plant being built on Jurong Island has racked up orders of US$2.2 billion (S$2.7 billion) even before starting production.

Aromatics are hydrocarbons that form the base material for a range of consumer items used in medicine, cosmetics, transport and telecommunications.

The $2.9 billion plant, which is owned by Jurong Aromatics Corporation (JAC), will also make petroleum products once production begins in late 2014.

The facility will be able to produce 1.5 million tonnes of aromatics a year. Paraxylene, used to make polyester and plastic bottles, will account for 800,000 tonnes.

JAC chief Mehdi Adib said at the ground-breaking ceremony yesterday that five stakeholders had signed deals to buy the plant’s output for at least seven years. The five are South Korea’s SK Energy, China-based Jiangsu Sanfangxiang, Swiss commodities player Glencore, BP and Vinmar from the United States.

Other shareholders in the Jurong Island facility include international feedstock suppliers and petrochemical product buyers, which Mr Adib said would “give our business a coat of insurance even before it’s up and running”.

Trade and Industry Minister Lim Hng Kiang said at yesterday’s ceremony that paraxylene demand in Asia is “strong and growing”, and that “Asia alone accounts for more than two-thirds of the global demand for paraxylene”.

He also noted that the new plant would reinforce Singapore’s status as a major aromatics producer.

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The Economic Development Board’s investment arm, EDB Investments, has a 5 per cent stake in JAC. EDB managing director Beh Swan Gin said the plant “reinforces Singapore’s attractiveness as a trusted location for regional and international energy and chemicals players”.

Jurong Island was chosen after JAC’s development team had “scoured various other locations in the region”, Mr Adib said. “From my 40 years of global experience in the petrochemical industry… Jurong Island was unbeatable,” he noted.

JAC will be the first tenant of the Jurong Rock Caverns (JRC) being built beneath the seabed of Banyan Basin to increase underground oil storage capacity at Jurong Island. JRC will offer nearly 1.5 million cubic metres of storage space.

JTC Corp director Heah Soon Poh said JAC would take up at least a fifth of the space provided there. JAC will use it to store condensate feedstock.

Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission.

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27 August 2011
The Business Times:Viability of JAC plant well assured

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Mr Lim Hng Kiang (fifth from right), Minister for Trade and Industry, flanked by other VIPs at the groundbreaking ceremony of the Jurong Aromatics Corporation’s US$2.4 billion aromatics complex on Jurong Island on 26 August 2011. The VIPs are (from left) Mr Ng Sik Suan, Chief Operating Officer, ChemOne Holdings Pte Ltd; Dr Beh Swan Gin, Managing Director, Singapore Economic Development Board; Mr Cha Hwa Youp, CEO, SK Global Chemical; H.E. Mr Oh Joon, Ambassador, Republic of Korea; ; Mr Mehdi Adib, CEO, Jurong Aromatics Corporation Pte Ltd; Mr M.Y. Ling, Vice Chairman, ChemOne Holdings Pte Ltd; Mr Manohar Khiatani, CEO, JTC Corporation; and Mr Sul Young Whan, Executive Director, Export-Import Bank of Korea (KEXIM).

WITH an annual US$2.2 billion worth of offtake contracts for the next seven years already in the bag, the viability of Jurong Aromatics Corporation’s US$2.4 billion aromatics complex is well assured “even before it’s up and running”, says its CEO, Mehdi Adib.

Speaking to the media before the groundbreaking of the complex on Jurong Island yesterday, Mr Adib said that this happy situation is a result of the buyers of the complex’s aromatics and transportation fuels being also its stakeholders.

They include major players such as BP, South Korea’s SK Group and Swiss commodity giant Glencore. And as MY Ling, vice-chairman of ChemOne Holdings, one of the project’s founding shareholders, put it: As most of the suppliers and offtakers have a stake in JAC, “this enhances the alignment of interests between the parties and ensures the plant’s long-term viability”.

So “it’s all go for the project”, Mr Adib said, adding that JAC – earlier delayed by the 2008 global financial crisis – is talking to its contractors to try to speed up the project, “so that we can get to market earlier”.

JAC’s aromatics complex comprises a 100,000 barrel per day condensate splitter which will distil gas condensates from Australia and the Middle East into aromatics and transportation fuels, such as jet fuel, low-sulphur petrol and fuel oil.

With a production capacity of 1.5 million tonnes per annum of aromatics – comprising 800,000 tpa of paraxylene, 200,000 tpa of orthoxylene and 450,000 tonnes of benzene – it will be one of the biggest aromatics plants when it starts commercial operations in October 2014.

Asked if JAC was already thinking of project expansion given its healthy order book, Mr Adib said that “petrochemical companies need to continuously grow and expand . . . it’s part of our business”.

The current project will take up the entire 50 hectares of land that JAC had been given at Banyan sector, “although JTC plans to expand the land adjacent to the area, and hopefully we can get some (for expansion purposes) when that happens”, he added.

Mr Adib said that although its stakeholders come from different countries, the decision to invest in Jurong Island – with its competitive advantages and superb infrastructure – was unanimous, after it had earlier scouted other regional sites such as China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and South Korea for the Asian market-focused plant.

“The aromatics market is continuously growing”, especially in China and India, he said, when asked about the market outlook.

Trade & Industry Minister Lim Hng Kiang, who officiated at yesterday’s groundbreaking, also offered a similar view, when he said that despite the global economic outlook becoming more uncertain due to the crisis in Europe and the US, “on the other hand, growth prospects for Asia remain promising”.

“The strong demand for aromatics in Asia is a clear example of Asia’s growing needs. Asia alone accounts for more than two-thirds of the global demand for paraxylene,” he added. The latter is due to the migration of polyester fibre production from the West to Asia, especially China, and rising demand for the aromatics to produce plastic bottles and synthetic fibres

Source: The Business Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission.

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27 August 2011
联合早报: 裕廊芳烃集团裕廊岛24亿美元工厂动土

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2011年8月26日,裕廊芳烃集团(Jurong Aromatics Corporation,简称JAC)在裕廊岛的工厂举行动土仪式。贸工部长林勋强(前排左五)与各位贵宾一齐为工厂主持动土仪式。左四为韩国驻新加坡大使吴俊,左六为裕廊芳烃集团首席执行员迈赫迪・阿迪布。

裕廊芳烃集团 (Jurong Aromatics Corporation,简称JAC) 在我国裕廊岛的24亿美元(29亿新元)工厂,昨日举行动土仪式。

这个遭遇2008年金融危机影响而延迟兴建的世界最大芳烃厂,后来还因融资短缺而再次延后至今年下半年兴建。不过,裕廊芳烃集团昨日在该厂动土仪式宣布,这个预计到2014年才落成的工厂,已经取得总值高达22亿美元(26亿5000万新元)的订单。

贸工部长林勋强昨日于裕廊芳烃集团该芳烃厂动土仪式上讲话时表示,这对我国化工业来说,是个重大的里程碑。建成后,该厂的规模将是世界最大,每年可产80万公吨对二甲苯 (paraxylene) 。

对二甲苯可用于生产聚酯纤维 (polyester fibre,一种主 要的合成纤维)和塑料瓶。

林勋强指出,最近几个月环球经济展望越来越不明朗,欧洲主权债务危机和美国财政赤字威胁环球经济增长。但亚洲的增长展望继续良好,亚洲对芳烃 (aromatics) 产品的强劲需求反映了亚洲的增长需要。亚洲占了世界对二甲苯需求的三分之二以上。除了因为聚酯纤维的生产活动正从欧美转移至亚洲,特别是中国,也因为市场日益需要对二甲苯来生产塑料瓶和人造纤维。

新加坡是好据点

林勋强说,新加坡对于要把握亚洲增长契机的公司来说,是一个很理想的据点。裕廊岛就是一个好例子。林勋强指出,这是新加坡的能源和化学业重镇,提供“即插即用”的基础设施和物流联系性,在岛上的公司享受着协同效用及节省成本等好处。目前为止,裕廊岛已吸迎超过95个环球公司投资逾300亿元。

裕廊芳烃集团的芳烃厂原计划在2011年落成,但是全球信贷危机的爆发使得集团的融资出现了困难,因此在裕廊岛的大型芳烃厂将延迟至2014年方能投入生产。

裕廊芳烃集团首席执行员迈赫迪·阿迪布 (Mehdi Adib) 在动土仪式上透露,芳烃所取得的22亿美元销售额,主要来自它的五个股东:韩国的SK鲜京能源公司 (SK Energy) 、瑞士的嘉能可公司 (Glencore) 、中国的江苏三房巷集团、英国石油公司 (BP) 以及以美国为基地的维马集团  (Vinmar)  。

Source: 联合早报 © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission.

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26 August 2011
The Business Times: JAC aromatics complex marks groundbreaking

Splitter will boost S’pore’s refining capacity by 8%

WORK on Singapore’s first new refinery investment on Jurong Island in a long while gets underway today with the groundbreaking of Jurong Aromatics Corporation’s (JAC) US$2.4 billion aromatics complex.

The JAC complex includes a 100,000-110,000 barrels per day (bpd) condensate splitter, which is essentially a refinery that processes natural gas condensates instead of crude oil, industry officials say. The additional barrels that it can handle will boost Singapore’s total refining capacity by about 8 per cent to 1.5 million bpd.

The splitter – which accounts for about one-fifth of the JAC investment – will supply the raw materials needed by the complex.

To feed the splitter, JAC has signed condensate agreements with three suppliers – BP for 50,000 bpd, and two of its shareholders Glencore and South Korea’s SK Energy for 25,000 bpd each – with the supplies coming mainly from the Middle East and Australia.

The JAC investment is also unique in that unlike the three big refineries here which were set up by oil majors such as Shell, ExxonMobil and Chevron and PetroChina (the last two in the joint venture Singapore Refining Company), it is a project involving independent oil traders who want to take on some refining assets.

SK Energy is JAC’s biggest investor with a 30 per cent stake, while Swiss commodity giant Glencore holds 10 per cent, and Chinese polyester producer Jiangsu Sanfangxiang has 25 per cent.

Another first for JAC’s aromatics complex – which will produce 1.5 million tonnes per annum (tpa) of aromatics and 2.5 million tpa of transport fuels such as jet fuel, ultra-low sulphur diesel and fuel oil – is that it is the first to commit to using the $890 million first-phase Jurong Rock Cavern.

The JAC facility – whose groundbreaking today will be inaugurated by Trade and Industry Minister Lim Hng Kiang – is scheduled to start up around October or November 2014, about a year after the underground oil storage is ready in the first half of 2013.

The project is finally getting underway after an earlier delay due to the 2008 global credit crunch, but it seems to be running smack into yet another global downturn at this point. But JAC’s CEO Mehdi Adib remains unperturbed about slowing global demand, as he reportedly said that JAC’s products are 100 per cent accounted for and have been pre-sold for the next seven years. Besides, its customers are also mainly its shareholders such as SK Energy and Glencore.

Apart from transport fuels, JAC will also produce 1.5 million tpa of aromatics – including 800,000 tpa of paraxylene, 200,000 tpa of orthoxylene and 450,000 tpa of benzene.

According to a recent report by consultants ChemSystems, “the pace of demand growth for paraxylene has decreased over the first half of 2011, although there is no sign of a collapse” .

“There remains significant long-term growth potential for paraxylene, but rates will be significantly lower than those prior to 2008, due to the effects of recycling (of plastic PET bottles) and the maturation of the PET bottle market.”

As for benzene, the report said that the growth in the automotive and synthetic fibre industries has boosted demand for the aromatic, with the bulk of the growth in future to be concentrated in the Asia-Pacific, especially China.

Source: The Business Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission.

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