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PETROCHEMICAL Corporation of Singapore (Private) Limited (PCS) will be investing US$80 million to build new naphtha import facilities in Singapore.
The project is targeted to be ready by the third quarter of 2017 and expected to start operations by the fourth quarter of 2017.
PCS - which is jointly owned by Japan-Singapore Petrochemicals Company (led by Sumitomo Chemical), Qatar Petroleum International and Shell Petrochemicals (Singapore) - said the facilities will include storage tanks, a liquid berth capable of handling large vessels transporting naphtha and its associated facilities.
"This project will significantly strengthen our naphtha import logistics giving us not only better efficiencies but also the ability to optimize the feed to our crackers to maximize value,'' said A Yonemura, managing director at PCS, in a press release issued in Singapore on Tuesday.
According to Nikkei Asian Review last week, the storage tanks will have a capacity of 240,000 kilolitres. The naphtha currently is stored in tanks leased from other companies.
The Japanese media also reported that the wharf would be able to dock tankers with a capacity of 50,000 to 70,000 tons - doubling the size that can be accommodated. This will cut drop-offs by naphtha tankers to once every eight to 10 days from once per four to five days.
PCS procures naphtha via pipeline from nearby refineries and also imports it from the Middle East. The new tanks, in addition to reducing costs, will enable Sumitomo Chemical to more easily blend naphtha suitable for its plants, reducing the burden on them.
Mr Yonemura said the project is also in response to the global trend of moving naphtha in larger vessels.
"The project will help ensure PCS continues to be a reliable supplier to all our customers with smooth and stable operations," he said.
Damian Chan, executive director of energy & chemicals at Singapore Economic Development Board, said as PCS is a core part of Singapore's energy and chemicals ecosystem, improving its cost competitiveness will generate positive knock-on effects for the industry.
PCS operates two crackers on Jurong Island, supplying petrochemical building blocks such as ethylene and propylene to industrial customers.