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Singapore, US institute seek to improve project management

Singapore Refining Company (SRC) plant at 1 Merlimau Road. SRC, a company in the energy and chemicals industry, work with its process, construction and maintenance (PCM) contractors to adopt mechanisation tools.

THE new industry-led productivity council for the process, construction and maintenance (PCM) sector - key to the support of the large energy and chemicals industry in Singapore - has started a three-year partnership with the Austin, Texas-based Construction Industry Institute (CII) to study and implement best practices for project management.

The partnership, which will be co-funded by the industry and the government, will also implement a certification system on productivity, said Minister for Trade and Industry Lim Hng Kiang on Thursday.

Three working groups will be formed to achieve these.

The first will support the development of a benchmarking programme by CII to demonstrate the benefits of project-level productivity improvement. The second will be responsible for certification, while the third will look at mechanisation initiatives.

Eventually, the partnership will culminate into a Centre of Excellence to facilitate the retention of knowledge and to manage the certification programme.

Mr Lim announced this at the opening of Lanxess's neodymium butadiene (Nd-BR) rubber plant - the firm's second facility on Jurong Island - on Thursday. Nd-BR is the most advanced form of butadiene rubber, and serves an important function in tyre walls and treads, increasing fuel efficiency and enabling "green" tyres.

The 200 million euro (S$ 317 million) investment by the German firm is one of its largest ever worldwide, and the Nd-BR facility is also its first in Asia. Lanxess has nine other Nd-BR facilities in the Americas and Europe.

"This latest facility is the culmination of the best technologies and practices from our other production sites," said Jorge Nogueira, Lanxess's tyre and specialty rubber business head. "Now, with our truly global production footprint, we are exceptionally well positioned to serve the tyre industry and other customer industries worldwide."

The plant has an annual capacity of 140,000 tonnes, and has generated about 100 highly skilled jobs, which have mostly been filled by locals.

Lanxess had earlier made another 400 million euro investment into a state-of-the-art butyl rubber plant, which started commercial production in 2013.


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