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Plug & play ahead for SMEs in chemical sector
SMALL and medium enterprises (SMEs) can soon access a suite of plug and play solutions at the JTC Chemicals Hub @ Tuas View, Singapore's first multi-user and high-rise specialised development designed to house chemical companies involved in the manufacturing, blending and distribution of chemicals, including chemicals classified as dangerous goods.
The JTC Chemicals Hub, which is estimated to cost S$67 million, is designed with safety-compliant features, such as enhanced fire protection systems to facilitate safe handling of chemicals, and shared facilities such as fire-water retention tanks and a centralised foam system.
Strategically located near Jurong Island, Tuas Biomedical Park, Tuas Industrial Estate, Lube Park and the upcoming Tuas Port, the Chemicals Hub will bring chemical companies closer to their customers and will allow them to distribute their products and raw materials efficiently, said JTC.
The hub is situated on a 1.6 hectare site, and consists of 14 modular units of 1,200 square metres each.
The development comprises a three-storey production block and a five-storey annex block to cater to R&D activities. The annex block will also house light industrial and ancillary offices. By clustering the companies in a single development, companies can achieve land savings of up to 50 per cent, said JTC.
“We understand that a chemical company taking up just one unit of 1,200sqm of space in a normal factory for their manufacturing and storage operations would have to incur at least half a million dollars in capital investments to install such safety measures, and that will also increase the set-up time of about three more months. If they were to set up in JTC Chemicals Hub, they would be able to save this amount and shorten the set-up time correspondingly,” noted JTC chief executive officer Png Cheong Boon in his welcome address at the groundbreaking event on Friday.
Today, the chemical sector is the largest contributor to Singapore's manufacturing output, accounting for about one third, according to 2013 figures.
The hub joins other infrastructure solutions such as the Jurong Island and the recently opened Jurong Rock Caverns. Separately, private sector players such as Vopak and SK Gas will be jointly developing the first LPG facility in Singapore, which will provide an alternative feedstock for companies on Jurong Island.
The construction of JTC Chemicals Hub @ Tuas View is slated for completion by the second quarter of 2016.
Amendment note: Quote has been amended to better reflect that SMEs enjoy these savings if they take up space in the chemical hub.