On a 124-acre island site off the coast of Singpore, work has restarted on a $2.4-billion facility complex that could become one of the world's largest plants for producing aromatics, hydrocarbon products derived from crude oil.
Originally set for completion this year, the Jurong Aromatics Complex (JAC) on Jurong Island has experienced setbacks caused by financial issues in the marketplace and among its investors, according to a published report. Singapore-based developer Jurong Aromatics Corp. now says it will begin operation in 2014.
The plant is set to produce 1.5 million tons per year of aromatics, including paraxylene, orthoxylene and benzene, which are used in petrochemicals production, as well as 2.5 million tons per year of transport fuels.
Some key shareholders in the complex are also key industrial customers, including SK Group, a giant South Korean industrial conglomerate that has a 30% stake. Others are China's Jiangsu Sanfanxiang Group, with a 25% stake; Houston-based Arovin, part of the Vinmar group, with 10.5%; and Swiss commodity trading firm Glencore, with 10%.
Smaller investors include Singapore's Economic Development Board, the government's investment arm, and India's Essar Products conglomerate, Mumbai. Essar Projects, an Essar unit that specializes in construction of storage tanks, pipelines and utilities, has the project's $320-milion engineering, procurement and construction contract.
Improving market conditions and a restructuring of investors pushed the project restart.
Singapore is the world's third-largest refining center and an integrated world-scale petroleum and petrochemical hub, with a total refining capacity of 1.2 million barrels per day. Jurong Island is close to Asian customers and has a deepwater port, according to one sector website, Chemicals-Technology.com.
“The JAC project will not only synergize well with the Jurong Island petrochemical cluster but will also be able to use Jurong Rock Cavern to help meet its storage requirements,” Amit Gupta, an Essar Products executive, told ENR. Its contract began in May, he says, adding that the workforce will be about 1,500 at peak.