(EnergyAsia, July 26 2012, Thursday) — US petroleum additives manufacturer Afton Chemical Corporation said it will invest “in excess of US$100 million” to build a new chemical additive plant on Singapore’s Jurong Island.

Afton Chemical, a member of NYSE-listed NewMarket Corp, said it expects to begin construction in the third quarter of 2013 with the plant ready to start up by mid-2015.

The NewMarket board, which approved the project on July 17, chose Singapore after an extensive analysis which focused on facility readiness and flexibility, market access, economics, safety and logistics.

Afton President Warren Huang said: “This represents an investment that is likely to be in excess of US$100 million. We have established a significant presence through acquisitions and investments.

“The initial capacity will represent a modest increase in our overall global production. The plant will be scalable to allow Afton to grow as demand warrants.

“This strong combination of R&D and manufacturing in the region, will not only improve security of supply and reduce lead-times, but also help us to develop cost-effective, customized solutions for the region. In turn, that will help our customers improve the profitability of their businesses.”

Damian Barnes, the company’s Vice President for Supply, said:

“We’ve intensified our focus on this important region. The new Jurong Island facility will enhance our ability to provide quick and effective service to our Asia-Pacific customers as well as those in India and the Middle East.”

The new plant will add to Afton’s existing regional manufacturing in Suzhou, China and Jurong Island through Chemical Specialties Singapore Pte Ltd. Through its Singapore regional head quarters, the company also manages technical centres in Tsukuba, Japan and Suzhou, China and sales offices in other major cities around Asia.