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Big Oil sees more profit pain as refining safety net slips

26 Oct 2016
The world’s biggest oil companies, supported during crude’s collapse by a buoyant refining business, have lost that buffer as brimming fuel stockpiles swamp demand. Profits from refining contracted 42 per cent last quarter from a year earlier to an all-time low since 2010. Refineries benefited from oil’s two-year slide that began in mid-2014 because the cost of the feedstock fell while fuel demand rose. Refining margins are likely to stay “depressed” next year as inventories remain high; making it worse for oil companies crude’s continued weakness. To read more, please click on the following link(s): http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-10-25/big-oil-braces-for-more-profit-pain-as-refining-safety-net-slips

Singapore awards new LNG import licences to Pavilion Gas and Shell Eastern Petroleum

24 Oct 2016
PHOTO: ST FILE Pavilion Gas and Shell Eastern Petroleum have won exclusive contracts to supply Singapore with its next tranche of liquefied natural gas (LNG), beating out Sembcorp Industries and BG Singapore Gas Marketing, through a two-stage request for proposal (RFP) process. The two companies have been selected as they offered flexible and competitively priced LNG supplies to Singapore, and demonstrated an ability to cater to various market needs. This was officially announced during the opening of the Singapore International Energy Week (SIEW) on 24 October 2016. To read more, please visit the following links:  http://www.straitstimes.com/business/companies-markets/singapore-awards-new-lng-import-licences-to-pavilion-gas-and-shell http://www.hydrocarbons-technology.com/news/newspavilion-gas-and-shell-eastern-petroleum-win-singapore-lng-import-licences-5647160 http://www.todayonline.com/business/pavilion-gas-and-shell-import-next-tranche-lng

Revised Guidelines on Temporary Workers Dormitory within Industrial or Warehouse Developments

19 Sep 2016
With effect from 19 September 2016, Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has revised the guidelines pertaining to Temporary Workers’ Dormitory nested within Industrial/Warehouse Estates. The main purpose of this revision is to minimise the increasing pressure on the existing infrastructure in industrial areas where many of these dormitories are situated. The revision includes the following pointers:   Expanded list of industrial areas where new workers’ dormitories are disallowed Reduction in allowable gross floor area use quantum for ancillary/secondary uses Clarification of TP Renewal for ancillary/secondary workers’ dormitories For more information, please visit the following link: www.ura.gov.sg/Corporate/Guidelines/Circulars/dc16-14

Factsheet on Lean Enterprise Development (LED) Scheme

04 Aug 2016
The LED scheme aims to help pioneers and adopters of breakthrough ideas. The Scheme will be piloted for two years, from 1 October 2015, to 30 September 2017. Click Here for Factsheet on LED Scheme

Afton opens its first greenfield plant in 35 years on Jurong Island

18 May 2016
PHOTO: AFTON CHEMICAL CORPORATION A renowned US petroleum-additives maker, Afton Chemical, has just opened the first phase of its plant, which is worth US$300 million, on Jurong Island on Tuesday, 17 May 2016. Before Afton, there had already been 2 of the world’s top 4 lubricant-additive companies which have set up their bases in Singapore. Currently, Afton is working on rolling out the second phase of its plant, which they are aiming to be commissioned within 2 years time. For the full coverage of this news, please visit http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/energy-commodities/afton-opens-its-first-greenfield-plant-in-35-years-on-jurong-island

New passenger arrival halls for Jurong Island

03 Mar 2016
Click HERE for more information.

Petronas cancels tender for billion-dollar project off Sarawak

16 Dec 2015
PHOTO: BLOOMBERG Petronas has called off the tender for a key contract tied to the multi-billion Kasawari gas field development in Block SK316 off Sarawak, as Brent crude slipped under US$38 for the first time since 2008, challenging the economic viability of a project lined up during US$100 oil prices. Click here for more information. Extracted from Business Times, 16 Dec 2015

Petronas seen delaying LNG final investment decision

03 Nov 2015
Petronas is set to postpone a final investment decision (FID) on a second field development in Block SK 316 off Sarawak, amid uncertainty over any recovery in oil-linked liquefied natural gas prices. Click here for more information. Extracted from Business Times, 03 Nov 2015

Jurong Aromatics may Resume Ops at Idle Plant

13 Jul 2015
PHOTO: ST FILE An energy services provider has called for the restart of plant operations at Jurong Aromatics Corporation (JAC). The US$2.4 billion (S$3.2 billion) petrochemicals facility on Jurong Island has been put out of action since last December, owing to unfavourable market conditions. Prices for aromatics, which closely track that of crude oil, were down last year, in line with plunging oil prices and oversupply in the market. Jurong Energy Investment Corporation (JEI) told The Straits Times it has submitted a proposal to JAC to fire up the condensate splitter and the aromatics complex again. Click Here for Full Article Source: The Straits Times

FAQ for the Changes to the R1 Criteria in the Process Sector

01 Jul 2015
With the changes to the R1 criteria for the Process Sector, it seeks to encourage retention of skilled and productive workers in the Construction and Process sectors, as these sectors have relied heavily on Work Permit Holders (WPHs). This was done by granting the benefit of a lower R1 levy to those who posses the traits of skilled and productive workers (i.e. a combination of skills test qualification, salary and experience). Thus, these were developed after consultation with chemical plant owners, and process construction and maintenance contractors. With accordance to the previous Manpower Policy Factsheet, Ministry of Manpower (MOM) had come up with a FAQ to address issues on measures to raise the quality and facilitate more optimal deployment of the foreign workforce. CLICK HERE for the FAQ CLICK HERE for the Manpower Policy Factsheet

Chemicals giant Teijin to close Jurong Island plant, sell the site

16 Jun 2015
TOKYO-listed chemical and pharmaceutical company Teijin is closing its polycarbonate resin plant in Singapore by year’s end and putting the industrial facility on Jurong Island up for sale through an expression of interest. The plan to shutter is part of the company’s restructuring exercise of its loss-making businesses. Hurt particularly by high energy costs, the Singapore plant, which began operations in October 1999, has also been beaten by low-cost China rivals, the company said last November. Click Here for Full Article Source: Business Times

No U-Turn on the tight lid on foreign worker numbers in Singapore

03 Jun 2015
COMPANIES looking for relief from the tight foreign worker policy, now that a new minister is in charge, will be disappointed. There will be no U-turn on the tight lid on foreign worker numbers in Singapore, said newly minted Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say. But he did promise to review some of the other manpower policies in place, such as the national jobs bank, because policies are “never static”, he added. Speaking to the media for the first time since he moved from the labour unions to be Manpower Minister, Mr Lim set out four broad areas in his new role. These are: to boost competitiveness, keep the workforce lean, nurture a core group of Singaporean workers, and use the foreign workforce as a complement to the local workforce. These strategies will help businesses to grow and workers to pursue their careers, while achieving “quality growth” for Singapore, he said. Mr Lim, who turns 62 in July next year, stepped down as National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) secretary-general last month as part of a self-imposed leadership renewal plan, where union leaders voluntarily retire at age 62 to make way for new blood. He had spent 13 years at NTUC, with eight years at the helm. Click Here for Full Article Source: Straits Times

New manpower minister to stay the course on foreign-worker policy

03 Jun 2015
PHOTO: MARK CHEONG/ THE STRAITS TIMES EMPLOYERS can perish all thoughts of an easier labour market. The new Manpower Minister will not relax the foreign-worker policy to let in more foreign workers, nor reduce the foreign-worker levy. Instead of yielding to calls by some bosses to go easy on tightening the tap on the inflow of foreign workers – and the fees for recruiting them – Lim Swee Say wants businesses to look beyond the current tight labour market that’s plaguing them. He wants them to work with the government and unions to focus on making the economy manpower-lean, boosting the Singapore core in the workforce and upgrading the existing pool of foreign workers. Click Here for Full Article Source: Business Times

Changes to manpower policies of Process Industry – appended with MOM policies factsheet

10 Mar 2015
Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin has announced some changes in the manpower policies of the Process Industry. Few changes will be affecting our Industry. Process workers are allowed to drive as a secondary job function with effect from June 2015, subject to a cap. With effect from 2017, the monthly salary for skilled worker must be at least $1,200 in addition to skills test certification or two years working experience. Experienced work permit holders are also allowed to change their employers without being repatriated to their home country. The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has also came up with a factsheet to help members better understand the changes. Please Click Here Click Here for Full Article. Source: Business Times 

Vetter opens new office in Singapore to support growing Asian market

20 Nov 2014
CDMO Vetter, a specialist in aseptic fill and finish of injection systems for the bio/pharmaceutical industry, has opened a new representative office in Singapore in response to growing market demand in Asia. The announcement was made at a ceremony attended by members of local government agencies, a number of executives of pharmaceutical/biotech companies in the Asian region, and Vetter executives. The new office, headed by Chervee Ho, director, Key Account Management, Asia Pacific, will enable the company to better serve the Asian market, which was previously handled by Vetter’s German-based departments. Source: Vetter-Pharma

Completed construction of Amgen’s first Next-Generation Biomanufacturing facility

20 Nov 2014
Amgen has completed construction of its first Next-Generation Biomanufacturing facility, located in Singapore, heralding a new stage of efficient and innovative production of medicines that treat serious diseases. Biologic medicines are produced in living cells and the new Tuas facility encompasses multiple technologies to enable greater speed, productivity and flexibility in commercial-scale manufacturing. Built in less than two years, the Next-Generation Biomanufacturing facility was completed in half the time required for conventional biomanufacturing plants. It uses single-use bioreactors, disposable plastic containers, continuous purification processing and real-time quality analysis. This flexible, modular design can be replicated in future facilities, enabling higher production and greater accessibility to patients around the world. “At Amgen, we are reinventing what it means to manufacture biologic medicines,” said Robert A. Bradway, chairman and chief executive officer of Amgen. “Singapore is an ideal place to invest in such a pioneering facility because of its talented workforce and commitment to the biotechnology industry.” The Next-Generation Biomanufacturing facility is expected to have the same annual output as a conventional facility but in a single building that will use less energy and water and have lower solid waste and emission levels — all in line with Singapore’s commitment to sustainable and innovative economic development. Yeoh Keat Chuan, managing director of the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) congratulated Amgen and said, “Amgen’s decision to locate its first commercial-scale facility in Singapore, which utilizes their suite of breakthrough biomanufacturing technologies, is a testament to Singapore’s capabilities as a high quality, future ready, global biopharmaceutical hub. EDB will continue to invest in talent, process capabilities and new technologies to support the strong growth in this sector.” Amgen also announced it will continue building at its Tuas site in Singapore and will soon break ground on another facility where it will make carfilzomib, the active ingredient for Kyprolis. Extracts: http://www.pharmaceutical-business-review.com/news/amgen-opens-next-generation-biomanufacturing-facility-in-singapore-201114-4445522

Company can get a POSB account for their new worker through Work Permit Online

15 Oct 2014
MOM and DBS have worked together to allow companies to open a bank account for their new workers when they requested for their work permit issuance via Work Permit Online (WPOL). This applies to work permit applications approved from 16 October 2014. News Updated on 15 October 2014 Source: MOM

Changes to CPF and Self-Help Groups contribution rates from 1 January 2015

12 Sep 2014
The Government announced during Budget 2014 that the CPF contribution rates would be increased to help employees save more for healthcare and retirement needs. This will apply to wages earned from 1 January 2015. The Self-Help Groups (SHGs) including Chinese Development Council, Eurasian Association and Singapore Indian Development Association, are revising their monthly contribution rates from 1 January 2015. This is to help the less privileged individuals and families in the different communities. You can find more information in the enclosed letter from the SHGs. Download letter
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