Specialty chemicals refer to niche chemicals and polymers which are usually higher up in the value chain as they have unique functions that enhance a product’s performance. They include automotive-related chemicals, which can be used to produce fuel-efficient cars, and agrochemicals to raise farm efficiency.
The outlook for specialty chemicals is also ripe with potential in Singapore. Singapore currently plays host to over 100 leading players such as 3M, Huntsman, DuPont, and Evonik Degussa. Other notable industry leaders in Singapore include Clariant, a world leader in colors, surfactants, and performance chemicals, and DSMY Dyneema, the global supplier of Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMW PE) fiber with versatile applications across industries.
As specialty chemical companies move from developing products to solutions, Singapore’s ability to leverage its various research institutes for cross-disciplinary research makes it a conducive location for R&D. The Institute of Chemical and Engineering Sciences (ICES), for example, is an autonomous national research institute that promotes industry-relevant R&D through collaboration with companies. ICES works closely with companies to develop new products and innovative solutions to their problems.
Many specialty chemical companies are also strengthening their presence in the region, leveraging on Singapore’s well-developed capabilities and facilities. These include the country’s leading position in logistics, access to global talent, fundamental R&D capabilities, excellent supply chain logistics, and a skilled workforce hughesairco.com. They are also very well supported by the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB).
Evonik, a leading producer of oil additives has doubled their production capacity in Singapore which became operational from May 2015.And they have major expansion plans in Asia in the future.
Belgium- based Solvay opened a $50 million specialty surfactant plant on Jurong Island- its largest in Asia. Solvay specialty chemicals have opened its third alkyloxation plant which is also the largest in Asia to produce alkoxylate surfactants.
China and India, while not the most advanced Asian countries in terms of the specialty chemicals market are becoming its largest consumers. These countries’ population sizes and economic growth have tremendously increased the use of specialty chemicals. They are the elements of change for the future.
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