Singapore Essential Chemicals Complex

Introduction to the 1st Essential Chemicals Complex in Singapore

The Singapore Essential Chemicals Complex

The Singapore Essential Chemicals Complex is located on Ayer Merbau, which is part of Jurong Island, formed by amalgamation of a group of small islands situated about 3.5 km off the southern shore of Singapore. Until 1976, when it was developed as a site for a essential chemicals complex, it was just another small fishing village.

Strategic Location

Singapore is the hub of the high growth Asia Pacific region. It is also a major oil refining, storage and distribution centre, strategically located in the midst of a fast growing oil- and gas-producing region. These factors make it an ideal location to site a essential chemicals complex.

Other plus factors include excellent port, and communication facilities, advanced supporting industries, skilled manpower to build and run the complex and supportive government policies that encourage investment in high technology industries.

Partners in the Complex

Through the efforts of the Singapore and Japanese Governments and the cooperation of major international companies such as Sumitomo Chemical, Shell, Chevron Phillips and Celanese, the Singapore Essential Chemicals Complex was launched in 1977. Construction of the S$2 billion Complex on Ayer Merbau began in 1980 and commenced commercial production in February 1984, ushering in a new era in Singapore’s industrial development. Since then, the Complex expanded with multi-billion dollars investment, increasing various plant capacities on Ayer Merbau, Seraya and Sakra in 1997/8.

The Complex currently comprises a centre company and more than ten pipeline-customers.

Complex II

The expansion of the Singapore Essential Chemicals Complex, known as the Complex II project, was launched on 1 March 1994. This S$3.4 billion project involved:

  • The expansion at Pulau Ayer Merbau of the existing plants of PCS, TPC, CPSC, DSPL, Air Liquide and RHCS.
  • The establishment of a new downstream Styrene Monomer/Propylene Oxide (SMPO) plant by Shell Chemicals Seraya Pte Ltd (SCSL) on nearby Pulau Seraya.


While construction was in progress in 1995/1996, two more new downstream projects, to be sited on the adjacent Pulau Sakra, were added to the expansion fold. These were:

  • A Vinyl Acetate Monomer (VAM) plant by Celanese Singapore Pte Ltd (CSPL). Start-up was on stream in mid-1997.
  • With Sumitomo Chemical Asia Pte Ltd (SCA) as the core company, the Singapore MMA and Acrylic Group (SMAG) Complex operate several plants that produce methylmethacrylate monomer (MMA) and polymers (PMMA) and acrylic acid (and its derivatives). Start-up was in 2nd half of 1998.


PCS is continuing its role as the centre company with the supply of additional ethylene, propylene, acetylene and benzene, as well as utilities and common services through a second cracker.

The second cracker, a world-scale plant, doubles the company’s present capacity and makes PCS one of the largest producer of olefins in the region. It considerably enhances the competitive position of PCS and also provides increased feedstock flexibility for the whole complex.

The Complex II was started up in 2nd quarter of 1997.