Singapore's Minister for Trade and Industry has today launched a US$280 million (S$400 million), five year development of the country's offshore petroleum services facility, declaring it will "further enhance" the nation as a leading oil and gas centre "next to Houston and Aberdeen."
Minister of State Lee Yi Shyan ceremonially "broke the ground" at the Loyang Offshore base using a gold shovel. In a speech to invited industry heads at the newly named TOPS (Toll's Offshore Petroleum Services, formerly known as SOPS) offshore service facility, he said: "We want to work with our world class shipyards, companies offering complex oil and gas systems and offshore-related services to build new capabilities.
"We want to encourage them to undertake a wider range of activities, encompassing manufacturing, headquarter services, training, research and development, engineering and regional distribution."
Hallin Marine is leading the move to the new complex, already committing to a new, purpose built 8,000 square metre waterside centre for its Eastern Operations Division, and expects to move to the facility in 18 months time.
The London AIM listed subsea services provider has been based at Loyang for eight years and sees the move to the complex, where it will have offices, workshops, covered and open storage, as an important step in its planned growth.
Hallin Eastern Operations Group MD, Jon Attenburrow said: "We are delighted to be leading the way in moving to this fantastic new facility that will rival the very best in the world. The timing could not be better for Hallin as it continues to experience excellent growth in our existing and new markets.
"We expect many other leading companies to follow our lead in the coming months. We have already embraced the Singapore Minister's appeal to increase the range of services we offer and this move will enable us to continue to grow the width and breadth of our operations."
Toll Holdings, the owner of the Offshore Supply Base, is behind the huge development. Managing Director Paul Little said: "This site is one of only three of its type in the world and the only one in the (Asia) region.
"It is a world-class land asset and, as a result of this redevelopment, Toll is helping to guarantee it future prominence.
"For the past 38 years the Loyang Supply Base has been the key offshore logistics hub within the South-East Asian region. It is the site of 200 renowned oil and gas services companies. Our investment will ensure TOPS retains its prime position while providing world-class facilities to the industry for decades to come.
"With its integrated services of port facilities, offices, warehouses, lay down yards and workshops Loyang Supply Base provides its customers with a comprehensive and integrated infrastructure that ensures an efficient ‘one stop shop' to the oil and gas industry."
Mr Little explained the development will take place in stages over the next four years, with the first stage, the waterfront development on derelict land, ready for occupation in 18 months time.
Minister of State Lee Yi Shyan said the outlook remains positive for the offshore oil and gas sector "for the next few years" and quoted impressive statistics outlining Singapore's success.
He said: "Last year the sector achieved an output of S$13 billion (US$9.1billion), a substantial 27% growth over 2006.
"Today, besides being one of the world's premier ship repair and ship conversion centres, Singapore is also a global leader in the building of jack-up rigs and the conversion of FPSO units.
"We are also the largest manufacturer of offshore oil rigs, with a 70% market share.
"When this development is complete we will see a world class oil and gas supply base before us. Singapore's position as one of the oil and gas centres of the world, next to Houston and Aberdeen, will be further enhanced."