CARIFLEX BREAKS GROUND ON WORLD’S LARGEST POLYISOPRENE LATEX PLANT IN SINGAPORE WITH OVER US$350M INVESTMENT
Singapore, 28 July 2022 – The global market leader in polyisoprene rubber latex for medical end markets, Cariflex Pte. Ltd., broke ground today at a 6.1 hectares site in Jurong Island, Singapore. Building the world’s largest polyisoprene latex plant, Cariflex Pte. Ltd is additionally responsible for constructing Singapore’s first polyisoprene latex plant. Driven by a strong commitment to better serve its global customers in medical and consumer products, this investment represents the largest capacity expansion in Cariflex’s existing accomplishments.
Cariflex Pte. Ltd. moved its headquarters to Singapore in 2020 as a wholly owned subsidiary of DL Chemical Co., Ltd. DL Chemical Co., Ltd is a global petrochemical company and a part of DL Holdings (insert 2021 Revenue in USD), a global developer, and Korea's first construction company established in 1939. DL Holdings also owns DL E&C Co., Ltd, an affiliate company with expertise in civil engineering and construction.
"The full capacity potential of the Singapore plant will be delivered in two phases. We are pre-investing all necessary infrastructures during the first phase so that the second phase can be implemented rapidly and efficiently when our customers need it. This will continue to strengthen Cariflex's position as the number one supplier of polyisoprene latex with unmatched quality and diversity of supply sources,” said Mr Kil Su Kim, Chief Operating Officer & Senior Executive Vice-President of DL Chemical Co., Ltd.
Cariflex’s polyisoprene rubber latex (Cariflex™ IR Latex) is a synthetic, water-based polymer latex, suitable for a wide range of high value applications. Surgical gloves and condoms represent the key end markets Cariflex™ IR Latex are used on account of its unique value proposition as an alternative to natural rubber latex.
The Singapore plant will play a vital role in our manufacturing supply versatility, amongst others to serve our customers in Southeast Asia, where the world’s key manufacturing plants of surgical gloves and condoms are located.
Over the past two decades, Cariflex has consistently and timely been upgrading, debottlenecking and expanding capacity at the existing manufacturing locations in Brazil and Japan to meet the growing volume needs of its customers and the market space. Cariflex’s latest major expansion doubled its polyisoprene latex capacity at the Paulinia Facility in Brazil, which successfully completed in 2021 with an investment of US$50M.
“We are strategically locating our new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility here in Singapore, at the doorstep of our key customers. We value Singapore not only for its ability to foster a thriving financial hub, but also for its dedication to develop innovation, trade, and logistical hubs. With a highly educated and skilled workforce, Singapore offers strong protection for intellectual property rights within the country’s politically stable framework. Additionally, the Jurong Island ecosystem, with all of the existing infrastructure & services and support from government agencies, gave confidence to our investment decision in Singapore”, said Prakash Kolluri, Chief Executive Officer of Cariflex Pte. Ltd.
The plant is expected to be operational by the second half of 2024 and will create at least 70 permanent jobs for the first phase of the project. These include roles in engineering, production, quality, supply chain, and EHS within functions of finance, human resources and IT. During the peak of construction, we expect more than 1,500 workers to be employed onsite.
“The Singapore plant is expected to increase our global polyisoprene latex production capacity by well over 50%. This project preserves and maintains our Polyisoprene Latex market leading position in terms of combined capacity, number of locations, and production lines delivering best-in-class consistent product quality. This gives our customers full confidence to further rely on Cariflex™ IR Latex as a sustainable source to grow their business,” added Mr. Kolluri.
Modelled after the proven efficient manufacturing technology implemented in the Brazilian facility, the Singapore plant also leverages on the additional benefits of the world-class integrated petrochemical hub at Jurong Island.