Belgian chemical company Solvay has opened a new alkoxylation plant in the petrochemical hub of Jurong Island, Singapore.

The S$50 million ($37 million) chemical plant is said to be the largest of its kind in Asia.

Solvay said the facility will help meet demand for its specialty surfactants in the region, complementing existing facilities in India and China and joining Solvay Novecare’s seven other alkoxylation plants in Europe and North America.

The new chemical plant receives a key raw material, ethylene oxide, via a dedicated pipeline, and fatty oleochemicals from nearby countries. It produces specialty alkoxylate formulations for the agrochemicals, coatings, home & personal care, industrial and oil & gas markets in Asia, particularly in key Southeast Asia countries such as Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia.

“Reinforcing our presence in fast-growing countries and proposing innovative solutions to our customers in our key strategic market segments in the region are the key principles driving Solvay Novecare today. The addition of this new asset in Singapore continues the execution of this strategy and will be pivotal to Solvay’s growth strategy,” commented Emmanuel Butstraen, president of Solvay Novecare.

Separately, Solvay announced the expansion of the oil & gas research lab unit at its research and innovation centre in Singapore. This facility focuses on global innovation projects in the fields of coatings and home & personal care, and also serves as a regional hub in the development of new sustainable solutions in the agrochemical market.