SINGAPORE, Nov 20, 2006 (AFP) – From diapers to DVDs, jet fuel and perfumes, the world gets a little bit of Singapore every day thanks to a multi-billion-dollar chemicals industry centred on a man-made island.
Formed from connecting seven smaller islands through land reclamation, Jurong island hosts a who’s who of the chemicals and petrochemicals sector.
It produces an annual output that dwarfs the gross domestic product of some countries.
Unlike islands carved by nature, Jurong’s main draw is not palm-fringed white-sand beaches but highly integrated infrastructure and top-level security for its industrial tenants.
Clusters of gigantic, whitewashed cylindrical storage tanks amid a maze of pipelines dot the island — a testament to the more than 80 companies that have invested around 24 billion Singapore dollars (15 billion US) so far.
They produce a vast range of items, from refined petroleum products to polycarbonate resins used in CDs, DVDs and LCD television panels, and super absorbent polymers that go into diapers and sanitary pads.
Even perfume maker Giorgio Armani uses additives churned out by Singapore’s chemicals cluster.
Eight of the world’s top 10 players in fragrances