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LANXESS chooses LED lighting for new state-of-the-art facility in Jurong Island, Singapore

03 June 2013

New butyl rubber facility more energy efficient and environmentally friendly following adoption of LED technology.

LANXESS Jurong Butyl plant - Photo: LANXESS
LANXESS Jurong Butyl plant - Photo: LANXESS

LANXESS, a leading specialty chemicals company, announced the construction of a new butyl rubber plant in February 2008, located on Jurong Island, Singapore. Sitting on a 200,000 square metre plot of land, the new facility will process 100,000 tons per annum and LANXESS has allocated a total Eur 400 million for this investment.

The plant will serve the rising demand for tires that is being driven by the trend towards greater mobility, in particular among the growing middle-class in countries such as China and India. In addition, the distinct properties of butyl rubber make it an important product of choice for the pharmaceutical industry, particularly in Asia.

LANXESS leased the plot from the JTC Corporation, an authorised agent of the Singapore Ministry for Trade and Industry. Around 1,500 workers have been employed on the construction site at peak times, and in January 2012 the company celebrated four million man hours without lost time injury at the plant. Some 200 highly-skilled jobs will be created when the new facility is operational in Q3, 2013.

The neighboring Shell petrochemical refinery has been contracted to supply the feedstock for the key raw material, isobutene.

The new facility will manufacture halobutyl rubber and conventional butyl rubber. Both butyl and halobutyl rubber are impermeable to air, other gases and liquids.

The main applications for conventional butyl rubber are hoses and tires, but it is also one of the base materials for making chewing gum.

Halobutyl rubber is mainly used for the inner liners of tubeless tires. One special application is the manufacture of caps for pharmaceutical products that have to be reliably protected against moisture.

The company carried out a complete evaluation of the existing process to manufacture butyl for the new Singapore facility and a radical redesign was implemented. The process, which draws on LANXESS’ long history of rubber expertise, will be best in class, the company says, with state-of-the-art power management and monitoring systems installed.

The Challenge

LANXESS’s key objectives for the butyl plant were to be more energy and resource efficient, and also more environmentally friendly. The project team recognised at the outset that the plant’s lighting solution would play an important role in achieving these objectives.

The challenge was to find suitable light fixtures that were certified for use in hazardous environments, would deliver reliable lighting in normal and emergency mode operation, and would meet the requirements for reduced energy consumption and reduced maintenance.

In addition, the lighting had to meet the Singapore Standard SS 531, which recommends lux levels for different areas within a facility, and the Green Mark requirements in SS 530 which define the power consumption per square metre that must be achieved in order to be considered energy efficient.

During the detailed engineering phase, Johannes Goertz, the LANXESS PCT Project Manager, also highlighted their special requirements for emergency lighting. Dialight was able to modify the design of the LED lighting fixtures with built in battery backup to meet company requirements.

Goetz told HazardEx there were two main hazardous environment considerations. Firstly, that the lighting fixtures should have good protection against lightning, and to be suitable for Zone 1,2 in process areas. Secondly, the installation should have IP65/IP55 protection against dust and water ingress 

The Solution

The original design for the facility featured a mix of fluorescent T8s and metal halide fixtures, but in 2010, LANXESS gave Dialight the opportunity to propose a new lighting design featuring its LED lighting technology and the benefits immediately became apparent.

Dialight provided the lighting design to convert the conventional lighting for indoors and outdoors areas to LED products for both non-hazardous and hazardous application, where LANXESS was able to save a significant amount of energy while complying with the SS 531 and SS 530 specifications. The decision to use LED lighting throughout the five major production areas of the facility was made simple with the 5-year performance warranty from Dialight which would result in eliminating the burden of maintenance.

The Result

Plant racking aera - Photo: LANXESS
Plant racking aera - Photo: LANXESS

By converting to LED lighting, LANXESS saw its energy consumption and carbon emissions reduced by 55%. The low operating temperature of the LED fixtures was also a health and safety benefit, as it removed the risk of burn injury common with metal halides for anyone who might come into contact with the fixture.

In Singapore, the Dialight LED benefit of built-in surge protection is also an important advantage during the rainy season from October to December. The region is prone to lightning strikes which can cause surges, resulting in the burnout of unprotected fluorescent ballasts and the consequential expense of maintenance.

The latest state-of-the-art LED lighting fixtures from Dialight were used, both ATEX and IECEx-certified for use in the relevant hazardous areas.

The company

LANXESS is a leading speciality chemicals company with sales of EUR 8.8 billion in 2011 and currently around 17,100 employees in 31 countries. The company is currently represented at 49 production sites worldwide. The core business of LANXESS is the development, manufacturing and marketing of plastics, rubber, intermediates and specialty chemicals.

LANXESS Rubber Plant, Jurong Island, Singapore - Installation snapshot

• 200,000 sqm new facility

• 2,370 LED lighting fixtures for indoor/outdoor process areas and internal roads

• 55% energy reduction

• Annual power savings 1,150,000kWh / SGD 241,500

• 811 metric tonnes CO2 emissions avoided annually

(Based on 7.0555 × 10-4 metric tons CO2 / kWh -

• ROI in 1.5 years for 24 hours operated fixtures

• ROI in 3 years for 12 hours operated fixtures

• Maintenance reduced

Lighting zoning requirements were as follows: 

• Streetlighting, non hazardous 

• Process outdoor lighting, Zone 2 Gas Group IIA/IIB/IIC 

• Process indoor Lighting, Zone 22 

• Process indoor lighting, non hazardous 

• Building outdoor lighting, non hazardous

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