The Singapore listed company won in the Chemicals category of SBR Listed Companies Awards 2019.
The Singaporean oil-based products manufacturer teamed up with a Japanese nano-fibre specialist to push out innovative industrial products in Asia, such as highly effective grease trap and oil spill cleaners – and that is only for starters.
United Global Limited won in the Chemicals category of Singapore Business Review’s Listed Companies Awards 2019, which recognises innovative projects and best practices with a significant business impact. The investment holding company, through its wholly-owned subsidiary United Innovations Company, formed a 40% joint venture with Japan’s M-TechX Group to operate a nano-fibre manufacturing plant in Indonesia.
The partnership has begun exploring the numerous industrial applications related to nano-fibres, which have properties such as high absorption, strong adhesion and high molecular recognition. Currently, the joint venture is focusing on applications around oil absorption and retentivity – from removing oil from grease traps and mopping up oil spills at sea – by leveraging on nano-fibres’ superior absorption of approximately 50 times its own weight versus only 10 to 20 times for conventional materials.
“With its ultra surface to volume ratio of 100 to 10,000 times, M-TechX’s nano-fibre material, is to-date the most absorbent material available,” said Jacky Tan, CEO of United Global.
The manufacturing plant began commercial production in December 2018, and is a result of United Global’s expertise in the manufacturing and trading of petroleum and oil-based products in Indonesia and other Asian countries, as well as M-Tech X’s proprietary technology in the mass production and commercialisation of nano-fibres.
“With production volume rate of 120kg per hour, M-TechX’s nano-fibre products, also known as “Magic Fiber,” can be mass-produced with a variety of specifications,” said Tan, adding that the joint venture is focussing first on corporate customers in three key Asian markets: Japan, where the nano-fibre products are more attractive and where stable profit margins can be achieved, Indonesia where the plant is based, and Singapore, a regional trading hub where many headquarters of global companies are located.
“The Group intends to leverage on its extensive distribution channels across more than 30 countries to cross-market these super-absorbent nano-fibres,” added Tan. “We are also exploring the possibility of developing sub-brands to facilitate our entry into existing and new markets.”
United Global confirmed that other applications are in various stages of development, spanning an array of sectors such as housing, automotive and land development. Nanofibres can be used as thermal insulation material for construction, whilst also providing humidity resistance and sound absorption qualities. The innovative material can also absorb low-pitched sounds which conventional sound-absorbent materials cannot, opening the path for automotive applications. Large-scale greening especially in arid terrain would be improved by planting seeds in nano-fibres, which have water retention properties. In addition, the company said that nano-fibres also hold potential as a material for air-conditioning filters and masks that act as effective barriers against viruses and air pollutants.
The Listed Companies Awards, presented by Singapore Business Review, was held last 11 July 2019 at Conrad Centennial Singapore.
This year’s nominations were judged by a panel consisting of Henry Tan, Managing Director, NEXIA TS; Choo Eng Chuan, EY Asean Markets Leader and Partner, International and Corporate Tax Services, Ernst & Young Solutions LLP; Ng Jiak See, Executive Director, Head of Corporate Finance Advisory, Deloitte Singapore & Southeast Asia; and Toh Kim Teck, Assurance Partner, Foo Kon Tan LLP.
Check out the event photos during the awards night here.
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