NEW employees at Chevron Oronite, which manufactures and markets fuel and lubricant additives used to improve the performance of lubricants in engines, hydraulic systems and drivelines, need not worry about settling into a new environment.

In fact, they can look forward to picking up new skills as they embark on a structured learning and development programmes tailored to their needs.

Chevron Oronite’s Engineer Competency Development (ECD) is an introduction to the Oronite manufacturing process and equipment so new plant engineers will be equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to do their jobs well. They will also attend specialised training through modules such as Process Equipment and Additive Process Technology.

Growth opportunities aplenty

One employee who benefited from the ECD is Mr Kevin Lee Yew Kit, who joined Chevron Oronite as a process engineer in 2002.

A graduate from the National University of Singapore with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering, he moved on to become the operations section lead before he took on his current role as section superintendent in plant operations.

The 37-year-old says: “Chevron Oronite has created opportunities for me to develop knowledge in the business and in project management that enabled me to progress in my career. As the organisation grows, I’m confident there will be further growth opportunities for me.”

Working a normal shift from 7.45am to 4.45pm in the 24/7 lubricant additive manufacturing facility at Jurong Island, Mr Lee supports the day-to-day manufacturing activities, maintenance coordination and project implementation.

He appreciates the organisation’s strong team culture and emphasis on safety.

He says: “Teamwork has been an integral part of our working culture and this permeates through all levels in the organisation. Whenever we encounter issues, we can always count on the various functions, be it process engineering or reliability and inspection, or our maintenance and operations teams, to work out solutions together.

“The entire organisation, including employees and contractors, are engaged to adopt the mindset of taking the time to do things right, doing them safely or not at all. We give everyone the authority to stop work when they see something unsafe and we stand by this.”

With rapid market growth, the company has embarked on a major expansion project to support the lubricants industry in the region and ensure reliability of supply to its customers. When completed in 2014, the plant’s capacity would be double its original size. Hence, it is looking to hire engineers to fill positions across a wide spectrum.

Growing from strength to strength

New positions are created regularly as the organisation expands, so qualified employees have opportunities to move to them, according to Ms Leona Leo, Chevron Oronite’s organisation capability manager. With the plant’s expansion, various functional departments such as purchasing and procurement, supply planning and logistics have to grow in tandem, as well as the commercial side such as sales and marketing and technical support positions.

As a global company with manufacturing facilities in the United States, France and Japan, among others, Chevron Oronite offers employees good prospects for overseas assignments. As the company is part of Chevron Corporation, one of the world’s leading integrated energy companies headquartered in San Ramon, California in the US, movement across businesses within the Chevron group is another career option for employees.

Chevron has a 50 per cent interest in a refinery in Singapore that produces petroleum products for the Asia-Pacific region. In Singapore, other business activities range from oil trading to retail operations under the Caltex brand name.