Singapore has had, throughout its entire brief history as an independent state, the ambition and ability to capitalize on its location on the world’s second busiest oil shipping route. It sits squarely on the narrowest choke point of the Strait of Malacca, the Phillips Channel, through which pass an estimated 15 million bpd of oil, representing a third of all global oil shipments. A newly independent Singapore quickly took advantage of this, going from itsfirst oil refinery set up by Shell in 1961, a few years before independence, to being the third largest oil-refining center in the world by the 1970s. In the past fifteen years, Singapore has achieved the same phenomenal growth in the downstream petrochemicals sector. Since the official opening of Jurong Island in 2000, a remarkable twenty years ahead of schedule, Singapore is now home to one of the top ten petrochemical hubs in the world, with the chemical sector (including biomedical) accounting for 37.4% of the country’s total manufacturing sector in 2009, a total output worth $79,786.2 million.