This was the Castrol lubricant manufacturing factory with its huge distinctive silver oil storage tanks.
|The storage tanks appear to be painted a dark colour but most everyone remember it in its silver livery.|
(Photo taken in 1973.)
It was originally called Castrol (Far East) Pte Ltd and was the first major overseas subsidiary of the British Castrol company which specialised in machine and engine lubricants.
The factory was opened in 1963 by Dr Goh Keng Swee amidst great flourish with the first drum of lubricant marked for shipment to Kobe, Japan.
As a young lad, I thought that the factory was an oil refinery due to the unmistakable oil storage tanks located there. It was only much later that I learnt that Castrol only manufactured lubricants for engines and that this plant at Hillview was its major manufacturing facility outside of Europe.
Castrol operated its factory from 1963 until 1993 when the Hillview area was rezoned from an industrial area to a condominium residential zone. The factory then relocated to new premises at Jurong Industrial Estate.
Unless you are now in your 70s and lived at Princess Elizabeth, you probably would not have known the previous occupant of the Castrol site. The original factory that stood on that Colonial Industrial Estate site was the Hong Kong Rope Manufacturing Company.
Today, the site is occupied by the Glendale Park and Hillview Park Condominium complexes.