Monday, May 24, 2010

Second link among studies to improve Jurong Island

Environment, water, energy, logistics and feedstock options are areas looked at

(SINGAPORE) Many new projects - ranging from a second road link with the mainland to facilitate the daily commute of its fast-growing workforce, to an LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) terminal to bring in alternative feedstocks - are being studied under the just-announced 'Jurong Island version 2.0' initiative to further boost the Singapore petrochemical industry's competitiveness in the coming 10 years.

Under the move 'to improve energy efficiency and overcome resource limitations' on the petrochemicals island, the JTC Corporation/Economic Development Board-led initiative will look at five main areas of energy, logistics and transportation, feedstock options, environment and water, BT has learnt.

'There will be a lot of work ahead . . . consultancy studies will be called to give their recommendations on the various focus areas,' a JTC spokeswoman told BT, adding that more details of the plan will emerge thereafter.

The latest initiative to further gear up Jurong Island's competitiveness - currently home to 95 global petrochemical companies with over $31 billion of investments - was first announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the opening of Shell's US$3 billion petrochemical complex earlier this month.

Elaborating on the move, the JTC spokeswoman said that the multi-agency '2.0 initiative' will involve agencies including the Energy Market Authority, Land Transport Authority, Maritime Port Authority, Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, and the Public Utilities Board, as well as the Jurong Island companies themselves.

JTC director Heah Soon Poh last week told BT that the agencies will discuss with industry players regarding both their needs as well as their participation in the initiative to upgrade the island. 'The whole idea is to strengthen Jurong Island's two pillars of its sustainability and its competitiveness,' he said.

Some 38,000 workers (8,000 full-time) currently enter Jurong Island daily, and with their numbers expected to swell in the coming years as more petrochemical investors set up there, new enhanced public transport systems, like a second road link, are being planned to facilitate their commute to, and also within, the island, JTC said.

'We are also building a barging terminal to provide a more efficient and safer means of transporting hazardous products in and out of the island,' the JTC spokeswoman added.

On energy, PM Lee earlier indicated that the Jurong Island '2.0 initiative' will include schemes to use waste heat to power production processes and to convert waste carbon dioxide into useful products, thus creating more value and reducing the carbon footprint.

Mr Heah added that the '2.0 initiative' will similarly also look at how to tap or harness unused 'cold' energy from the liquefied natural gas terminal currently being built on the island.

It will also consider new water technologies, for example, using sea water desalination and recycling of waste water to ensure ample water supplies, the spokeswoman said.

The initiative will also explore alternative feedstocks and resources for petrochemical investors including LPG, she added. BT earlier reported that Shell and the EDB are looking at the possibility of building a terminal here to import LPG from Qatar to supplement the naphtha currently used by the petrochemical crackers.

Source: Business Times, 24 May 2010

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