In this short interview since taking office in April, EMA CE Ng Wai Choong shares his thoughts on the energy sector.
What are the areas of work in the energy sector that have made an impression on you so far?
We are a small country with hardly any energy resources to rely on. Yet we have a secure and reliable power infrastructure that we can be proud of. This is only possible with the people and systems that we have in place. With this strong foundation, our energy sector continues to push the boundaries through R&D such as energy storage and smart grids. We are also looking to build a second LNG terminal to bolster our energy supply, and positioning Singapore to be an LNG trading hub. All these make for a very vibrant energy sector and I’m excited to be a part of it.
We celebrate SG50 this year. What in your view are the most notable achievements in Singapore’s growth from the energy perspective?
In the 1960s, Singapore frequently experienced blackouts as well as brownouts – which is what happens when electrical supply is unsteady or when voltage dips. The Government’s first priority was to invest in our power infrastructure to meet growing needs. These were crucial for our nation’s survival.
Today, Singapore enjoys one of the most stable and reliable electricity systems. With an average interruption time of less than 1 minute per customer per year, it is more reliable than Tokyo (5 minutes) and New York (14.34 minutes). Singapore has grown remarkably over the last 50 years and the energy sector continues to play a fundamental role in powering our economy forward.
What motivates you and how do you draw energy to tackle the challenges that come your way?
Knowing that what you do makes a difference to your country is always a source of motivation. Working alongside dedicated colleagues, the union and other stakeholders to do what is right and good for Singapore and Singaporeans generates a pool of energy for all of us to draw from. Together, we can do much to overcome challenges. I look forward to working with everyone in the industry to keep the lights on for Singapore.