Opening Remarks By Mr. S. Iswaran, Minister In The Prime Minister's Office And Second Minister For Home Affairs And Trade And Industry, At The Opening Ceremony Of Sembcorp Cogen

31 Oct 2014

Mr Tang Kin Fei,
Group President and CEO, Sembcorp Industries

Distinguished Guests

Ladies and Gentlemen

Congratulations

Good morning. I am happy to join you this morning for the Opening Ceremony of Sembcorp’s Cogeneration Plant and the Sembcorp Technology & Innovation Centre at Banyan.

Let me start by extending my heartiest congratulations to Sembcorp on the completion of these facilities, which marks a significant milestone in Sembcorp’s history and evolution.  The new cogeneration plant, Sembcorp’s second such facility on Jurong Island, generates up to 400 megawatts of power and 200 tonnes per hour of process steam, and will further boost the capacity and reliability of Singapore’s power and steam supply. The Sembcorp Technology & Innovation Centre, on the other hand, sharpens Sembcorp’s technical expertise, and puts the company at the forefront of the use of predictive analytics in the operation of utility plants.

Without reliable access to steam and electricity, our industries will not be able to grow and thrive.  Therefore, it is important for the public and private sectors to continue to work together to ensure that the energy sector keeps pace with our growing needs.

Sembcorp-EMA Energy Technology Partnership

The Sembcorp Technology & Innovation Centre, with its laboratories and applied R&D facilities, conducts technical studies in areas such as alternative fuels and industrial wastewater treatability.  It serves as a centre of excellence which supports Sembcorp’s global operations through the development of innovative processes and technologies to support its customers’ needs.  One example is the Sembcorp Virtual Brain Project - an intelligent diagnostic and predictive maintenance tool which enables facilities to predict plant performance up to five days in advance and take preemptive action to ensure the smooth running of these facilities.  The use of such innovative technologies will not only enhance process efficiency, improve sustainability and bring about significant cost-savings, and also improve the overall resilience of Singapore’s power, steam and industrial water management systems.

Complementing the inauguration of Sembcorp’s Technology & Innovation Centre, Sembcorp and the Energy Market Authority, or EMA, will be launching a $10 million initiative called the Sembcorp-EMA Energy Technology Partnership.  This partnership will encourage the translation and commercialisation of energy research into technologies and solutions to address Singapore’s energy needs.  Besides the funding, Sembcorp, with its diverse portfolio of assets, will provide researchers and companies the opportunity to test-bed and pilot new technologies at its facilities. Successful technologies and solutions can also leverage on Sembcorp's strong business networks for commercialization.

More details on how the research community and industry can benefit from the partnership will be shared later.

Developing Capabilities for the Power Sector

Beyond its commitment to technological innovation and R&D, Sembcorp has been a strong champion in building a pipeline of talent for Singapore’s power sector.

Sembcorp is one of the founding partners of the Energy-Industry Scholarship for students pursuing engineering courses.  The company is also working with the new Singapore Institute of Power and Gas, and providing industry feedback to help shape the curriculum and course offerings for worker training and upgrading.

Sembcorp is also an example of how the energy sector can provide meaningful career opportunities for all Singaporeans.  One example is Mr Tan Kian Hwee, who is currently manager of Sembcorp’s service corridor department. Kian Hwee joined Sembcorp in 2006 as an engineer.  It is a position that normally requires a university degree, but Sembcorp recognized the relevance and value of his industry experience in lieu of a university degree.  He subsequently rose through the ranks of senior engineer and assistant manager, rotating through three departments, before assuming his current role.  His progress is testimony that with hard work, a positive attitude and support from their companies, employees can succeed and progress in their jobs even if they might lack a formal university education.

Sembcorp-EMA Energy Challenge

This year, Sembcorp is also supporting our efforts in youth engagement and outreach by partnering EMA to launch the Sembcorp-EMA Energy Challenge, or SEEC.  The SEEC comprises experiential learning journeys, an energy competition and internships, and is targeted at engineering students in ITEs, polytechnics and universities.

Participants in the SEEC will visit Sembcorp’s facilities to meet Sembcorp’s engineers and experience at first-hand the different aspects of the power plant business.  We hope that this will deepen their understanding of the power sector and spark their interest to pursue a career in the sector.  Participants will also test their skills in solving practical, real-world challenges which power sector professionals face in the course of their work.  Winners of the competition will be awarded cash prizes as well as internships with Sembcorp.

Conclusion

These initiatives attest to Sembcorp’s commitment to develop manpower and technological capabilities for Singapore’s power sector.  I commend Sembcorp on its contributions, and look forward to Sembcorp’s continued partnership with EMA and industry partners on these initiatives.

The Government will continue to partner companies to ensure Singapore’s energy security, economic competitiveness and environmental sustainability, and we hope to see all stakeholders come forward to contribute to this effort. Thank you.

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