Five things to know about the Jurong Rock Caverns

Trade and Industry Minister Lim Hng Kiang (right) officiating the groundbreaking ceremony for the Jurong Rock Caverns together with JTC chairman Soo Kok Leng. -- PHOTO: ZAOBAO
Trade and Industry Minister Lim Hng Kiang (right) officiating the groundbreaking ceremony for the Jurong Rock Caverns together with JTC chairman Soo Kok Leng. -- PHOTO: ZAOBAO
The caverns in 2009, after the completion of the initial phase of the project. -- PHOTO: ST FILE
The caverns in 2009, after the completion of the initial phase of the project. -- PHOTO: ST FILE
Aboveground tanks such as these on Jurong Island may soon be a thing of the past with the opening of the caverns. -- PHOTO: JTC 
Aboveground tanks such as these on Jurong Island may soon be a thing of the past with the opening of the caverns. -- PHOTO: JTC 
An access shaft to the Jurong Rock Caverns, which is South-east Asia’s first underground oil storage facility. -- ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM
An access shaft to the Jurong Rock Caverns, which is South-east Asia’s first underground oil storage facility. -- ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM
JTC Corporation hosted a visit by President Tony Tan Keng Yam and the Council of Presidential Advisers at the Jurong Rock Caverns on Jurong Island on Feb 25, 2014. -- PHOTO: JTC CORPORATION
JTC Corporation hosted a visit by President Tony Tan Keng Yam and the Council of Presidential Advisers at the Jurong Rock Caverns on Jurong Island on Feb 25, 2014. -- PHOTO: JTC CORPORATION
The Jurong Rock Caverns are located beneath Banyan Basin off Jurong Island. -- PHOTO: JTC
The Jurong Rock Caverns are located beneath Banyan Basin off Jurong Island. -- PHOTO: JTC

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong officially opens the Jurong Rock Caverns on Sept 2, 2014. Here are five things about this massive underground installation, which had its ground breaking ceremony in February 2007. 

1) It is the first underground oil storage facility in South-east Asia. It frees up 60ha of usable land, or about 84 football fields.

2) The subterranean development goes up to 130m beneath the Banyan Basin on Jurong Island. The caverns are, at 27m high, 20m wide and 340m long, as tall as a 9-storey building.

3) The caverns will store liquid hydrocarbons such as crude oil, condensate, naphtha and gas oil. Its location complements Jurong Island's role as a petrochemicals hub. The infrastructure will support companies such as Chevron Philips, ExxonMobil and Shell. 

4) The five rock caverns and 8km of tunnels, which cost a total of $1.7 billion, are just the first phase of the project. The nine storage galleries inside will provide 1.47 million cu m of storage, or 580 Olympic-sized pools worth of space. The capacity will double once the second phase is complete. 

5) This is not Singapore's first foray into large-scale underground storage. In 2008, the Singapore Armed Forces officially opened the Underground Ammunition Facility to store the military's munitions and explosives, freeing up about 400 football fields of space. 

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