A unit of Keppel Corp has signed a non-binding pact to develop a model smart city in China.
Wholly owned Keppel Urban Solutions will work with Chinese energy company Envision and the local authorities in Wuxi in the eastern province of Jiangsu on an Internet of Things (IoT)-based development that will include a smart industrial park in the Taihu New City project. The plans for the 2 sq km smart city follow a separate memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Keppel Urban Solutions and Envision in January to collaborate on smart energy and smart city solutions by tapping each other's expertise and resources.
Envision, which plans to set up a global innovation centre in Taihu New City to develop an IoT platform for smart cities, will supply the IoT operating system for the initiative.
It will work with Keppel Corp to attract global IoT businesses to a planned ecosystem focusing on artificial intelligence and the IoT.
Mr Li Xiaomin, secretary of the Communist Party's municipal branch in Wuxi, called the three-way MOU signing "a step in the right direction".
"I hope that the three parties can further refine the details of the cooperation, and, through sincere and practical cooperation and taking a long-term perspective, build a successful landmark project," he said, adding that the local authorities will work on providing the services needed to support the project's development and operation.
Envision chief executive Zhang Lei said in a statement that the smart city "will become a model for China-Singapore cooperation in the field of city-industry integration".
Keppel Corp chief executive Loh Chin Hua said that his group "has a strong track record in master-planning and developing large-scale urban projects".
The group's most prominent efforts in China include the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-city bilateral project, where it leads the Singapore consortium in the 50-50 master developer joint venture.
Keppel Urban Solutions is developing a similar project, Saigon Sports City, in Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh City, which is expected to be ready by 2022. The 64ha township is expected to feature a smart security system and remote energy and utilities monitoring and control.
Wuxi has been touted by the Chinese government as a key hotbed of IoT and digital innovation.
Alibaba's majority-owned logistics firm Cainiao recently opened an automated warehouse there, with plans for environmental sensors to assess everything from humidity to storage capacity in its 160,000 sq m complex.