Singapore, Abu Dhabi join hands on smart utilities solutions

(From left) Managing Director of the Abu Dhabi Distribution Company H.E. Saeed Suwaidi, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy H.E. Awaidha Al-marar, Undersecretary of the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy H.E Mohammad Bin Jarsh, chief executive
(From left) Managing Director of the Abu Dhabi Distribution Company H.E. Saeed Suwaidi, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy H.E. Awaidha Al-marar, Undersecretary of the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy H.E Mohammad Bin Jarsh, chief executive of PUB Ng Joo Hee, Minister of the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of the Environment and Water Albert Chua. PHOTO: PUB

Nine Singapore organisations have signed agreements to undertake power and water projects in Abu Dhabi.

The Middle Eastern nation, the largest emirate in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has been heavily dependent on oil and gas, but is now diversifying into building infrastructure and expanding its manufacturing and service sectors.

That has prompted it to invest to boost the efficiency of its utilities by reducing transmission losses in power and water through smart metering and leakage detection systems.

The UAE has earmarked over $200 billion to invest in smart utilities and renewable energy projects.

That is where the Singapore connection kicks in, with memorandums of understanding signed on Feb 20 and 21 with the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy, a move facilitated by trade agency IE Singapore. The nine bodies involved are: artificial intelligence incubator Addo AI, Diamond Energy, Energy Market Company, engineering consultancy Meinhardt, national water agency PUB, National University of Singapore, Singapore Management University, energy firm SP Group, and tech company Zweec Analytics.

IE Singapore will also lead a smart utilities mission to the Middle East in the second quarter to help more companies explore opportunities across the region.

"Beyond Abu Dhabi, the UAE is taking steps to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels, and aims to generate almost half the country's power needs from renewable sources," PUB and IE Singapore said in a joint statement.

Among other things, PUB and the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy will collaborate in capability and technology development for areas of common interest, including water-quality monitoring technologies and water and wastewater networks.

SP Group's global training arm, SP Global Solutions, will share digital solutions and best engineering practices to help the emirate boost energy efficiency.

"With over 400 Singapore companies operating across the emirates, Singapore and the UAE enjoy growing business, trade and investment links," said Mr G. Jayakrishnan, IE Singapore's group director of Middle East and Africa Group.

"As Abu Dhabi accelerates its economic diversification, it is also modernising its utilities sector."

SP Global Solutions' director Peter Leong said the group looks forward to "strengthening its capabilities through digital technologies to deliver sustainable solutions for customers in Singapore and the UAE".

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 22, 2018, with the headline 'Singapore, Abu Dhabi join hands on smart utilities solutions'. Print Edition | Subscribe