Jurong Island to become sustainable chemicals, energy park

Singapore's Jurong Island oil hub will be transformed into an energy and chemicals park that operates sustainably and exports its sustainable products globally, said Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong yesterday.

The plan envisages Singapore's energy and chemical (E&C) sector increasing its output of sustainable products by four times its 2019 levels, as well as reducing carbon emissions by more than 6 million tonnes a year from low-carbon solutions by 2050.

Mr Gan announced the Sustainable Jurong Island plan at the groundbreaking ceremony of a Shell plant on Pulau Bukom that will turn hard-to-recycle plastic waste into an oil used as a feedstock for petrochemicals.

The Shell plant is the first project in step with the sustainability ambitions for the sector that were initially announced under the green economy pillar of the Singapore Green Plan 2030.

The plan is centred around two focus areas - increasing the output of sustainable products such as bio-based fuels and chemicals, and enabling sustainable production to reduce carbon emissions and pollution.

Mr Gan said the E&C sector here is in the midst of a transition towards lower-carbon fuels, renewables and sustainable chemicals, and the sustainable park initiative will build on these ongoing efforts.

The E&C sector will also drive the adoption of low-carbon technologies and fuels, which will help Singapore achieve its decarbonisation goals for other sectors like aviation.

"It may not be too long before your flight out of Changi Airport is powered by sustainable biofuels made in Singapore too," said Mr Gan.

Grants and allowances will be enhanced to encourage companies to be more efficient and to cut emissions, he added.

Yesterday, the Economic Development Board (EDB) also released the Sustainable Jurong Island report, detailing plans to transform Jurong Island into a sustainable energy and chemicals park.

The report said that in order to reach the 2050 goals, some targets have been set for the E&C sector to be achieved by 2030.

They include increasing the output of sustainable products by 1.5 times the 2019 levels, ensuring that the refineries and crackers in Singapore are in the top quartile of the world in terms of energy efficiency, and realising at least 2 million tonnes of carbon-capture potential.

EDB said that several infrastructure and support measures are being put in place to help the industry in its efforts to transform Jurong Island and achieve the targets.

These include a joint study by the Agency for Science, Technology and Research, EDB and JTC Corporation on the potential of a carbon capture and utilisation (CCU) test-bedding facility on Jurong Island - the CCU Translational Testbed.

CCU refers to the process of capturing carbon dioxide emissions from sources such as power or oil refining plants and either reusing or storing them so they will not enter the atmosphere.

The testbed will tap the latest technologies to develop and scale up the use of CCU technologies in Singapore.

EDB chairman Beh Swan Gin said that the agency will work with the E&C industry here to develop sustainable solutions for Singapore and beyond.

"The global energy transition presents an opportunity for companies on Jurong Island to transform and innovate as they navigate towards a low carbon future," he said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 24, 2021, with the headline 'Jurong Island to become sustainable chemicals, energy park'. Subscribe