Sembcorp, EMA to invest another $10m in energy sector R&D projects

SINGAPORE - Sembcorp Industries and the Energy Market Authority (EMA) have renewed a partnership to continue research and development (R&D) and develop new capabilities in Singapore's energy sector.

The move takes their joint commitment to over $20 million to date. Some $10 million in grants have been awarded under the partnership to three R&D projects.

The refreshed Sembcorp-EMA Energy Technology Partnership will give Sembcorp and EMA the ability to translate and commercialise R&D solutions in "strategic" areas.

Researchers and companies will have the opportunity to develop new technologies which could potentially be trialed at Sembcorp's facilities, Sembcorp and EMA said in a joint press statement on Tuesday (Oct 30).

EMA is a statutory board under the Ministry of Trade and Industry overseeing Singapore's energy supply and market.

Of the three R&D projects awarded grants, two are by teams are from A*Star's Institute for Infocomm Research (I2R), with one team from Nanyang Technological University (NTU).

The I2R awardees will develop solutions to enhance the efficiency of pipeline inspections via autonomous vehicles and automation, as well as automate plant boiler inspections through online condition monitoring and data science.


The NTU team, meanwhile, will find ways to recover low-grade waste heat and enhance energy efficiency at industrial plants.

"As a home-grown energy player with over two decades in Singapore's power and utilities market, Sembcorp is thrilled to extend our partnership with EMA in supporting R&D and developing a new generation of future energy professionals," said Sembcorp's chief digital officer Matthew Friedman.

EMA chief executive Ngiam Shih Chun added that its partnership with Sembcorp will help catalyse R&D innovations to "enhance the resilience" of Singapore's energy sector.

Separately, Sembcorp and EMA said they will work to attract young people to explore careers in the energy sector via the Sembcorp-EMA Energy Challenge (SEEC), an energy-related gaming competition involving learning journeys and internship opportunities for students from Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs).

More than 300 students from various IHLs have participated in the SEEC over the past three years, Sembcorp and EMA said, which aims to give participants a taste of solving real-world issues that power sector professionals face during the course of work. The competition takes students to sites usually off limits to the public, such as the Pulau Ubin Micro-grid Test-bed and Sembcorp's energy facilities.