One of Singapore's oldest industrial estates will be revamped to support the transformation of traditional manufacturing industries and the growth of new sectors such as agri-tech and environmental technology.
The masterplan for the 500ha area in Sungei Kadut, which is larger than Bukit Panjang town, was unveiled yesterday.
Sungei Kadut, which houses businesses in the timber, furniture, construction and waste management industries, will be progressively developed over the next 20 to 30 years.
Manufacturing has been a key part of Singapore's industrial growth in the past and will continue to be part of its future, Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing said yesterday at the unveiling of the Sungei Kadut Eco-District Masterplan Exhibition at the Urban Redevelopment Authority Centre.
Noting that the estate will anchor new growth industries with facilities like the Agri-Food Innovation Park, he added that this will bring in higher-value, knowledge-based jobs for Singaporeans such as systems engineers, plant scientists and aquaculture nutritionists.
New facilities, including several multi-user developments, and infrastructure work across more than 40ha will be part of the first phase of Sungei Kadut's rejuvenation, which will be completed by 2025.
These developments - trendspace will be for furniture and related industries, TimMac for timber, metal and machinery companies, and Kranji Green for waste management and recycling sectors - will help intensify land use, reduce business costs and optimise resource usage by providing shared facilities and services.
Almost 50 companies have confirmed interest in moving into these multi-user industrial facilities, which will span around 3.4 million sq ft in gross floor area and cost close to $650 million, said JTC Corporation, which is working on the masterplan for the industrial estate.
Gathering these synergistic industries in Sungei Kadut can potentially create sustainable circular economies, it added.
For example, taking waste materials from companies to neighbouring waste management firms in the estate will reduce logistics cost, improve waste management and foster future collaboration.
About 40 per cent or 200ha of land in Sungei Kadut has been reserved for future industries.
Some 18ha has been set aside for the first phase of development of the Agri-Food Innovation Park, which will bring together a range of high-tech farming and research and development activities, such as aquaculture hatcheries.
Agri-tech firm Archisen, which builds, designs and operates indoor farms, is one of the companies in this emerging industry looking at moving to Sungei Kadut.
Mr Sven Yeo, its co-founder and chief technology officer, said firms in the industry are facing two main challenges: supply chain logistics and regulatory barriers.
He added that shared services for agri-tech companies in the new Agri-Food Innovation Park, such as combining the delivery of produce from a few farms, could boost efficiency for budding companies in the industry.
Mr Chan noted that the revamped Sungei Kadut will feature more parks, green roofs and trees - quadrupling the green cover from 10 per cent today to 40 per cent.
"This will mitigate the urban heat island effect and provide a more comfortable environment for workers and visitors," he added.
JTC chief executive Ng Lang said manufacturing is changing rapidly with new needs for technology and talent, and future estates will be designed as mixed-use destinations to support this transformation.
"We hope that, among other features, Sungei Kadut Eco-District will be a demonstration of new capabilities in climate-resilient and environmentally responsive urban planning and design."
The masterplan exhibition is open to the public till Feb 19.