Singapore's energy milestones
The energy industry has been an integral part of Singapore's economy ever since oil trading activities started in 1891. Over the years, the Republic has grown to become Asia's undisputed oil hub and one of the world's top three export refining centres.
The electricity and gas sectors in Singapore have also transformed significantly over the past decade. Market liberalisation has led to the rapid planting of gas-fired combined cycle gas turbines, replacing oil-fired steam plants. This has improved the competitiveness of electricity prices and lowered Singapore's carbon intensity. The divestment of state-owned generation companies has also resulted in the entry of leading global energy players in the city-state's electricity market.
Moving forward, Singapore is committed to realising a smart energy economy, with innovative, resilient and sustainable energy solutions to fuel its growth. The country has also embarked on developing its first Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal by 2013. The LNG terminal will not only meet Singapore's energy needs, but see the city-state plugged into the global LNG market.
Singapore is also continually enhancing its energy infrastructure and developing new solutions to navigate the challenges of the changing energy landscape.
April: The Energy Market Authority (EMA) is established to oversee energy issues in Singapore.
April: The electricity generation business in Singapore Power Ltd, a state-owned generation company that also owns and manages the country's electricity transmission and distribution network, is divested to level the playing field in the electricity industry.
January: The National Electricity Market of Singapore (NEMS), a real-time electricity trading pool, commences operation.
July-December: The retail electricity market is liberalised to allow competition for about 10,000 non-residential consumers.
June: The Chemical Process Training Centre, the world's first industry-scale live training plant, opens its doors on Jurong Island (an artificial island amalgamated from several offshore islands). It has the capacity to train a total of 800 students and provide 8,000 man hours of training for workers annually.
August: The Singapore Government decides to import LNG to enhance Singapore's energy security.
October: Shell Chemicals begins construction on a world-scale ethylene cracker and a Mono-Ethylene Glycol (MEG) plant on Bukom Island.
February: Construction of underground rock caverns begins on Jurong Island. The Jurong Rock Cavern is Southeast Asia's first underground rock cavern for the storage of liquid hydrocarbons such as crude oil, condensate, naphtha, gas and oil.
March: Singapore's Research, Innovation and Enterprise Council (RIEC) endorses clean energy as a key growth area with the target of generating S$1.7 billion in value add by 2015.
June: ExxonMobil Chemical announces the building of a second petrochemical project on Jurong Island, comprising a world-scale steam cracker and associated derivatives units.
August: A S$17 million Clean Energy Research & Testbedding Programme (CERT) is launched to position Singapore as a "living laboratory" for clean energy technologies to be tested and integrated before commercialisation.
April: Following a competitive tender process, EMA appoints BG Asia Pacific, a subsidiary of BG Group, to be the LNG Aggregator for Singapore. BG Group has an exclusive licence to import up to 3 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) of LNG or until 2023, whichever is earlier.
September: The gas market is liberalised to allow competition in gas transportation, with the Gas Network Code providing open and non-discriminatory access to onshore gas pipelines.
October: Southeast Asia's first solar photovoltaic testing and certification hub, a joint venture between VDE Institute and Fraunhofer ISE, opens in Singapore.
November: EMA sets up a S$25 million Energy Research and Development Fund to facilitate research, development and demonstration initiatives.
April: The Singapore Government releases the Sustainable Development Blueprint, outlining strategies for the city-state to achieve both economic growth and a good living environment over the next two decades.
April: The Housing Development Board of Singapore (HDB) launches a S$31 million test-bedding of solar PV panels in its public housing precincts over a five-year period.
June: The Singapore Government takes over the development and ownership of the country's first LNG terminal, as the global economic downturn had made it difficult to proceed with the project on a commercial basis.
November: EMA initiates new pilots and test-beds for smart grids and electric vehicles, and awards S$10 million in funding for energy R&D projects as part of a Smart Energy Challenge.
February: Following the recommendations of a high-level Economic Strategies Committee (ESC), the Singapore Government announces plans to look into the diversification of its fuel mix, including studying the possibility of nuclear power in the long term.
March: Official opening of Shell's ethylene cracker complex and completion of the largest, fully-integrated refinery and petrochemicals hub to date on Jurong Island.
September: The Singapore Government allocates S$1 billion for the "National Innovation Challenge" to develop innovative solutions to tackle national challenges. The first challenge is energy resilience with the aim of developing cost-competitive energy solutions to help Singapore improve its energy efficiency, reduce its carbon emission and increase its energy options.
November: Norwegian solar company REC opens one of the world's largest integrated wafer, cell and module manufacturing facilities in Singapore, with an investment figure of S$2.5 billion.
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