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Singapore Unveils Underground Space Usage Plans For 3 Pilot Areas

April 2019

Under its Draft Master Plan 2019 (DMP19) released on 27 March, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) of Singapore has unveiled plans for underground space use in three pilot areas, namely Marina Bay, Jurong Innovation District and Punggol Digital District. The Master Plan is the statutory land use plan which guides Singapore's development in the medium term over the next 10 to 15 years. It is reviewed every five years and translates the broad long-term strategies of the Concept Plan into detailed plans to guide the development of land and property.

Utlizing underground is space is one of the strategies Singapore is adopting to address the issue of land scarcity.  In 2015, the Ministry of Law has made legislative changes to the State Lands (Amendment) Bill and the Land Acquisition (Amendment) Bill to facilitate the government’s long-term planning for the use and development of underground space.

By relocating utilities, transport, storage and industrial facilities, surface land  can be freed up for people-centric uses. The government is tapping on 3D technology to facilitate upfront planning of the underground space and improve the efficient and effective use of underground space. A 3D underground map, called 3D Underground Special Detailed and Control Plan, is being rolled out for the three pilot areas, to show the underground uses and planning requirements. The underground map for Marina Bay for instance shows the MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) network, the Marina Coastal Expressway, car parks, pedestrian links, common services tunnel (supposed to house multiple utilities including waste disposal and air-conditioning pipes) and district cooling points, as well as the underground space in Marina Bay. These maps will be made transparent to developers and building owners. This 3D underground plan will be expanded to include more areas in future. 

The government is also studying the feasibility of using caverns for utility, storage and industrial uses at areas like Tanjong Kling. It is also developing a planning tool to identify areas with potential for cavern development based on compatibility with above ground uses, and suitability of geology. This can guide planning for the locations and types of cavern uses so that they do not negatively impact above ground developments.

(Sources: Urban Redevelopment Authority; Straits Times)

Singapore Continues To Invest For Enhancing Global Connectivity

March 2019

Speaking at the Committee of Supply Debate 2019, Singapore's Senior Minister of State for Transport and Health, Dr Lam Pin Min, talked about how Singapore continues to invest in quality infrastructure to provide the needed capacity and strengthen Singapore’s global connectivity. 

Singapore is curently building urrently building Tuas Terminal, which is expected to be the largest container terminal in the world, with a facility that will be able to cater to mega-vessels. In addition, the mega-terminal will also have a total capacity of up to 65 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), more than the combined 50 million TEUs capacity of the current city terminals. It will also be a smarter port, with a higher degree of automation to improve efficiency, safety and service levels. Construction is on track to commence the first phase of operations in 2021.

Similarly, the development of T5 (terminal 5) at Changi Airport is expected to commence operations around 2030. Current airport infrastructure is also being enhanced. Terminal 1’s upgrading is nearing completion. Jewel, a mixed-use development with gardens, attractions, retail, dining, a hotel and facilities to support airport operations, will also open on 17 April. Its aviation facilities will improve the travel experience for passengers, such as early check-in facilities, integrated ticketing and baggage services for fly-cruise and fly-coach transfers. 

Upgrading works on Terminal 2 are going to start soon. Terminal 2 will be expanded and refreshed, with automated check-in kiosks, biometric-enabled bag-drops and automated immigration gates, to offer passengers greater convenience from check-in to immigration to their flight.

Ways to leverage technology to augment human capabilities are also being explored. For instance, with support from the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), SATS, the largest ground handler at Changi, is experimenting with Autonomous Container Trailers. If successful, it would mean less physically straining jobs, and more higher-skilled jobs such as Autonomous Vehicle Operators and Fleet Managers. Sea port are being automated to raise productivity. Jurong Port previously used traditional forklifts and flatbed trailers to unload steel, which constitutes more than half of their handled cargo. It now deploys customised side-loaders, which has helped to reduce its manpower requirement for steel unloading by 60%.

(Sources: Ministry of Transport, Singapore)

Sustained Public Sector Demand To Support Construction In Singapore For 2019

February 2019

The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) of Singapore is projecting that the total construction demand (value of construction contracts to be awarded) in 2019 will range between SGD 27 billion (USD 20 billion) and SGD 32 billion (USD 23.5 billion), compared to the preliminary estimate of SGD 30.5 billion  (USD 22.4 billion) worth of contracts awarded in 2018.

The projections are supported by sustained public sector construction demand, which is expected to reach between SGD 16.5 billion (USD 12 billion) and SGD 19.5 billion (USD 14.3 billion) in 2019, contributing to about 60% of the projected demand for this year. Public construction demand is expected to be boosted by major infrastructure projects and a pipeline of major industrial building projects.

The private sector’s construction demand is expected to remain steady at between SGD 10.5 billion (USD 7.7 billion) and SGD 12.5 billion (USD 9.2 billion) in 2019, supported by projects including the redevelopment of past en-bloc sales sites concluded prior to the second half of 2018 and new industrial developments.

Construction demand in 2018 was within forecast due to strong demand from institutional building and civil engineering projects, continued positive growth in the manufacturing sector and more private residential redevelopment projects from en-bloc sales in 2017 and the first half of 2018. 

BCA expects a steady improvement in construction demand over the medium term. Demand is projected to reach between S$27 billion and S$34 billion per year for 2020 and 2021 and could increase to between SGD 28 billion (USD 20.6 billion) and SGD 35 billion (USD 25.7 billion) per year for 2022 and 2023. The public sector is expected to contribute SGD 16 billion (USD 11.8 billion) to SGD 20 billion (USD 14.7 billion) per year from 2020 to 2023 with similar proportions of demand coming from building projects and civil engineering works, driven by public residential developments and big infrastructure projects such as the Cross Island Line, developments at Jurong Lake District and Changi Airport Terminal. 

(Sources: Building and Construction Authority, Singapore; Straits Times)

LTA Awards Six Contracts For North-South Corridor Tunnels

January 2019

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) announced on December 26 that it has awarded six contracts totalling SGD 3.14 billion to design and construct the tunnels and commuter facilities such as pedestrian overhead bridges and bus stops for six sections of the North-South Corridor (NSC). Works on these contracts are expected to begin by end-2019. The 21.5km-long NSC is Singapore’s first integrated transport corridor that will connect ECP in the south to Admiralty Road West in the north. It will feature express bus routes and at-grade cycling trunk routes to better meet the needs of public bus commuters, cyclists and pedestrians.

NSC Tunnel between ECP and Victoria Street: The construction of a section of the NSC tunnel between ECP and Victoria Street has been awarded to South Korean firm, GS Engineering & Construction Corporation, at a contract sum of SGD 635.8 million. GS Engineering & Construction Corporation will design and construct a 1 km section of tunnel and 1 km section of viaduct, three entry ramps and four exit ramps.

NSC Tunnel between Victoria Street and Kampong Java Road: The construction of a section of the NSC tunnel between Victoria Street and Kampong Java Road has been awarded to a joing venture (JV) between South Korean firm, Ssangyong Engineering & Construction Co., Ltd. and Singapore-based Wai Fong Construction Pte Ltd Joint Venture at a contract sum of SGD 482.5 million.  The JV will design and construct a 1.55 km section of the tunnel with two entry ramps and two exit ramps. 

NSC Tunnel between Marymount Lane and Pemimpin Place: The construction of a section of the NSC tunnel between Marymount Lane and Pemimpin Place has been awarded to China Railway First Group Co., Ltd. Singapore Branch (CRFG) at a contract sum of SGD 446 million. CRFG will design and construct a 1.1 km section of the tunnel with one entry ramp

NSC Tunnel between Pemimpin Place and Sin Ming Avenue: The construction of a section of the NSC tunnel between Pemimpin Place and Sin Ming Avenue has been awarded to a consortium of local companies, Hwa Seng Builder Pte. Ltd., Chye Joo Construction Pte. Ltd. and Ho Lee Construction Pte. Ltd. Joint Venture (HS-CJ-HL JV) at a contract sum of SGD 242.9 million. They will design and construct a 0.7 km section of the tunnel with one entry ramp and one exit ramp. 

NSC Tunnel between Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3 and Ang Mo Kio Avenue 9: The construction of a section of the NSC tunnel between Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3 and Ang Mo Kio Avenue 9 has been awarded to Lum Chang Building Contractors Pte Ltd at a contract sum of SGD 799 million. The company will design and construct a 1.95 km section of the tunnel and one entry ramp.

NSC Tunnel and Viaduct between Ang Mo Kio Avenue 9 and Sungei Seletar: The construction of a section of the NSC tunnel and viaduct between Ang Mo Kio Avenue 9 and Sungei Seletar has been awarded to Ssangyong Engineering & Construction Co. Ltd at a contract sum of S$537.1 million. The contractor will design and construct a 1.3km section of tunnel, 1.1km section of viaduct and 340m at-grade road between NSC tunnel and NSC viaduct with one exit ramp.

(Sources: Land Transport Authority, Singapore; Straits Times)

Singapore Launches New Agency To Facilitate Regional Infrastructure Collaboration

November 2018

At Enterprise Singapore’s 8th Asia-Singapore Infrastructure Roundtable (ASIR) in Singapore on 23 October, Enterprise Singapore and the Monetary Authority of Singapore officially launched a new agency called Infrastructure Asia to support regional infrastructure development. Plans for the agency were announced earlier this year in February. Infrastructure Asia will serve as a bridge for different industry players across the infrastructure ecosystem, multilateral development banks (MDBs) and the public sector, and be a one-stop platform for the information exchange and sharing of best practices in Asia. 

At the launch, Infrastructure Asia signed two Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) to foster partnerships. The first is an MoU with the World Bank Group to leverage each other’s networks and expertise to drive knowledge building and exchange within Asia. They will also work together to help Asian countries strengthen capacities for infrastructure project structuring, financing, implementation and operation. The second is an MoU with Singapore Business Federation to i) enhance visibility of regional project opportunities for Singapore-based companies through workshops and marketing initiatives; ii) market and match Singapore-based companies equipped with relevant technical, financial and/or professional services solutions to project opportunities. 

A 2017 report from the Asian Development Bank estimated that Asia will need more than USD 1.7 trillion of infrastructure per year from 2016 to 2030. It also found that infrastructure, mining and oil and gas projects have on average cost 80% more than budgeted and run 20 months late.

To address these issues, Singapore's Ministry of Law announced the Singapore Infrastructure Dispute-Management Protocol to help parties involved in mega infrastructure projects manage disputes and minimise the risks of time and cost overruns. The Protocol is expected to help parties proactively manage differences to prevent them from escalating into disputes. Under the new protocol, parties will from the start of the project appoint a Dispute Board comprising up to three neutral professionals who are experts in relevant fields such as engineering, quantity surveying and law. The Dispute Board will follow the project from start to finish and proactively help to manage issues that may arise, through a range of customised dispute avoidance and resolution processes.  The new protocol has attracted interest from parties who are keen to incorporate it into their projects. These projects are estimated to be worth SGD 500 million (USD 360 million) or more. 

(Sources: Enterprise Singapore; Ministry of Law, Singapore; Business Times)

Surbana Jurong-Mitsubishi JV To Invest In Emerging Asia Urban Development

October 2018

Surbana Jurong Capital, the newly established financial services arm of Surbana Jurong, and Mitsubishi Corporation signed an agreement on 14 September to set up a fund management company (FMC). The FMC will be a 50:50 joint venture between the two companies and will be jointly managed by both partners. 

The FMC will set up an Investment Fund (Fund), with seed capital of USD 250 million from each partner, to invest in urban infrastructure projects in emerging Asia, primarily in Myanmar, Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia, India and Sri Lanka. Projects might include transit-oriented developments (TOD) such as aviation or rail-related developments, affordable housing, as well as other urban-related infrastructure. It aims to select commercially-viable projects which are in an advanced feasibility stage or in the early phases of construction, and provide equity investment to support such projects. Qualifying projects will need to meet sustainable environmental, social and corporate governance metrics.

The FMC will also raise and manage funds from other accredited or institutional third-party investors.  Institutional investors seeking to participate in the sustainable growth of the region can do so through the Fund.

The partnership seeks to leverage on the strengths of both partners. Singapore-based Surbana Jurong has over 70 years of successful project deliveries and technical teams in over 40 countries to provide insights on the risks of such projects. Mitsubishi Corporation, a global integrated business enterprise with diverse business operations, has been investing in real estate projects in ASEAN countries since 2013 totalling JPY250 billion (USD 2.2 billion).

(Sources: Surbana Jurong; Straits Times)

Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail Construction Suspended Till May 2020

September 2018

Singapore and Malaysia arrived at an agreement on 5 September to suspend the construction of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) Project till May 2020. Malaysia will bear the agreed costs in suspending the HSR Project. If by 31 May 2020, Malaysia does not proceed with the HSR Project, Malaysia will also bear the agreed costs incurred by Singapore in fulfilling the HSR Bilateral Agreement. During the suspension period, Malaysia and Singapore will continue to discuss on the best way forward for the HSR Project with the aim of reducing costs.

The new government under Prime Minister, Dr. Mahathir Mohamad has been reviewing major projects agreed upon by the previous government with a view to cutting costs and bringing down national debt and liabilities, which stand at around one trillion Ringgit (USD 251 billion) or 80% of its GDP. 

The rail link will reduce travel time between the two cities to 90 minutes from the current 4 hours by road. The HSR Express Service between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur is now expected to commence by 1 January 2031, instead of the original commencement date of 31 December 2026. Given the length of the suspension, Singapore and Malaysia’s Infrastructure Companies, SG HSR Pte. Ltd. and MyHSR Corporation Sdn. Bhd., will be calling off the ongoing international joint tender for the HSR Assets Company.

Singapore's Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure and Minister for Transport, Singapore, Mr Khaw Boon Wan and Minister of Economic Affairs, Malaysia, YB Dato’ Seri Mohamed Azmin bin Ali exchanged legal documents in Putrajaya to vary the HSR Bilateral Agreement based on the new understanding. 

(Sources: Ministry of Transport, Singapore; Straits Times)

LTA Singapore Awards SGD 795 Million Contract For North-South Corridor Tunnel

August 2018

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) of Singapore has awarded a contract valued at SGD 795 million (USD 578 million) to design and construct a stretch of the North-South Corridor (NSC) to Penta-Ocean Construction Co Ltd – Bachy Soletanche Singapore Pte Ltd Joint Venture. The 21.5 km NSC is Singapore’s first integrated transport corridor, featuring continuous bus lanes and at-grade cycling trunk routes, to serve public bus commuters, cyclists and pedestrians.

Penta-Ocean Construction Co Ltd – Bachy Soletanche Singapore Pte Ltd Joint Venture (Penta-Bachy JV) will design and construct a 1.04 km stretch of tunnel and commuter facilities – including an underground pedestrian network, pedestrian overhead bridges, bus stops, sheltered walkways and cycling paths – between Suffolk Walk and Novena Rise. Works on this contract are expected to commence by the first quarter of 2019.

Penta-Ocean Construction Co Ltd, a Japanese construction company, is currently involved in the construction of Thomson–East Coast Line Woodlands North and Bright Hill stations. The company was also involved in the construction of the Downtown Line Bendemeer station and a section of the Marina Coastal Expressway. Bachy Soletanche Singapore Pte Ltd specializes in geotechnical and civil engineering works. They have previously worked construction of the Bugis and Telok Ayer stations for the metro system's Downtown Line.

(Sources: Land Transport Authority, Singapore; Straits Times)

(Image: Location Map of NSC alignment/ Credit: Land Transport Authority, Singapore)

New Integrated Sport And Community Hub Being Developed In Sembawang, Singapore

July 2018

From the first half of 2020, residents of Sembawang in Singapore will have an integrated sport and community hub, called Bukit Canberra. To be opened in phases, the 12-hectare hub will provide amenities such as a hawker centre, indoor and outdoor sport facilities, a polyclinic, a senior care centre, green spaces for community farming and lifestyle related amenities for the community within a lush and naturalistic environment. Bukit Canberra is expected to be fully operational by September 2021. 

The Sembawang Sport and Community Hub was first announced in 2016, and since then grassroots volunteers have been engaging residents through house visits to gather ideas on possible facilities and programmes. Many hoped to see more areas for community activities to socialise with their fellow residents of Sembawang. 

Bukit Canberra will have facilities by Sport Singapore (SportSG), Ministry of Health (MOH), National Healthcare Group Polyclinics (NHGP), National Environment Agency (NEA) and National Parks Board (NParks). With inputs from National Heritage Board (NHB), Bukit Canberra will also highlight the heritage of the area. 

Having sports and healthcare facilities such as a polyclinic, a senior care centre and sports facilities at the hub will allow the various agencies to work closely to help people improve their health and fitness. As the lead agency for Bukit Canberra, SportSG curated inputs to design and build the hub to allow fellow partners to have opportunities for co-programming through shared spaces. The hub is also designed to connect seamlessly with the existing and future cycling networks in Sembawang and the Park Connector Network.

(Sources: Sport Singapore; Straits Times; Channel NewsAsia)

(Image credit: Sport Singapore)

Singapore To Build 230 Kv Underground Sub-Station By 2025

June 2018

Singapore has announced plans to build a 230 kV underground substation at the former Pasir Panjang Power part of its plans to use more underground space. SP group will build the substation by 2025. This will be be Singapore's largest underground substation and integrated with a new commercial building above it, freeing up three hectares of land. The government is in the process of drawing up plans to rejuvenate the area.

Minister for National Development and Second Minister for Finance Lawrence Wong made this announcement in a speech at the Launch of the “Underground: Singapore’s Next Frontier” Exhibition. There are plans to move many more sub-stations, storage facilities and transport infrastructure to underground facilities all over Singapore. Minister Wong said that there are no plans for homes to be located underground. 

He also revealed that by the end of 2018,  the industry will be able to purchase underground plans from a single, consolidated platform – Singapore Land Authority’s (SLA) INLIS, or the Integrated Land Information Service. From July this year, SLA and the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) will also share the geological information collected from government projects on INLIS. This will be freely available on the website, as a reference for site investigation and construction works. This is a first step towards providing more accurate data to facilitate underground development.

Singapore currently does not have a centralised platform that collates different types of information for underground planning such as utility plans, building records, and geological data nad separate utility plans have to be purchased from different utility providers. Accidentally overlooking a particular type of utility during the planning and design process could cause damage to the system during construction and potentially cause blackouts and burst pipelines. Having INLIS as a one-stop portal for all underground utility plans is expected to increase the industry’s productivity, and minimise inconvenience to the public during construction. 

The Minister also said that the government will increase the use of digital and 3D technologies, so that agencies are better able to share and visualise data for better planning. BCA is developing a 3D model that will show Singapore’s geological formation in detail. Separately, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) is also working on the 3D Underground Master Plan, which will be released by next year. The plan is intended to help the government plan more holistically for aboveground and underground possibilities, to ensure they are compatible, integrated and seamless. 

(Sources: Ministry of National Development, Singapore; Straits Times)

Changi Airport Group Appoints Engineering Consultants For Terminal 5

May 2018

Mott MacDonald and Arup’s Singapore teams have been announced as part of a trio of engineering consultants for the terminal 5 development at Changi Airport in Singapore. The airport operator Changi Airport Group (CAG) has appointed three teams to provide architectural design and engineering consultancy services for the development. Arup Singapore and Mott MacDonald Singapore will be joining Surbana Jurong Consultants for the provision of engineering services.

The firms will provide consultancy services for the design of infrastructure at the landslide and airside areas outside of the T5 buildings. These include taxiways, aircraft parking stands, roadways and drainage systems, as well as the connections for utilities such as power, water, gas, fuel and telecommunications to the T5 buildings.

Mott MacDonald and Arup will be also providing consultancy services for the design of the main terminal, satellite terminal, ground transportation centre and primary landside roadway. The latest announcement comes just six months after the completion of Terminal 4 with operators keen to progress the airport in a timely fashion.

CAG has reported that it will now embark on the full design journey for the T5 project with the terminal being part of the larger Changi East development project that includes a three-runway system. It is hoped that the terminal will lead to additional capacity of up to 50 million passengers per year in its initial phase and will be bigger than terminals one, two and three combined upon completion. 

In 2017, CAG opened Terminal 4 last year adding a capacity of 16 million passengers per annum to Changi Airport, bringing the airport’s total annual handling capacity to 82 million passenger movements.

(Sources: Infrastructure Intelligence, Changi Airport Group)

Boskalis To Build Landmark Polder Development Worth EUR 400 Million

April 2018

In April 2018, Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V. (Boskalis) has been awarded the contract from the Housing & Development Board of Singapore for the development of a polder at the north western tip of Pulau Tekong. The contract value for the joint venture with Penta Ocean Construction Company is approximately EUR 800 million, of which Boskalis’ share is approximately EUR 400 million.

Boskalis and its partner will be responsible for building the required dike closures and reinforcement of the existing dike to create a 10 kilometer-long dike, the drainage of the reclamation area and extensive dry earthmoving activities to create Singapore’s first polder. In contrast to reclaiming land by filling a reclamation area up to and above sea level, the land for the polder is reclaimed by draining off the water by means of pumps and canals. Construction works are expected to commence in the coming months. The construction activities will take place over 4 years and are expected to be completed in 2022.

(Sources: Boskalis)

Singapore To Establish One-Stop Infrastructure Office

March 2018

With the shift in global economic weight towards Asia, Singapore unveiled in two measures to spur Singapore businesses to develop strong partnerships, both locally and abroad, and engage in infrastructure development projects. In February 2018, Singapore announced the set-up of an Infrastructure Office this year in order to help firms tap infrastructure opportunities in Asia. The initiative will bring together local and international firms across the value chain – from developers and institutional investors to legal, accounting and financial services providers – to develop, finance and execute projects. The announcement is expected to support Singapore’s goals to forge stronger partnerships in infrastructure development and enhance connectivity in the region. The office will enable infrastructure players to better tap on opportunities in the region, while supporting Asia’s infrastructure development and economic growth.

The new office will be administered at government level by Enterprise Singapore, a new department which will be set up in April from the merger of International Enterprise Singapore (IES) and SPRING, part of the Ministry of Trade and Industry. The new Enterprise Singapore will also be responsible for delivering a new Partnerships for Capability Transformation (PACT) grant programme, which will be formed by combining a number of existing grant programs currently administered by IES and SPRING. Similar to the existing grants, the new Pact will fund up to 70% of qualifying costs for projects undertaken in partnership with other firms. The grants to be combined are: the Economic Development Board (EDB) and Spring Singapore’s separate Pact schemes; Spring’s Collaborative Industry Projects scheme; and IE Singapore’s Global Company Partnership Grant.

(Sources: Business Times; Straits Times; Out Law)

Construction Demand To Increase To SGD 31 Billion In 2018

February 2018

The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) projects the total construction demand i.e. the value of construction contracts to be awarded in 2018 to range between SGD 26-31 billion (USD 20-23 billion). The projected higher construction demand is due to an anticipated increase in public sector construction demand, which is expected to grow to between SGD 16-19 billion (USD 12-14 billion) this year, contributing to about 60% of 2018’s total projected demand. Public construction demand is expected to be boosted by an anticipated increase in demand for institutional and other buildings, such as healthcare facilities, and civil engineering works as well as slate of smaller government projects that have been brought forward in response to the slowdown in the previous years. The private sector’s construction demand is similarly expected to improve to between SGD 10-12 billion (USD 7-9 billion) in 2018, on the back of a strengthened overall economic outlook and the upturn in property market sentiment.

BCA anticipates a steady improvement in construction demand over the medium term, which is projected to pick up to between SGD 28-35 billion (USD 21-27 billion) per annum for 2021-2022.

(Sources: Building and Construction Authority; Government of Singapore)

Green Construction In Singapore

January 2018

The buildings sector is a crucial part of Singapore's climate strategy, being the second largest energy consumer in Singapore. Remarkably, Singapore's three Green Building Masterplans and initiatives such as the Building Construction Authority (BCA) Green Mark scheme have allowed it to green a third of its buildings. According to BCA, the number of structures went from 17 in 2005 to more than 3,100 in 2017, which translates to about 92 million m² of gross floor area, 34% of the total around the country. The BCA Green Mark is also used for supermarkets, restaurants, healthcare facilities and supporting infrastructures, data centres, rapid transit systems, and even parks in Singapore. An estimated 80% of the building stock would be green by 2030. 

Buildings in Singapore are awarded a maximum of 140 points for residential and 190 points for non-residential buildings based on a range of criteria defined for incorporating environment-friendly features. These cover:

  • Climatic Responsive Design (Leadership, Urban Harmony, Tropicality)
  • Building Energy Performance (Energy Efficiency, Energy Effectiveness, Renewable Energy)
  • Resource Stewardship (Water, Materials, Waste)
  • Smart and Healthy Building (Indoor Air Quality, Spatial Quality, Smart Building Operations)
  • Advanced Green Efforts (Enhanced Performance, Demonstrating Cost Effective Design, Complementary Certifications, Social Benefits)

2005’s average baseline consumption in commercial buildings was 244 kWh/m²a, of which more than half was used for air-conditioning and ventilation. The current Green Mark scheme has lowered specific energy demand to 160 kWh/m²a, but the BCA has been setting up pilot projects that show even greater efficiency. For example, the BCA Academy’s Zero Energy Building is the first building in South East Asia to be fully retrofitted into a net zero energy building, a building that produces enough energy to run itself. Given limited roof space on high-rise buildings, construction companies have begun to look for ways to connect newbuilds to district cooling systems. The district cooling system in Singapore’s Marina Bay precinct, for example, has reduced its customers’ energy use for air-conditioning by more than 40% compared to traditional air-conditioning systems.

(Sources: BCA; Solar Thermal World)

LTA Issues Grant Calls, Seeks Solutions To Singapore’s Transport Challenges

January 2018

From mining data analytics to shorten public transport journeys, to optimising bus operations through modelling and simulation studies, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) announced in January 2018 that it is seeking proposals to improve Singapore’s land transport systems. The two grant calls launched by LTA invite the research community as well as the industry to put forward R&D proposals in four areas.

First, researchers are invited to use data to identify bottlenecks and suggest new solutions to shorten journeys on public transport, such as ticketing technologies to reduce time required to board or alight from buses, or dynamic lane markings to give bus priority on roads. Second, LTA is seeking new ways to meet public transport demand, particularly during peak hours, while making the best use of resources by leveraging existing ones or even cutting resource needs, and making public transport affordable and preferred. Possible solutions could include modelling and simulation studies to optimize bus operations. Third, proposals are being sought for various urban typologies, suggesting possibilities for how road space can be better used and how the solutions can be put in place. Lastly, the LTA is looking for new ways to raise the accuracy of measuring bulk excavations of soil, which make construction of underground depots possible, for volumetric analysis.

The two grant calls are open to all research and development organizations, including publicly-funded institutes of higher learning, non-profit research institutions, public sector agencies, companies and company-affiliated research entities. The deadline for submissions is 21 February 2018.

(Sources: The Land Transport Authority; Today Online)

China Railway Tunnel Group Wins Contract for Prince Edward MRT Station

November 2017

The China Railway Tunnel Group has won a contract to build the SGD 310.8 million (USD 228.4 million) Prince Edward station on Singapore's Circle Line and its associated tunnels. The construction will consist of a three-level underground station at Palmer Road and twin bored tunnels connecting Prince Edward Station to Cantonment Station. The project is expected to start by end of 2017 and be completed by 2025.

China Railway Tunnel Group is one of the largest underground works companies in China, and has experience in construction of trunk railways, highways, urban rail and various other public works in China.

(Source: Singapore Land Transport Authority)

Deep Tunnel Sewerage System (DTSS) Phase 2 Contractors Named

October 2017

Three contractors have been appointed to design and build the 30-km deep tunnels and 60-km link sewers for the Deep Tunnel Sewerage System (DTSS) Phase 2. The successful companies are the Singapore branch of Ed Zublin AG, a joint venture between Penta-Ocean Construction and Koh Brothers Building & Civil Engineering Contractor, and the Singapore branch of Leighton Contractors (Asia). According to Singapore's water authority, the Public Utilities Board, the three contracts are valued at a total of SGD 1.51 billion (USD 1.12 billion). AECOM and joint venture partner Black & Veat are appointed professional engineering services consultant to oversee the development, engineering, and construction of DTSS Phase 2.

The DTSS Phase 2 will be connected to Tuas Water Reclamation Plant which is expected to be completed by 2025. After which, the DTSS is able to transport used water from all parts of Singapore to the water reclamation plants for treatment, before going further purification to produce NEWater or discharged to the sea.

(Sources: Water World; The Straits Times; AECOM)

Second Briefing For The SG-KL High Speed Rail Attracts Industry Players

October 2017

A second briefing for the upcoming tender for the Singapore-Kuala Lumpur high-speed rail (HSR) was held in London and more than 200 participants from over 110 international countries attended the session. Although the number of participants is lower as compared to the first briefing in Singapore in July (which attracted 400 companies in 145 organizations), support from the global industry players remains strong.

More than 60% of the participants at the second briefing were Europeans, and the remaining are from North America, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and Asia. Participants were informed that tender evaluation will depend heavily on the quality of the proposals. The HSR project will be awarded the "designing, building, financing and maintaining of the project". The winning bidder will also build, operate and maintain rail assets, including track-work, power, and signaling systems.

(Sources: Straits Times; Today Online)

Prefabrication To Boost Productivity In Singapore's Construction Sector

September 2017

The Housing Development Board (HDB), Singapore's public housing authority, has announced that all newly launched HDB flats will be fitted with bathroom units pre-assembled off-site by 2019. Complete with finishes such as copper piping, partial tiling, window frames, and a waterproofing system, the Prefabricated Bathroom Units (PBU) will be transported to the work site, and hoisted onto the blocks for installation.

Along with the adoption of PBUs, HDB will also implement the concrete Prefabricated Prefinished Volumetric Construction (PPVC) method in 35% of its projects by 2019. This method involves constructing and assembling 3-dimensional (3D) prefabricated modular units with finishes in a controlled factory environment.  At the factory, the 3D volumetric components are combined in different configurations (including bedrooms, living room, household shelter, and kitchen) to create different flat layouts, and pre-fitted with floor and wall finishes, window frames and a preliminary coat of paint, before being transported to the construction site for installation.

The move – a departure from the conventional approach where workers need to work on the finishes at the construction site – will drive HDB’s construction productivity on a larger scale, setting it on track to achieve a productivity improvement of 25% by 2020, compared with 2010.

(Source: HDB)

Singapore's Future Mega Port

August 2017

Singapore is planning a great port migration - the country's port operator PSA Singapore has moved its operation to the newer Pasir Panjang Terminal and is dismantling the cranes, as part of plans for the even bigger move to the future mega-port at Tuas. A major component of Singapore’s Next Generation Port vision, the Tuas Terminal will incorporate new features such as optimising land use by utilising both above and underground spaces for complementary purposes like storage facilities; enhancing the safety and security of the port waters via a next generation traffic management system; and increasing productivity and reducing labour costs through the use of technology like automated yard cranes and port equipment.

Works are in full swing at the future Tuas port, which will be developed in four phases over the span of some 30 years, with the Phase 1 reclamation works scheduled to be completed by the early 2020s. Reclamation work is ongoing for two out of four phases of the development and more than 3km of caisson has already been installed to form the wharf. The caisson, which sits on a foundation on the seabed, is a 28m-high concrete watertight structure. In all, 8.6km of caisson will have to be constructed under Phase 1 of the Tuas port project.

The new Tuas port will be opened progressively from 2021. When completed, the 20 deep-water berths in Phase 1 of Tuas Terminal development will be able to handle about 20 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) per annum. The entire mega-terminal will have a total capacity of up to 65 million TEUs. By 2040, it will be able to handle up to 65 million twenty-foot equivalent units of cargo a year, more than double what the port handled in 2016.

As part of the move to Tuas, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore is studying new technologies and automation, including the use of robotics and drones that will not only make port operations more effective and efficient.

(Source: Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, The Straits Times)

Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail Tender Attracts International Companies

July 2017

About 400 participants from 165 companies attended the industry briefing for the 350 km Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (KL-SG HSR) project. The briefing aims to inform interested participants of the parameters for the AssetsCo tender and companies are encouraged to form groups to participate in the tender. The tender is targeted to be called by the end of the year. The 350km rail project between the governments of Singapore and Malaysia is expected to be operational by the end of 2026.

To capitalise on this, six Singapore firms have come together as partners, with plans to team up with international players to jointly participate in high-speed rail projects, starting with the KL-SG HSR. They are Clifford Capital, DBS Bank, Sembcorp Design and Construction, SMRT International, Surbana Jurong and Singapore Technologies Electronics.

The AssetsCo will be responsible for the design, build, finance and maintenance of rolling stock and the design, build, finance, operations and maintenance of all rail assets, such as track work, power, signalling and telecommunications, and network operations.

(Source: The Straits Time, Today Online)

Singapore Offers To Help Bankroll China’s Global Ambitions

June 2017

Singapore is offering up its financial industry to help bankroll China’s ambition to develop a network of ports, railways, power plants and other projects across a broad swatch of Asia, Europe and east Africa. In addition, it will work with China to advance a pending trade deal among the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations, China, India, Japan and others.

(Sources: The Standard, New York Daily News)

Building Critical Infrastructure Skills In Singapore

May 2017

Atkins, one of the world’s leading design, engineering and project management consultancies, is helping Singapore to build infrastructure capacity through a strategic relationship with the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), resulting in a USD 5 million investment in skills in the region.

With support from government agency EDB, which acts to stimulate economic growth and create employment opportunities in Singapore, two Atkins Group companies, Faithful+Gould and Atkins Acuity are investing and training consultants, managers and directors to expand skills in project management and whole asset lifecycle infrastructure development. Acuity has plans to invest USD 2.5 million over the next five years to develop skills in advanced infrastructure development, overcoming complex asset management challenges and delivering solutions across the whole asset lifecycle for developing economies.

For integrated project and program management consultancy, Faithful+Gould, its team in Singapore will be investing up to USD 2 million over the next five years to develop 16 high-potential project managers in deepening their skills for project leadership roles.

(Sources: Atkins, International Enterprise Singapore)

Keppel Infrastructure Signs Agreement With EDB To Develop A Gasification Facility In Singapore

April 2017

An agreement was signed between Keppel Infrastructure Holdings Pte Ltd and the Economic Development Board (EDB) to develop, own and operate a state-of-the-art gasification facility on Jurong Island, Singapore. The facility, currently in its project development phase, will use proven and reliable best-in-class technologies to produce hydrogen, carbon monoxide, syngas and other industrial gases from a variety of potential feedstock, including coal and refinery by-products. Keppel Infrastructure will also develop energy efficient and R&D projects to augment the facility.

(Sources: Keppel Corporation, Economic Development Board Singapore)

Singapore And Vietnam Increasing Business Ties In Banking and Infrastructure

March 2017

Singapore and Vietnam signed MOUs in banking, power generation and infrastructure, increasing its business ties and taking their strategic partnership forward. A total of five agreements were signed between Singaporean and Vietnamese parties in March 2017.

The first agreement involved Sembcorp and provincial authorities to explore a new Vietnam-Singapore industrial park (VSIP) in the Central Vietnamese province, Quang Tri. In addition, two more MOUs were signed by Sembcorp to explore a software park in Danang as well as a gas-fired power project with Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade. A fourth MOU was signed between Singapore developer Keppel Land and the State Capital Investment Corporation (SCIC), Vietnam’s state-owned capital manager. Lastly, the fifth one was between the Singapore International Foundation (SIF) and the Vietnam-Singapore Friendship Association (VSFA) to promote cultural exchanges.

In banking sector, it has been announced that Singapore bank UOB will be setting up a foreign-owned subsidiary bank in Vietnam by June 2017.

(Sources: Channel News Asia, International Enterprise Singapore)

Engineering Firm AECOM To Design Singapore’s High-Speed Rail Infrastructure

February 2017

Engineering firm AECOM Singapore won the contract to design Singapore’s high-speed rail infrastructure at a tender price of SGD 24.6 million (USD 17.3 million). It was appointed by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) of Singapore as the lead consultant to conduct the Advanced Engineering Study (AES) for the complete design of the Singapore stretch of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail Infrastructure.

AECOM and its consortium partners will provide architectural, civil, structural, electrical mechanical and other associated design services needed for the Jurong East terminus, tunnels and bridge connecting Singapore and Malaysia at the Straits of Johor. Expecting to be completed in 2026, its tracks will run for 350 kilometers along the west coast of Peninsula Malaysia –with 15 kilometers in Singapore and 335 kilometers in Malaysia.

(Sources: AECOM, Channel News Asia)

SGD 24 Billion Expenditure To Boost Construction Sector

January 2017

Public expenditure on construction is expected to reach SGD 24 billion (USD 16.6 billion) in 2017, a rise from SGD 15.8 billion (USD 10.9 billion) in 2016. The project lined up for 2017 include that of mega public sector infrastructure projects such as several major contracts for the second phase of the Deep Tunnel Sewerage System, North-South Corridor and Circle Line 6.

(Sources: The Straits Times, Building and Construction Authority)

Kuala Lumpur - Singapore: Bilateral Agreement On High Speed Rail Completion

December 2016

A bilateral agreement was signed between Malaysia and Singapore to complete the Kuala Lumpur – Singapore high-speed line within 10 years. The 350 kilometers double-track line will have a design speed of 350km/hour will serve eight stations: Bandar Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur), Putrajaya, Seremban, Ayer Keroh, Muar, Batu Pahat and Iskandar Puteri in Malaysia and Jurong East in Singapore. The two countries will design, build, finance and maintain infrastructure and operate the stations within their respective territories, through the Malaysia High Speed Rail Authority (MyHSR) and the Land Transport Authority (LTA) in Singapore.

A privately-financed asset company will design, build, finance and maintain rolling stock and infrastructure assets including track, electrification, signalling and telecommunications. A joint tender for this contract will be issued in 2017. Another joint tender will also be issued for an international operator (OpCo International), which will operate non-stop Kuala Lumpur – Singapore expresses services as well as cross-border shuttle service between Iskandar Puteri and Singapore. Additionally, tendering to appoint a joint development partner (JDP) has started and the contract will be awarded early 2018. The responsibility of the JDP will be to develop technical and safety standards and to provide management support, technical advice and guidance through the procurement process.

(Sources: International Railway Journal, Bloomberg)

PaxOcean Singapore Shipyard Boosts Infrastructure With New Luffing Cane

November 2016

PaxOcean Singapore shipyard has boosted its infrastructure with a newly acquired luffing cane with a safe working load of 35 tonnes. The USD 1.4 million luffing crane had been purpose-designed to fit into existing infrastructure parameters and to match the lifting demands of today’s vessel designs. This will help to enhance the yard’s productivity as well as pass the saving on to the customers.

(Source: PaxOcean)