Singapore to develop biorenewables to enhance competitiveness

08 March 2011 09:02  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Singapore is developing a "comprehensive strategy" to expand its biorenewables industry as part of a larger scheme to enhance the competitiveness of its chemicals hub on Jurong Island, a senior state official said on Tuesday.

"This will include strengthening [the] capabilities of Singapore’s research institutes, developing a deeper understanding of regional availability of biorenewable feedstock, as well as brokering industry-academic partnerships," said Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence, Teo Chee Hean.

Teo was speaking at the inauguration ceremony of Neste Oil’s new 800,000 tonne/year renewable diesel plant in Tuas, Singapore.

"The [Singapore] Economic Development Board is working with partners to develop a comprehensive strategy for biorenewables, as part of the Jurong Island Version 2.0 initiative," he said.

Jurong Island Version 2.0 is the state’s investment blueprint for its domestic petrochemical industry.

The blueprint will be focused on three key areas, Teo said: to encourage the upgrade of Singapore’s refineries to increase the efficiency and complexity of their operations, to facilitate the state’s refineries to further integrate downstream petrochemicals and to expand the refineries to produce high-value lubricants.

Singapore currently has three refineries – ExxonMobil’s 605,000 bbl/day unit, Shell’s 500,000 bbl/day unit and Singapore Refining Co’s (SRC) 290,000 bbl/day unit.

Adopting sustainable biorenewable feedstocks as an alternative source of raw material for transportation fuels is a promising economic opportunity, Teo said.

"It could also play an important role in contributing greater economic sustainability," he said.

"We are actively pursuing projects that could leverage raw materials for the production of fuels, as well as for the production of chemical products," Teo added.

By: Nurluqman Suratman

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