he Energy & Chemicals industry is an important pillar of our manufacturing sector – Jurong Island currently hosts over 100 international companies with cumulative investments of over S$50 billion that provide good jobs to over 28,000 people. Today, Singapore ranks within the top 10 globally by chemical exports volume.
We launched the Energy & Chemicals Industry Transformation Map (ITM) in October 2017. The ITM was developed in close partnership with industry partners, unions, and trade associations to identify key strategies in innovation and productivity, as well as jobs and skills development. Through the efforts of the ITM, our aim is for the E&C industry to achieve a manufacturing value-added of S$12.7 billion and create 1,400 new jobs by 2025.
A key strategy of the ITM is the adoption of advanced manufacturing technologies in the form of automation, robotics and industrial internet-of-things. These technologies can provide a competitive edge for our manufacturers through significant improvements in productivity, as well as energy efficiency. We have started seeing new applications of technology on Jurong Island, from the use of driverless trucks to transport goods, underwater drones for inspecting tanks, to RFID and wireless terminals for access control in facilities.
The ITM strategy extends beyond E&C to include critical supporting industries such as the Process, Construction and Maintenance (PCM) sector. The PCM sector has been instrumental in enabling our companies to start-up as well as to execute maintenance and turnaround projects safely on time, and on budget. While Singapore has launched various initiatives, including turnaround scheduling portal to help ease out peaks and troughs in demand for maintenance and established a foreign worker dormitory near Jurong Island to reduce travelling time and therefore fatigue of workers, we see the use of advanced manufacturing technologies, including robotics, to greatly help build new capabilities, and increase productivity in area of inspection and maintenance.
To that end, the PCM Management Committee is working on testing and developing a certification system that will allow PCM companies to assess where they stand today in terms of productivity in relation to three categories – process, people and mechanisation. It will enable them to quickly understand their gaps, and identify areas of improvements. Both SCIC and ASPRI play an important role in developing the certification system, which is currently in pilot phase. While good progress has been made, more work needs to be done to fine tune it and we look forward to its full-scale roll out.
In closing, I am personally heartened by the contributions from ASPRI. I wish the association and the PCM industry success in the years ahead.
Energy, Chemicals & Materials,
Singapore Economic Development Board