Panel proposes plan for 'Cleantech' park in Singapore

It says this will help Republic secure position as global clean energy hub

SINGAPORE is taking preliminary steps to set up a 'cleantech' park to showcase the country's burgeoning green energy technologies.

The Economic Development Board (EDB) said yesterday that it is talking to other agencies about the proposal.

The comments came as a high-powered global panel said Singapore could cement its position as a global clean energy hub by setting up just such a cleantech park.

This was one of the key recommendations by a panel of experts which wrapped up its inaugural two-day meeting at the Swissotel in Singapore yesterday.

It concluded that the establishment of such a park would help the Republic differentiate itself from other countries that are also making headway in the cleantech industry.

The panel, formed earlier this year to advise Singapore, also said in a statement that the Republic was 'on track to developing a robust clean energy ecosystem'.

At a press conference, EDB managing director Ko Kheng Hwa said the idea of the cleantech park is now being discussed with other government agencies. 'We have proposed allocating a sizeable parcel of land,' said Mr Ko. This will be dedicated to creating a cleantech cluster and community for the next two decades.

At the park, researchers and professionals in the industry would work and play together. Cleantech innovations can also be tried and tested, with a plug-and-play setting, and the facility will make use of environmentally-sustainable technologies, he said.

It is too early to disclose details or a specific location, but the park will be separate from the current manufacturing cluster in Tuas, said Mr Ko.

The clean energy international advisory panel, which has seven members and will meet once a year, also commended Singapore's clean energy initiatives.

These included Singapore's research and development drive, efforts to groom local and foreign talent, and construction of an industry ecosystem by attracting established clean energy firms to set up shop in the Republic.

Lord Ronald Oxburgh, the panel's co-chairman and former chairman of the British House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology, told The Straits Times: 'From what we've seen, Singapore is on its way. I don't know of any country that has taken the initiatives Singapore has taken.

'But you can expect other countries like Japan and China to also move quickly to get first-mover Singapore must act fast.'

The panel is also chaired by EDB chairman Lim Siong Guan, and was formed for Singapore to glean insight from clean energy experts around the world.

'The panellists' valuable insights will help Singapore accelerate our efforts to be a leader in clean energy. If Cepo implements our strategies well, there will be many exciting business opportunities available for firms based here,' said Mr Lim. The Clean Energy Programme Office, or Cepo, was set up last April to implement and coordinate clean energy programmes.

The panel also noted that Singapore must move rapidly to become the regional leader in clean energy solutions

'This would in turn lead to the export of these solutions to overseas markets, and would also hasten mass adoption in Singapore when they become cost efficient,' said the panel.


'If Cepo implements our strategies well, there will be many exciting business opportunities available for firms based here.'

MR LIM, EDB's chairman, on the impact the panel's recommendations could have under the Clean Energy Programme Office's (Cepo's) charge