TEMASEK Holdings' proposal to turn Mandai into an integrated wildlife and nature heritage area has been taken another step towards realisation.
The Singapore investment firm has set up a wholly-owned unit to oversee the "concept development" for the estate's makeover and asked its former chairman S Dhanabalan to chair it, according to a press release the unit sent out on Tuesday.
Mandai Safari Park Holdings said in its statement that it commissioned a study of the proposed development's impact on the environment in March this year and expects to be able to publish findings in the second quarter of 2016. This environmental impact assessment "aims to explore and incorporate sustainable solutions in the development of the precinct", it added.
The proposed development is expected to be completed in phases over a decade and the first phase has been estimated to cost about S$1 billion, according to media reports in January 2015.
Mandai Safari said that besides driving the development plans, it will also oversee the business and strategic development of Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS).
WRS is the holding company and operator of the Singapore Zoo, Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari and River Safari. Mandai Safari owns 88 per cent of WRS and the Singapore Tourism Board owns the remaining 12 per cent.
Mandai Safari will have 10 other directors besides Mr Dhanabalan, who is also chairman of Temasek's philanthropic arm Temasek Trust. These include former WRS chairman Claire Chiang and WRS's new chief executive officer Mike Barclay.