CHINA is witnessing unprecedented urbanisation. The World Bank has predicted that by 2030, up to 70 per cent of the population in China will be living in cities, up from just over 50 per cent in 2011.
The rapid urbanisation carries with it tremendous pressures on both the central and local governments to provide for the necessary energy, infrastructure, housing and connectivity, as well as to deal with congestion, pollution and social issues. Sustainable urbanisation is therefore a national imperative for China.
The Keppel Group has been involved in China since 1984. With its distinct blend of core competencies, Keppel has contributed to the provision of practical solutions to advance sustainable urbanisation across 25 cities in China. For its contribution to strengthening Singapore-China relations and growing businesses in the Chinese market, Keppel Corporation was conferred the Business China Enterprise Award in 2015.
Keppel is the leader of the Singapore consortium in the landmark bilateral government-to-government project, the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City (Sino-Singapore Eco-City), which is envisioned to be a practical, scaleable and replicable model for sustainable development for other cities in China.
Keppel is working closely with its Chinese consortium partner to guide the 50-50 joint venture - the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City Investment and Developments Co, Ltd (SSTEC) in its role as the master developer of the Sino-Singapore Eco-City.
Eight years since the project broke ground, the site has been transformed from barren saline and alkaline land into a thriving eco-community, with more than 50,000 people living or working in the city, and over 3,500 registered companies. Today, the Sino-Singapore Eco-City continues to attract many residents and companies who share the vision of the city and find it a conducive environment for working, living and playing.
All buildings in the Sino-Singapore Eco-City are green and comply with the Green Building Evaluation Standard, a unique benchmark that Singapore and Chinese expert teams developed for the Sino-Singapore Eco-City. Eco-solutions are integrated into the city to enhance sustainability while also ensuring commercial viability and replicability.
In recognition of its achievements in sustainable development, the Sino-Singapore Eco-City has been named China's first National Green Development Demonstration Zone by the State Council, and a National Green Building Base by the China Green Building Council.
Keppel Land, the property arm of the Keppel Group, is actively involved in the provision of green homes in the Sino-Singapore Eco-City. Phase 1 of Seasons Park, the first collection of homes in the Keppel Group's four-phase residential development in the Sino-Singapore Eco-City, has obtained the Singapore Building and Construction Authority (BCA)'s Green Mark Gold Award and the ISO 14001 certification for its environment management system standards. Some of the innovative green technologies incorporated at Seasons Park include a building envelope thermal system which can achieve energy savings of up to 70 per cent compared to normal standards, a solar hot water system that supplies 60 per cent of all units' hot water consumption and a pneumatic waste collection system.
The Eco-City International Country Club, Keppel Land's 18-hole golf course in the Sino-Singapore Eco-City, has also garnered the green accolade of being the world's first Audubon Classic Sanctuary.
The Keppel Group is also involved in addressing the need for green infrastructure and technology. Keppel DHCS is currently providing district heating and cooling services in the Eco-Business Park of the Sino-Singapore Eco-City. The system incorporates geothermal technology, and offers tenants a more cost-effective, space-saving and greener solution for large scale heating and cooling.
Keppel Infrastructure has also formed a joint venture to execute the building, owning and operating of a water reclamation plant in the Sino-Singapore Eco-City, thus helping to raise the city's utilisation rate of non-conventional water resources to 50 per cent.
SSTEC has also developed the Low Carbon Living Lab (LCLL) in the Eco-Business Park, a "living lab" to test bed and demonstrate green building features and building technologies. The LCLL has been awarded both the China Green Building Operation Label 3-Star Award from China's Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, and the China Green Building Design Label 3-Star Award. The LCLL is also the first building in a temperate zone to receive the BCA Green Mark Platinum Award. In July 2015, we were honoured when Singapore President Tony Tan officially opened the LCLL during his state visit to China.
BUILDING GREEN HOMES
Keppel Land is committed to and has a strong track record in designing, building and operating properties that are in harmony with the environment. Keppel Land has set the goals of achieving at least BCA's Green Mark GoldPlus and Gold ratings, or their equivalent, for all new projects in Singapore and overseas respectively.
To-date, Keppel Land has a total of 61 BCA Green Mark Awards in its portfolio, of which eight are Platinum Awards. Total energy savings from these developments amount to over 140 million kWh or $30 million per annum, in addition to water savings exceeding 1.6 million m3 and carbon reduction at over 60,000 tonnes.
Keppel Land China, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Keppel Land, aligns itself to the same commitment to excellence and sustainability. The company currently has 20 projects in China with a pipeline of about 37,000 homes.
To date, Keppel Land's projects in China have received 21 Green Mark Awards including 17 Gold and four Certified Awards from BCA. Seasons Residence in Shanghai, Central Park City (Plot C2) in Wuxi, Waterfront Residence in Nantong and Stamford City (Plot A) in Jiangyin received the Green Mark Gold Award last year. 8 Park Avenue in Shanghai was also certified to the Green Mark standard in 2015.
For its positive contributions to the environment and communities in China, Keppel Land China was conferred the Top 10 Asean Companies in China award by the China-Asean Business Council in January this year. It is the only company that has been awarded the accolade for four consecutive years.
ADVANCING CLEAN TECHNOLOGY
The Keppel Group is also involved in many other businesses in China beyond real estate. With 22 plants in operation or under construction, Keppel Seghers is one of the largest providers of imported Waste-to-Energy (WTE) solutions in China. Our proprietary technology is currently being applied in Phase One and Two of the Bao'an WTE Plant in Shenzhen, China's largest operating WTE plant, which has the capacity to treat 4,200 tonnes of municipal solid waste a day.
With an extensive suite of offshore and marine solutions, Keppel Offshore & Marine (Keppel O&M) established Keppel Nantong Shipyard and Keppel Nantong Heavy Industry to build sophisticated offshore support vessels and support the construction of offshore rigs.
To help vessel owners meet the stricter air emissions legislation in Emission Control Areas, Keppel O&M provides solutions such as retrofitting engines for vessels to run on liquefied natural gas (LNG) fuel, and installing emulsified fuel systems to increase fuel efficiency while cutting down on NOx.
Keppel O&M has also developed LNG technologies and solutions such as conversion solutions for Floating Liquefaction Vessels, and designed a range of vessels in the LNG value chain such as LNG-fuelled tugs and LNG bunker vessels.
Responding to the demand for logistics and food safety, Keppel Anhui Coldchain Logistics Park and Tianjin Eco-City Integrated Logistics Distribution Centre are slated to begin operations this year.
The logistics facilities feature state-of-the-art thermostatic warehouses and cold rooms, e-commerce centres as well as food processing and packaging centres.
They add to Keppel Telecommunications & Transportation's (Keppel T&T) river port and warehouse portfolios in Foshan City, Guangdong Province and Wuhu City, Anhui Province to meet the rising demand for high quality and reliable logistics services in China.
In addition, we are currently developing the Sino-Singapore Jilin Food Zone International Logistics Park.
Keppel T&T's data centre division has a strong track record in developing, owning and managing clean, high quality carrier-neutral data centre facilities that support mission-critical computer systems. Together with assets owned by Keppel DC Reit, Keppel has a global portfolio of 11 data centres located in key data centre hubs across Asia-Pacific and Europe.
In April this year, Keppel T&T, through its subsidiary, Keppel Data Centres Holding, entered into a long-term collaboration agreement with PCCW Global to co-develop and market an international carrier exchange in Hong Kong, which offers connectivity-related managed services to facilitate interconnects.
Keppel is also committed to enriching the lives of communities wherever we operate.
To aid in the learning and development of autistic children, staff volunteers from Keppel Land China's Tianjin office organise regular outings with children from Xiangyu Autism Mutual Aid Association.
In 2015, Keppel's volunteers in Shanghai engaged the elderly residents of Changning District Second Welfare Institution, while staff from the Chengdu office organised activities for residents at the Nuan Chao Ren Jia Nursing Home.
In addition to engagement, Keppel Land China's staff also raised funds in aid of charitable causes - Spring City Golf & Lake Resort in Kunming raised funds for Cao Dian Nursing Home, while the staff in Nantong raised funds for the Nantong Social Welfare Home through a charity football tournament.
As a global company providing solutions for sustainable urbanisation, Keppel continues to play its part in providing innovative solutions that meet China's needs.
We will stay committed in creating sustainable value for all our stakeholders, touching lives wherever we operate.
- The writer is chief representative (China), Keppel Corporation