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Singapore setting up energy transformation office; public sector to hire more engineers

WITH disruptive changes happening in the energy landscape, the Singapore government is setting up a National Energy Transformation Office (Neto) and will hire more engineers to pursue innovative energy solutions, said Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean at the Singapore International Energy Week.

The office, which will be within the Energy Market Authority (EMA), will synergise efforts across different government agencies and coordinate research, development and demonstration (RD&D) funding, enabling the adoption of transformational energy solutions.

Toh Wee Khiang will head Neto as its director. Prior to this, Mr Toh was the programme director for a low carbon district project at the Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N). He has spent 20 years in the Singapore public service with the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star), the National Environment Agency (NEA) and the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB).

Among others, Neto will work closely with agencies such as the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI), the Housing Development Board (HDB) and PUB.

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Additionally, the public sector will need 250 more power engineers, said Mr Teo, who is also Coordinating Minister for National Security. Power systems form the backbone of critical infrastructure such as transportation, utilities and buildings, and the EMA will lead the development of manpower capabilities for this sector.

To further ensure environmental sustainability and energy security, international cooperation is needed. Therefore, Singapore will work closely with Asean members, dialogue partners and international organisations to deepen energy collaboration in clean energy, natural gas and LNG (liquefied natural gas), as well as the financing of energy investments when it takes up the Asean chairmanship in 2018.