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Underground power station to supply Labrador area by 2025, as Singapore digs deeper

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Minister for National Development and Second Minister for Finance Lawrence Wong attends the Underground: Singapore’s Next Frontier exhibition at The URA Centre, on May 30, 2018.

[SINGAPORE] A new underground power station is being planned which could produce enough electricity to supply the Labrador area.

It will form part of a nationwide push to use more subterranean space in Singapore.

The 230kV station will be located at the former Pasir Panjang Power District, below a new commercial building, and is scheduled to be ready by 2025.

Built by power company SP Group it will be Singapore's largest underground substation and free up about 3ha of land at the site - equal to about four football fields.

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Details were revealed in a speech by Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong, who was guest of honour at the opening of an exhibition on underground spaces on Wednesday (May 30). No details on the project's cost were given.

He also announced that the Singapore Land Authority will launch its Integrated Land Information Service (Inlis) online later this year.

The website will provide consolidated information for underground planning and allow industry players, such as construction companies, to purchase utility plans. Currently these have to be purchased from different providers.

If these are overlooked it can lead to blackouts and burst pipelines during construction.

Meanwhile, while detailing other plans for subterranean development, Mr Wong stressed: "Let me be very clear that there is no intention of putting residential homes underground.

"Instead our priority is to locate supporting infrastructure underground, and this means utilities, storage facilities and transport infrastructure."

Mr Chong Kee Sen, former president of the Institution of Engineers, said: "By putting utilities underground, we free up ground spaces which can be used for parks and social amenities... it is going to cost a little bit more, but it depends on the value of the land you are freeing up. If this (value) is significant, it will balance the construction costs underground."

He cited the soft, undulating soil in Singapore as a possible challenge, but believes the engineers here can deal with it.

Next year, a 3D underground masterplan by the Urban Redevelopment Authority will unveil pilot areas and their potential uses.

Admission to the exhibition at the URA Centre atrium - called Underground: Singapore's Next Frontier - is free and it is open until June 29.

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