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New training, solution centre launched for Singapore's energy and chemicals sector

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Attending the launch of the Energy and Chemicals Centre were (from left) Ng Cher Pong, chief executive of SkillsFuture Singapore; Chee Hong Tat, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Trade and Industry & Ministry of Education; Soh Wai Wah, principal and chief executive of Singapore Polytechnic; and Kenneth Tan, vice-president for South-east Asia and Taiwan at Emerson Automation Solutions.

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Chee Hong Tat (third from left), Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Trade and Industry & Ministry of Education touring the Integrated Plant Environment (IPE) within the new Energy & Chemicals Centre.

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Chee Hong Tat (third from right), Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Trade and Industry & Ministry of Education touring the Integrated Plant Environment (IPE) within the new Energy & Chemicals Centre.

A ONE-STOP training and solution centre to support key process industries in Singapore has opened on Wednesday, set up by Singapore Polytechnic (SP) and US-headquartered technology and engineering firm Emerson.

Located in the polytechnic, the Energy and Chemicals Training Centre (ECTC) will train students and current employees from more than 30 companies from the energy and chemicals, pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical sectors over the next two years.

The ECTC is meant to close critical-skills gaps, harness advanced digital technologies, boost productivity, and optimise resources, SP and Emerson said in a joint statement on Wednesday.

Students from the Diploma in Chemical Engineering programme as well as adult learners from the process industries will be able to conduct experiments, build prototypes and operate equipment in the centre.

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It also offers consultancy, business and innovation services for companies through training-needs analysis and road mapping, to further support the energy and chemicals industry, said Soh Wai Wah, principal and chief executive of SP.

Spanning an area of 1,430 square metres, the centre houses a virtualisation room equipped with virtual reality (VR) technologies, a suite of chemical engineering, key unit operations, and the Interactive Plant Environment (IPE) facility.

In particular, the IPE facility is an integral part of the centre, offering industrial experience to prepare the future digital workforce.

The IPE will simulate real-life industrial manufacturing process conditions with hands-on training on the latest automation technologies in a safe and controlled environment.

“This unique (IPE) facility will equip students with practical training experience, enabling them to develop their skills and be job-ready upon graduation,” said Jamie Froedge, president of Emerson’s automation solutions business in Asia-Pacific.

It will also prepare workers to use today’s technology and give them access to innovations that will reshape how work is done in the future, Mr Froedge said.

Within the IPE is a real plant environment, with process units for gas absorption, solvent extraction, vacuum distillation and thermal fluid heating. More than 80 Emerson wired and wireless products – including pressure transmitters, flow metres, gas detectors and control valves – are connected to Emerson’s DeltaV control system and AMS Device Manager, allowing trainees to deepen their skills on the latest automation technologies.

SP has rolled out other training programmes aligned with national and international industry standards. These include the SkillsFuture Work-Study Post-Diploma Programme, the Professional Conversion Programme (PCP) in Chemical Manufacturing, and the full-time Diploma in Chemical Engineering.

Through these programmes, SP is working with more than 10 industry partners, such as Chevron Oronite which has 13 employees under the Work-Study Post-Diploma Programme and the PCP.