Singapore to meet climate change obligations: PM Lee

Published Thu, Oct 9, 2014 · 04:30 AM
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SINGAPORE will do its part to meet climate change obligations, reduce carbon emissions and improve energy efficiency even as it acknowledges the importance of the petrochemical industry and its growth prospects.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong made this point on Thursday when he conferred Royal Dutch Shell the inaugural Honorary Partner in Progress Award at the Istana. Mr Lee noted that while Singapore has grown the industry sustainably, the latter must reduce both greenhouse gases as well as local pollutants.

Shell is already working with regulators to address environmental concerns through the building of a cogen plant that reduces both carbon dioxide and sulphur dioxide emissions. Pointing to on-going international negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change, Mr Lee said it will result in a global deal to mitigate the human impact of climate change.

And Singapore will support such efforts although the agreement will impact the petroleum industry, he noted.

In the meantime, the government will continue to work with companies to develop the industry sustainably, and make it worthwhile to operate in Singapore over the long term.

Mr Lee added that the energy and chemicals industry's prospects look positive and will continue to play an important role in Singapore's future growth.

As it is, Singapore has a sizable refining capacity, ethylene capacity and a developed petrochemical and specialty chemical ecosystem.

To this end, the industry has made investments - 14 plants on Jurong Island will come onstream, with a combined investment of more than S$13 billion, creating over 1,200 skilled jobs.

Shell is one of the pioneer investors in the Republic, creating many jobs for Singaporeans. It set up Singapore's first oil storage installation in 1891 and also established the country's first oil refinery in 1961.

Major investments have been made over the years, the latest being a multi-billion dollar upgrade to integrate the refinery with a petrochemical complex, making the Bukom plant Shell's largest refinery in the world.

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