Published on 23 September 2021

Results of circularity study on Singapore’s Jurong Island presented

JTC, Witteveen+Bos and Metabolic presented the results of the first circular economy study for Jurong Island, an energy and chemicals park in Singapore.

The two-year Jurong Island Circular Economy (JICE) Study led by Singapore’s lead industrial developer JTC explored how resources can be used as optimally and circularly as possible to transform Jurong Island into a sustainable energy and chemicals park, in line with the Singapore Green Plan 2030. During the closing event on 19 August 2021, JTC presented the results alongside Witteveen+Bos and Metabolic to participating companies and agencies.

The JICE study charted and analysed the data on energy, water and chemical waste from 51 companies, including Chevron, ExxonMobil and Shell, to identify potential synergies which could reduce the use of resources at the system level. The project aims to optimise resources to improve sustainability in the long term. Leading experts described this in-depth approach as a new standard for circularity analyses of business parks and regions.

An integrated ecosystem approach for the energy and chemicals industry is not a new concept for Jurong Island. Companies on the island are today closely linked via pipelines facilitating the transport and exchange of materials, such as the supply of raw materials and utilities between companies. The companies also share infrastructure and facilities like combined heat and power plants, storage facilities and terminals and jetties. This enables them to benefit from greater scale advantages and use the available resources more efficiently. The aim of the JICE study is to go further: continue to optimise the resources and optimally use by-products for re-use.

The launch of the JICE study in 2019 was a milestone, because the study goes further than the efforts of individual companies. The JICE study explores how businesses across the island can create new opportunities to aggregate, share and reduce the use of resources, and recover more resources from waste for re-use. The study was supported by various Singapore government agencies, including the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), the Economic Development Board (EDB), the Energy Market Authority (EMA), the National Environment Agency (NEA) and the National Water Agency (PUB).

Findings

The study shows that there are clear opportunities for more collaboration aimed at transforming Jurong Island into a sustainable energy and chemicals park. These include:

1. Greater use of cleaner energy and exploration of new technologies. The generation of solar energy on the island can be scaled up, while a smart grid or network of smart grids on the island can coordinate the generation of conventional and renewable energy to optimise the energy supply. Innovation and R&D projects for cleaner energy technologies can also reduce the island's total carbon footprint.

2. Maximise water recycling and recovery. To limit loss of water through evaporation during cooling processes, companies can explore the possibilities of a closed freshwater cooling network whereby seawater is used for indirect cooling. Companies can also explore whether they can have their liquid residual flows processed in a centralised recovery facility for aggregation, enabling them to benefit from economies of scale and promote further recycling. They can also explore the possibilities of using energy-efficient water recycling technologies to reduce their water consumption across the island.

3. More sustainable recovery and treatment of chemical waste. The recovery of resources or energy from residual flows from companies is worth to explore further. By working together with research organisations to develop and testbed more sustainable technologies for waste processing and recovery, opportunities can be created to improve sustainability.

While the study has identified opportunities in the areas of clean energy use, water recycling and recovery, and the sustainable recovery and treatment of chemical waste, it has also shed light on challenges faced in implementing the circularity solutions.

  1. First, some clean energy technologies have not reached the level of maturity for deployment and would require further R&D.
  2. Second, water recycling technologies tend to be energy-intensive, making it important that we study how to improve their energy performance.
  3. Third, there is a need for further development of more efficient technologies to treat and recover resources from chemical waste.

To better address these challenges, two innovation calls for sustainable solutions on Jurong Island were announced by JTC and supporting government agencies, bringing together the industry, technology partners, academia and government agencies to develop and testbed new sustainability solutions on Jurong Island for the first time. Jurong Island will serve as a living testbed for innovation and model for sustainable technology adoption.

The first innovation call, the Jurong Island Innovation Challenge (JIIC), launched on 19 August 2021, will crowdsource innovative ideas from startups and small and medium enterprises to enhance the sustainability and circularity of resources. Further details on the JIIC can be found on www.jurongislandinnovationchallenge.sg.

The second innovation call, Jurong Island Renewable Energy Request-for-Proposals (JI Renewable Energy RFP), scheduled to be launched in October, will focus on test-bedding innovative energy solutions including renewable energy and energy storage systems to reduce the island’s carbon footprint. More details will be shared closer to the launch date.

For more information, visit the JTC website www.jtc.gov.sg or contact our Jaïr Smits, managing director Singapore or project manager Arjen van Nieuwenhuijzen.

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