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February 2019 | MCI (P) 105/03/2019

COVER STORY: Driving solar initiatives in Singapore


SUSTAINABILITY: CDL wins global recognition for sustainability efforts and climate action ENVIRONMENT & WATER ENGINEERING: Co-digestion of food waste and used water sludge enhances biogas production ENERGY ENGINEERING: Water-free Combined Cycle Distributed Power Generation


21 Driving solar initiatives in Singapore The Housing & Development Board (HDB) is tapping the potential presented by the rooftop spaces crowning HDB blocks, to generate renewable energy.



24 CDL wins global recognition for sustainability efforts and climate action The company gives top priority to initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and has set ambitious targets. 28 NUS launches Singapore’s first new-build net zero energy building It will showcase the latest ideas and solutions in sustainable development.



30 The ‘next generation’ gearless high volume low speed fans offers multiple advantages These include lower power consumption, noise levels and maintenance requirements.


President Prof Yeoh Lean Weng Chief Editor T Bhaskaran t_b_n8@yahoo.com

Publications Manager Desmond Teo desmond@iesnet.org.sg Publications Executive Queek Jiayu jiayu@iesnet.org.sg

Editorial Panel Er. Chong Kee Sen Dr Chandra Segaran Dr Ang Keng Been Mr Gary Ong Dr Victor Sim Mr Syafiq Shahul Media Representative MultiNine Corporation Pte Ltd sales@multi9.com.sg



Design & layout by 2EZ Asia Pte Ltd Cover designed by Irin Kuah Cover images by Housing & Development Board Published by The Institution of Engineers, Singapore 70 Bukit Tinggi Road, Singapore 289758 Tel: 6469 5000 I Fax: 6467 1108 Printed in Singapore



31 A power upgrade implemented in a data centre in Amsterdam This is in response to the demand of major cloud providers and multinational companies seeking high density colocation infrastructure in the city.


32 Global Indian International School launches a SMART Campus in Punggol The aim is to facilitate next-generation learning.



34 Singapore designates 2019 as the ‘Year Towards Zero Waste’ The Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR) aims to raise awareness of waste issues in Singapore. 35 Co-digestion of food waste and used water sludge enhances biogas production The consequent increase in energy generation is a step forward in achieving energy self-sufficiency in used water treatment and in resource recovery from food waste.



36 Water-free Combined Cycle Distributed Power Generation Air cooling of Combined Cycle Gas Turbines can be used to reduce water consumption.



The Singapore Engineer is published monthly by The Institution of Engineers, Singapore (IES). The publication is distributed free-of-charge to IES members and affiliates. Views expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect those of the Editor or IES. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine shall be reproduced, mechanically or electronically, without the prior consent of IES. Whilst every care is taken to ensure accuracy of the content at press time, IES will not be liable for any discrepancies. Unsolicited contributions are welcome but their inclusion in the magazine is at the discretion of the Editor.




Global commission describes new geopolitical

power dynamics created by renewables Political and business leaders from around the world have outlined the far-reaching geopolitical implications of an energy transformation driven by the rapid growth of renewable energy. In a new report launched recently at the Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the Global Commission on the Geopolitics of Energy Transformation says the geopolitical and socio-economic consequences of a new energy age may be as profound as those which accompanied the shift from biomass to fossil fuels, two centuries ago. These include changes in the relative position of states, the emergence of new energy leaders, more diverse energy actors, changed trade relationships and the emergence of new alliances. The commission’s report ‘A New World’ suggests that the energy transformation will change energy statecraft as we know it. Unlike fossil fuels, renewable energy sources are available in one form or another in most geographic locations. This abundance will strengthen energy security and promote greater energy independence for most states. At the same time, as countries develop renewables and increasingly integrate their electricity grids with neighbouring countries, new interdependencies and trade patterns will emerge. The analysis finds oil and gas-related conflict may decline, as will the strategic importance of some maritime chokepoints. The energy transformation will also create new energy leaders, the commission points out, with large investments in renewable energy technologies strengthening the influence of some countries. China, for instance, has enhanced its geopolitical standing by taking the lead in the clean energy race to become the world’s largest producer, exporter and installer of solar panels, wind turbines, batteries and electric vehicles. Fossil-fuel exporters may see a decline in their global reach and influence unless they adapt their economies for the new energy age. “This report represents the first comprehensive analysis of the geopolitical consequences of the energy transition driven by renewables, and a key milestone in improving our understanding of this issue”, said Commission Chair Olafur Grimsson, the former President of Iceland. “The renewables revolution enhances the global leadership of China, reduces the influence of fossil fuel exporters and brings energy independence to countries around the world. A fascinating geopolitical future is in store for countries in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas. The transformation of energy brings big power shifts”, he added. “The global energy transformation driven by renewables can reduce energy-related geopolitical tensions as we know them and will foster greater cooperation between states. This transformation can also mitigate social, 06


economic and environmental challenges that are often among the root causes of geopolitical instability and conflict”, said Adnan Z Amin, Director-General of IRENA. “Overall, the global energy transformation presents both opportunities and challenges. The benefits will outweigh the challenges, but only if the right policies and strategies are in place. It is imperative for leaders and policy makers to anticipate these changes, and be able to manage and navigate the new geopolitical environment”, he added. The commission says countries that are heavily reliant on fossil fuel imports can significantly improve their trade balance and reduce the risks associated with vulnerable energy supply lines and volatile fuel prices, by developing a greater share of energy domestically. With energy at the heart of human development, renewables can help to deliver universal energy access, create jobs, power sustainable economic growth, improve food and water security, and enhance sustainability, climate resilience and equity. The report was launched in the presence of ministers and senior policy makers from more than 150 countries.

IEA holds high-level workshop on hydrogen The International Energy Agency (IEA) held a high-level workshop in Paris, on hydrogen, bringing together 140 key experts and decision-makers from all parts of the hydrogen value chain. Participants included government representatives, potential hydrogen suppliers, equipment providers, transporters, users of hydrogen and its derivative products, financers and researchers. The results of the workshop will inform a major new IEA study that will assess the state of play for hydrogen, its economics and future potential. The analysis will cover the entire technology chain for hydrogen, from production, transport and storage to its various uses. It will also discuss near-term opportunities for hydrogen deployment as well as practical steps for implementation. The report will be a key input to the 2019 G20 Presidency of Japan. “Hydrogen can address multiple energy policy goals at the same time - the transition to a cleaner energy system, diversifying the fuel mix and improving energy security”, said Dr Fatih Birol, Executive Director, IEA, in his opening address. “We will bring IEA’s ‘all-of-energy approach’ to situate hydrogen among the various options for meeting governments’ policy objectives”, he added. At the workshop, Dr Birol also announced the creation of a High-level Advisory Panel for IEA’s work on hydrogen.


Thales Digital Factory

expands to Singapore Thales, the French multinational technology solutions company, has announced the addition of Singapore to its Digital network. This is to accelerate innovation and digital transformation for the Group and its customers in the Asia-Pacific. The company’s Digital Factory was launched in July 2017 in Paris, before expanding to Montreal in April 2018. It currently hosts more than 230 experts in digital technologies such as cloud computing, IoT, big data, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity. To facilitate collaboration and innovative product development with end-users, it also delves into areas including design thinking, lean start-ups, and agile software development. This has allowed it to come up with first versions of new

digital services, known as “minimum viable products (MVPs)”, for operational and business value testing within a few months. Fifteen MVPs were delivered within a year of the Factory’s launch, in domains such as air traffic management, drone operations, maritime traffic and railway maintenance. According to Thales, this method enables customers to quickly experiment new solutions at a fast rate to improve their operations and service experience. It is expected that the digital factory in Singapore will leverage Thales’ innovative services in aerospace, ground transportation, defence and security, and it will house a team of 30 experts by the end of this year, including data scientists, software engineers, and cybersecurity experts.




NUS researchers turn plastic bottle waste into ultralight supermaterial with wide-ranging applications Plastic bottles are commonly made from polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which is the most recycled plastic in the world. In a recent breakthrough, researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) have found a way to convert this plastic waste into aerogels for many useful applications. The novel PET aerogels are soft, flexible, durable, extremely light and easy to handle. They also demonstrate superior thermal insulation and strong absorption capacity. These properties make them attractive for a wide range of applications, such as heat and sound insulation in buildings, oil spill cleaning, a lightweight lining for firefighter coats and carbon dioxide absorption masks. This pioneering work was achieved by a research team led by Associate Professor Hai Minh Duong and Professor Nhan Phan-Thien from the NUS Department of Mechanical Engineering, and developed in collaboration with Dr Zhang Xiwen from the Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech) under the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). One plastic bottle can be recycled to produce an A4-sized PET aerogel sheet, with the fabrication technology easily scalable for mass production. This will help to cut down the environmental damage caused by plastic waste, noted Assoc Prof Duong.

insulation property of the PET aerogels for fire safety. When coated with fire retardant chemicals, the novel lightweight PET aerogel demonstrates superior thermal resistance and stability. It can withstand temperatures of up to 620 degrees Celsius – seven times higher than the thermal lining used in conventional firefighter coats at only one-tenth of the weight. The soft and flexible nature of the PET aerogel also provides greater comfort. When coated with an amine group, the PET aerogel can quickly absorb carbon dioxide from the environment. Its absorption capacity is comparable to materials used in gas masks, which are costly and bulky. “Masks lined with amine-reinforced PET aerogels can also benefit people living in countries such as China, where air pollution and carbon emission are major concerns. Such masks can be easily produced, and can also potentially be made reusable,” said Assoc Prof Duong. NUS researchers are also looking into making simple surface modification to the PET aerogels for absorption of toxic gases such as carbon monoxide, which is the deadliest component of smoke. The research team has filed a patent for its novel PET aerogel technology, and are keen to work with companies to bring the technology to market.

The technology, which took two years to develop, was published in the scientific journal Colloids and Surfaces A in August 2019. According to Prof Nhan, the aerogel can absorb large amounts of oil very quickly, up to seven times better than existing commercial sorbents, when incorporated with methyl groups. This makes them highly suitable for oil spill cleaning. Another application is to harness the heat 08


A team led by researchers from the National University of Singapore has found a way to turn plastic bottle waste into ultralight polyethylene terephthalate (PET) aerogels that are suitable for various applications, including heat insulation and carbon dioxide absorption. Photo: NUS


PSA and SUTD collaborate to grow talent for Singapore’s Smart Port To cultivate a new generation of data science, infocomm and engineering professionals for Singapore’s future port in Tuas, PSA Corporation (PSA) and the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) signed a Memorandum of Understanding in December 2018 to work together on talent development. To build the competencies required to manage the complex ecosystems in Tuas Port, in which big data, automation and smart systems will play an important role, PSA will contribute port-related content to SUTD’s curriculum, giving students exposure and advancing their knowledge in smart technologies and systems used in port operations. Furthermore, the port operator will work with SUTD to build a talent pipeline to support PSA’s extensive network of info-communications technology infrastructure, an enabler of port operations. PSA is also providing internship opportunities to SUTD students which enable them to learn and apply engineering principles, infocomms and security, and data science knowledge to modern port operations and equipment. Mr Ong Kim Pong, the regional CEO for Southeast Asia at PSA, said, “PSA has adapted quickly to embark on a journey of embracing evolving technologies including digitalisation, complex designs, and total system thinking efforts that are motivating the rapid changes in the maritime industry.” He noted that jobs were being redesigned because of these trends, and indicated that PSA was building the

(Left to right) Dr Wong Woon Kwong, Director, Office of industry Development, SUTD; Prof Chong; Mr Ong and Mr Ng Kok Cheong, Head of Human Resource, PSA Corporation, pose for a photo after signing the MOU. Photo: SUTD

competencies needed to reinforce the port operator’s digital readiness. “PSA values SUTD’s strength in combining design thinking and technology, and nurturing technically-grounded innovators. This timely partnership allows both parties to capitalise on each other’s strengths,” he added. Professor Chong Tow Chong, President of SUTD, felt that the strategic partnership with PSA would offer students valuable hands-on experience in the actual global port environment, and encourage the free flow of information, ideas, and innovation between both organisations.

NTU and AMD to launch data science and AI lab NTU and American chipmaker AMD have joined forces to launch a Data Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab, which will nurture next-generation tech leaders equipped with the latest industrydriven digital skills. The SGD 4 million joint laboratory will leverage AMD’s deep-learning technologies and NTU’s global strengths in machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI) and data science, to complement the university’s Data Science and Artificial Intelligence undergraduate programme. NTU students will be exposed to real world applications such as developing software algorithms used in security fields like identification and motion detection. They will also work on big data and analytics which are now frequently used by leading organisations. For example, students will get opportunities to develop clinical support solutions using big data analysis to aid medical diagnosis. Students will also undergo training to participate in supercomputing competitions using AMD’s versatile open source software, the Radeon Open Compute (ROCm) platform. This

software facilitates ultrascale or hyperscale computing, a form of high-performance computing that can simulate complex systems within just a few days where it typically used to take years. The collaboration will also provide NTU students with local and overseas attachment opportunities with AMD. From the 2019 academic year, NTU undergraduates will be able to intern at AMD’s Shanghai Research and Development Center and the Singapore Product Development Center. NTU will also support AMD’s engineers who wish to pursue PhD programmes through EDB’s Industrial Post-graduate Programme (IPP). AMD has already provided one instance of its current generation of server processor and accelerator that can be scaled to handle hyperscale workloads. The chipmaker will provide NTU with more of its latest server technologies this year and beyond. In addition, AMD’s AI and machine learning experts will work closely with NTU professors to conduct joint training and workshop sessions for industry members.




LTA leverages technology to deter security threats at public TRANSPORT NODES The Land Transport Authority (LTA) has undertaken practical studies on the use of robotics to complement existing security measures at public transport nodes. A roving robot with surveillance capabilities was deployed during Exercise Station Guard, which was carried out at Hougang Station on the North East Line in December last year. Developed by ST Engineering, the roving robot is equipped with cameras for 360-degree surveillance. Using sensors and an in-built GPS, it is able to patrol a designated area which is pre-set into its system. For Exercise Station Guard, the robot was deployed around the vicinity of the station to test its navigational and surveillance capabilities. The robot’s control console was set up within LTA’s Incident Response Vehicle (IRV) to test its potential to complement on-site surveillance needed for public transport incident management. This autonomous platform, when fully developed, can also be integrated with video and audio analytics

technologies for enhanced surveillance purposes. The trial deployment of the robot is part of LTA’s efforts to leverage advancing technology when enhancing security measures at public transport nodes. Unmanned robots could potentially complement the deployment of security officers in the future, the agency said in a statement. Exercise Station Guard is a regular emergency preparedness exercise carried out by LTA with public transport operators to strengthen the resilience and security of the public transport network. A roving robot was deployed during Exercise Station Guard to test its navigation and surveillance capabilities. Image: LTA.

New report provides better understanding of risks in the real estate industry A new report from the Urban Land Institute (ULI), a global multidisciplinary real estate organisation, and Heitman LLC (Heitman), a global real estate investment management firm, points to the pressing need for greater understanding throughout the industry of the investment risks posed by the impacts of climate change. It also highlights proactive measures by Heitman and other leading firms to stay at the forefront of mitigation strategies and accurately price risk into investment decisions. ‘Climate Risk and Real Estate Investment Decision-Making’ explores current methods for assessing and mitigating climate risk in real estate, including physical risks such as catastrophes and transitional risks such as regulatory changes, availability of resources and attractiveness of locations. Both types of risks have financial impacts for real estate, including higher operational costs and declining property values. The report is based on insights from more than 25 investors and investment managers in Europe, North America, and Asia Pacific, as well as existing research. The real estate industry as a whole has just begun the



development of more advanced strategies to recognise, understand and manage risks, and for the most part, presently relies on insurance to cover the majority of the shorter term, financial oriented risks related to climate change, the report states. However, while insurance has remained generally attainable in risk-prone areas, being insured does not protect investors from a reduction in asset liquidity. That, along with the likelihood of future changes in insurance availability and costs, is prompting a growing number of investors and investment managers to explore new ways to build climate risks into their investment processes, including: • Mapping physical risk for current portfolios and potential acquisitions. • Incorporating climate risk into due diligence and other investment decision-making processes. • Incorporating additional physical adaptation and mitigation measures for assets at risk. • Exploring a variety of strategies to mitigate risk, including portfolio diversification and investing directly in the mitigation measures for specific assets. • Engaging with policy makers on local resilience strategies.


New SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Programme

rolled out for air transport sector A new SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Programme (ELP) for the air transport sector will be introduced as SkillsFuture Singapore continues to expand the work-learn pathways available.

such as design thinking, project management skills for business innovation, and business analytics skills for decision making to meet the skillsets required for trained Air Transport Officers (ATOs).

This was announced by Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry and Education Chee Hong Tat at a visit to SATS on 7 January 2019.

Participants, who must be fresh polytechnic graduates, will earn a Specialist Diploma in Aviation Management upon completion of the programme. Suitable candidates will be matched with a job related to their field of study and benefit from structured career development through the company’s talent development plan.

Launched in collaboration with SATS and SIM Global Education, the new ELP marks the first time a Private Education Institution is jointly curating content and delivering an ELP in the air transport sector with industry partners, in line with efforts to better support industry transformation and workforce needs. Commencing in October this year, the 18-month ELP aims to equip participants with knowledge and skills

Eligible individuals can receive a sign-on incentive of SGD 5,000, while companies can receive a grant of up to SGD 15,000 per participant to defray the costs of developing and providing structured on-the-job training.

SP Group introduces 38 high-speed charging points for EVs here Electric vehicle (EV) users can now fully charge their vehicles in 30 minutes at SP Group’s (SP) island-wide charging network. The energy provider has launched its first wave of 38 charging points, located at commercial buildings, industrial sites and educational institutions all around Singapore. This is a part of its plans to construct a network of 1,000 charging points by 2020. Half of the charging points are of the high-powered 50kW direct current (DC) variety, while the other half are 43kW alternating current (AC) charging points. These are among the fastest EV charging points in Singapore, with the 50kW DC chargers capable of fully charging a car in 30 minutes.

EV drivers can use SP Group’s charging service through the SP Utilities mobile application where they can search for the nearest available charging points, receive updates on their charging sessions and make payment. The charging points that are located at Singapore Polytechnic will also serve as an education and research platform, through SP’s collaboration with the tertiary institution. They will feature in Singapore Polytechnic’s engineering curriculum to train students and adult learners. Through this partnership, both parties aim to develop new skills related to EVs and charging technologies for Singapore, said SP in a statement.

Over the next few years, SP will introduce more high-powered DC charging points of up to 350kW. Other than SP’s, there are six other DC chargers in Singapore. According to SP, EV drivers can also enjoy at least 50 per cent cost savings compared to typical Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles for every kilometre travelled. The cost of using SP charging points will be regularly adjusted, mainly influenced by the prevailing electricity costs in Singapore. The present rates for the DC and AC chargers are 47.3 cents and 41.4 cents per kWh respectively. “Our nation-wide public charging network offers EV drivers fast charging, with greater convenience and a seamless experience through our digital solution, at cost-competitive rates. This will encourage wider adoption of green mobility in Singapore, and enable drivers to save cost,” said SP Group CEO Wong Kim Yin.

SP’s first wave of 38 EV charging points was launched in January 2019. This is part of its plan to have 1,000 charging points online by 2020 and to meet the needs of an escalating EV population. The energy provider has already partnered transport providers Grab and HDT Taxi (pictured) to provide for their EV charging needs in the coming years. Photo: SP Group




EDF Microgrid on Semakau Island In 2016, Nanyang Technological University (NTU) launched the Renewable Energy Integration Demonstrator - Singapore (REIDS) project to build eight hybrid microgrids that will be used for studying, testing, and demonstrating the integration of solar, wind, diesel, storage, waste-to-energy and power-to-gas technologies. The initiative, which will be the largest multi-microgrid test and research platform in Southeast Asia, aims to address the need for better and more affordable access to energy technologies that are suitable for the region’s tropical climate. French utility company Electricite de France (EDF) partnered with NTU to set up a research department in Semakau Island and build one of the microgrids. The facilities have been built off Singapore’s mainland, to eliminate possible risks to highly populated areas within the country. As NTU had already appointed Aurecon, a global engineering and infrastructure advisory company, to develop the overall microgrid infrastructure on the island, EDF commissioned the company to deliver the mechanical & electrical design services for its microgrid. This microgrid will serve as a test bed for renewable energy produced by a combination of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, wind turbines, and other new sophisticated technologies. The challenge for Aurecon was to deliver the complex design of the microgrid within an accelerated time-frame, so that EDF could present the technologies and equipment during the Singapore International Energy Week 2018 (SIEW 2018). The event provided an opportunity for representatives from the Singapore government and the energy industry, and from neighbouring countries, to witness the microgrids at work. Unlike other facilities that are connected to one central power source, EDF’s microgrid will be generating power from different renewable sources and thus requires a comprehensive design that would ensure the safety of the people and the facility.

Charging of an electric vehicle on Semakau Island, with a wind turbine in the background.

To achieve this, Aurecon drew upon its global expertise and closely collaborated with EDF and NTU to develop a unique power system with a bi-directional setup, which would enable the microgrid to work on its own and function as a larger interoperable resource, simultaneously. In addition, the project team collaborated closely with EDF, ensuring the design complied with local codes and regulations in Singapore. Completed on October 2018, the EDF’s Microgrid joins REIDS’ network of microgrids in Semakau Island. Once proven successful, this innovation can be adopted by other archipelagic countries in Southeast Asia as an alternative mode of energy supply. 12


An installation of solar panels, as part of the microgrid infrastructure.


Siemens to provide power supply systems FOR two metro line extensions in Singapore Siemens has been awarded a contract by Singapore’s Land Transport Authority to provide power supply systems for the Circle Line Stage 6 (CCL6) and the North East Line extension (NELe). The order, worth more than SGD 111 million, covers the delivery of AC and DC electrification equipment, and the Overhead Conductor Rail (OCR), the first-of-its-kind to be deployed in Singapore, for the extension of the North East Line. The 4 km CCL6 will close the loop for the Circle Line (CCL) by connecting HarbourFront Station to Marina Bay Station. To be completed by 2025, it comprises Kim Chuan Depot Extension (KCDE) and three new underground stations - Keppel, Cantonment and Prince Edward Road. KCDE is a northward expansion of the existing Kim Chuan Depot, to cater for the increased capacity of the CCL from 70 to 133 trains. CCL6 will support direct east-west travel and reduce travel time. The 2 km NELe comprises three additional stabling tracks in the North East Line’s (NEL) Sengkang Depot, and one new underground Punggol Coast Station. It is scheduled to be completed by 2023. The NELe will bring rail

connectivity to Punggol North which is being developed into an attractive live-work-learn-play environment for residents, workers and students. “With the extension of Circle Line and North East Line, Singapore commuters will have greater connectivity, accessibility and time savings to different parts of the country. Siemens is pleased to play a part in improving Singapore’s land transport infrastructure by powering up CCL6 and NELe, just as we are doing for the Downtown Line”, said Michel Obadia, CEO, Siemens Mobility Pte Ltd. For NELe, Siemens will provide its Siemens Catenary Standard Rigid (Sicat SR) aluminium OCR system. It meets the requirements of a modern mass transit system. Compared to the conventional overhead catenary system, such as the existing 1500 V DC system for the NEL, Sicat SR requires lower installation height, eliminates the use of tensioning devices and has a low voltage drop. It also has high current carrying capacity, high short-circuit strength and allows contact wire wear of up to 43%, resulting in longer equipment life.

With this new contract, Siemens will be further engaged in improving Singapore’s rail transport sector. THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER February 2019



Surbana Jurong launches new campus at Jurong Innovation District Surbana Jurong (SJ), one of the largest Asia-based urban and infrastructure consulting firms, held a ground-breaking ceremony recently for a new campus in Singapore, that will house its global headquarters. Named ‘Surbana Jurong Campus’, the 68,915 m2 development will be built in Jurong Innovation District (JID), a vibrant ecosystem of enterprises in advanced manufacturing, urban solutions and smart logistics. The campus can accommodate up to 4,000 employees and will be completed by 2021. JID is master planned and developed by JTC. The Surbana Jurong Campus will support SJ’s rapid growth, by facilitating stronger teamwork and knowledge-sharing among its Singapore and global talents, and will serve as the nerve centre for research and development of innovations for the built environment, to create and bring practical and viable solutions to industry and the community. The location of the campus in JID provides the company access to a vibrant and collaborative ecosystem of R&D and capability developers, startups, and technology enablers, for potential collaborations to accelerate the adoption of smart technologies and solutions. Designed by Safdie Surbana Jurong, a collaboration between Safdie Architects and Surbana Jurong, the campus will serve to demonstrate what a sustainable, people-centric and future-ready workplace would look like. Created by the renowned architect, Moshe Safdie, the new headquarters embodies the character of Singapore as a Garden City, by integrating the structure harmoniously with the natural landscape. Situated on a previously undeveloped greenfield site, the campus will push the boundaries of sustainable design in both construction and operation. SJ’s multi-disciplinary team of experts will undertake the entire development from start to end. This encompasses consultancy solutions from project funding, architecture and landscaping, engineering, workplace strategy, cost and project management, through to integrated facilities management and security services.

Driving digitalisation and innovation The building of Surbana Jurong Campus will embrace the use of digital technologies to scale up productivity and efficiency, and is well aligned with Singapore’s push to transform the built environment sector. The development will demonstrate SJ’s leadership in leveraging Building Information Modelling (BIM) and extending it to a comprehensive Integrated Digital Delivery (IDD) which fully integrates processes and stakeholders along the development value chain through advanced info-communications technology and smart technologies. 14


Additionally, SJ will apply its proprietary solutions such as BIM:FM technology to the facilities management process to increase productivity and achieve cost savings for long-term building maintenance and operation cycles. The construction will also utilise the Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DfMA) approach, with the use of precast materials, a competency of SJ displayed in its affordable housing projects. To drive innovation, the campus will be a living lab with dedicated spaces for research and test-bedding of new ideas, including test-bedding future-ready solutions developed by the SJ-NTU Corporate Lab, a joint initiative by SJ, NTU and the National Research Foundation, Singapore.

Championing sustainability In line with SJ’s commitment towards delivering sustainable urban solutions, the campus pushes the boundaries of sustainable design in both construction and operation. It is designed to meet Singapore’s Building and Construction Authority’s (BCA) Green Mark Platinum Certification for Super Low Energy Buildings. The campus utilises solar photovoltaic technology which will yield around 340 MWh of renewable energy annually, and integrates features such as rain gardens and bio-swales to enhance water sustenance. It also boasts many other green technologies, including smart lighting control, underfloor air-distribution systems, and predictive smart building control systems such as live energy and water management dashboards.

Tailored funding solution SJ adopted a ‘develop and lease’ model to fund the development of the campus. The campus is being developed by Surbana Jurong Capital, the investment arm of SJ, which secured 100% funding for the development of the property and subsequent lease agreement for the entire land lease tenure, from M&G Real Estate, one of the world’s leading financial solutions providers for real estate investors. M&G Real Estate is a part of M&G Prudential, a savings and investment business, established in August 2017 by Prudential plc. This arrangement provides SJ with a compelling, long-term and cost-effective solution in developing the property for its use. “The building of our global headquarters represents SJ’s growth ambition, and signals our continued confidence in Singapore as a strategic urban and infrastructure hub. With its myriad of new-generation working spaces, our new campus is envisaged to be a conducive and lively environment for meaningful collaboration and to nurture innovation as we explore new ways to address


urban challenges and reinvent cities. We also hope that a world-class workspace will further attract and retain global talents”, said Mr Wong Heang Fine, Group Chief Executive Officer, Surbana Jurong. “Utilising the group’s full range of capabilities to develop this project, the Surbana Jurong Campus will be a showcase of how we can support our clients to bring a development project from vision to reality. From planning, financing and design, through to delivery and management, we have a fully integrated and complete set of services to successfully deliver a project from concept to completion”, he added.

“Surbana Jurong’s Campus is testament to the company’s long-term commitment to Singapore, and its dedication to being a technology and innovation-driven design and engineering consultancy. We look forward to more partnerships between Surbana Jurong and key players, both in Singapore and around the region, to develop new solutions for the urban and infrastructure sectors”, said Mr Lim Kok Kiang, Assistant Managing Director, EDB.

“The Surbana Jurong Campus will be a critical piece of the collaborative ecosystem of researchers, capability developers, enablers and adopters in Jurong Innovation District. Surbana Jurong’s capabilities in sustainable urban planning are well-aligned to Jurong Innovation District’s vision to testbed innovations in urban solutions and smart technologies”, said Mr Ng Lang, Chief Executive Officer, JTC. The campus is a result of strong collaboration and on-going support from the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB).

Designed by Safdie Surbana Jurong, a collaboration between Safdie Architects and Surbana Jurong, the campus will serve to demonstrate what a sustainable, people-centric and future-ready workplace would look like. Created by the renowned architect, Moshe Safdie, the new headquarters embodies the character of Singapore as a Garden City. Images by Safdie Surbana Jurong. THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER February 2019



CDL listed on the 2019 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index In recognition of its commitment to transparency in gender reporting and advancing gender diversity in the workplace, City Developments Limited (CDL) has been selected for the 2019 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index (GEI). Since the global index was launched in 2018, CDL is the only Singapore real estate management and development company to be listed in both years. Tracked by investors, the GEI uses a standardised reporting framework for public companies to disclose information on how they promote gender equality across four separate areas - company statistics, policies, community engagement as well as products and services. Based on the extent of disclosures and achievement of best-in-class statistics and policies, reporting companies that score above a globally-established threshold are included in the GEI.

through the Bloomberg GEI framework. CDL’s GEI inclusion is a strong indicator to its employees, investors and industry peers alike that it is leading by example to advance ongoing efforts for a truly inclusive workplace”. The 2019 GEI includes firms from 10 sectors, headquartered across 36 countries and regions. Collectively, these firms have a combined market capitalisation of USD 9 trillion and employ more than 15 million people around the world, among whom are 7 million women. Thirteen markets are represented for the first time this year, including Argentina, China, Israel and South Africa.

“In a traditionally male-dominated industry, CDL is honoured to be listed on the GEI for the second consecutive year. A diverse workforce enables us to make better decisions and achieve superior outcomes. Our diversity across genders, age groups, cultures and geographies has given us a strong strategic advantage and we will continue to support the professional development of all employees within our group”, said Mr Sherman Kwek, Group Chief Executive Officer, CDL. To promote the awareness and adoption of diversity and inclusion within the company and wider community, CDL established an internal Diversity and Inclusion Task Force in 2017. Women employees form 70% of CDL’s workforce and 47% of its department heads. In 2018, the number of women department heads in CDL increased by 60%, compared to 2017. The Task Force complements CDL’s Women4Green network, a first in Singapore, which inspires and empowers women to create a financially, environmentally and socially sustainable future.

CDL Group CEO Mr Sherman Kwek, who is a member of the Diversity Action Committee Singapore, flanked by Group CFO Ms Yiong Yim Ming (centre); Head, Property Development, Ms Lee Mei Ling (first from left); Chief Sustainability Officer Ms Esther An (second from left); and CEO, Commercial, Ms Yvonne Ong (first from right).

CDL also adopted a formal Board Diversity Policy in 2017, setting a clear framework for promoting diversity on its board. To-date, two (Ms Lim Yin Nee Jenny and Ms Tan Yee Peng) out of seven directors on the CDL Board are women. This surpasses the Diversity Action Committee (DAC) Singapore’s recommended target of having 20% of women representatives on the boards of Singapore-listed companies by 2020. In addition, Mr Kwek is part of the DAC and he also joined over 1,800 global leaders in pledging support for the Women’s Empowerment Principles, an initiative jointly developed by the UN Women and UN Global Compact to promote gender diversity at the workplace. Mr Peter T Grauer, Chairman of Bloomberg and Founding Chairman of the US 30% Club, said, “We applaud CDL and the other 229 firms tracked by the index for their action to measure gender equality 16


Mr Sherman Kwek and Group General Manager Mr Chia Ngiang Hong (fifth from left) with women department heads. Women employees form 70% of CDL’s workforce and 47% of department heads in the company are women.


ENGIE builds on data centre capabilities with

new acquisition in Singapore ENGIE South East Asia, part of the global energy and services group, recently announced a definitive agreement to acquire RCS Engineering Pte Ltd, a leading player in Singapore’s data centre industry, specialising in delivering M&E infrastructure to large and mission-critical facilities, that is already exporting its services. The acquisition marks yet another significant milestone for ENGIE which is expanding its operations across Asia Pacific. The company is looking to provide sophisticated and sustainable solutions for the region’s rapidly growing digital economy which includes the booming development of data centres. With ENGIE’s mission to address the future energy challenges of its customers and be a leader in energy transition, this acquisition positions the company as a Tier I player in Singapore and Asia-Pacific, as it looks to

address the energy needs of large data players as well as telco and critical data owners. The acquisition of RCS Engineering allows ENGIE to have a unique position within the data centre industry in Asia Pacific. It increases the company’s full scope of capabilities, expanding on its design and build services, facility management services, green energy supply, energy efficiency solutions, and digital support services such as Avril Digital. ENGIE can address the needs of this industry from enterprise data centre solutions to large data centres for co-location and global digital players. The move will therefore see the company strengthening its position as a key developer, investor, and operator for large, sustainable and complex infrastructures in Asia Pacific, where 60% of the worldwide infrastructure investment is expected to happen, by 2025, and which will drive huge amounts of energy consumption.

Xylem launches enhanced Flygt 4460 submersible biogas mixer Xylem Inc, a leading global water technology company, recently unveiled its newly enhanced Flygt 4460 midsized biogas mixer. Designed in response to specific customer needs, the new submersible mixer delivers greater reliability and mixing efficiency, and has been designed for easy installation in biogas digester tanks, thereby supporting the process of turning wastes into renewable energy resources. For optimised, cost-effective mixing, the Flygt 4460 biogas mixer has been upgraded with a duplex steel propeller specifically designed to perform in thick, viscous liquids, and to endure abrasive and corrosive materials. Coupled with the mixer’s superior hydraulic design, this makes Flygt 4460 ideal to handle the most challenging media associated with biogas production. The improved efficiency means that mixing time can be reduced and significant energy savings can be realised.

tank’s standard openings using Xylem’s installation system. Maintenance is quick and safe as the mixer can be lifted straight out of the digester without having to empty the tank. This significantly reduces operational down-time and overall servicing costs. Understanding biogas customers’ need for rapid response, Xylem is making sure that the newly enhanced mixer is available for quick delivery worldwide.

Reliability is also enhanced by the propeller’s spherical hub which guarantees continuous clog-free mixing, as well as the 7.5 kW or 12 kW Flygt motor and heavy-duty gearbox, for energy-efficient, non-stop performance that meets challenging process demands. To best fit customer tank specifications, the new propeller comes in two diameters (1.0 m and 1.25 m), and can easily be installed and positioned through the

The Flygt 4460 can handle the most challenging media associated with biogas production.




OpenUtilities DER Planning & Design Assessment Solutions for grid modernisation Bentley Systems has announced the availability of OpenUtilities DER Planning & Design Assessment Solutions, the latest of Bentley’s electric utility software offerings that provide decision support and cost-based models and simulations for Distributed Energy Resources (DER) integration. In partnership with Siemens’ Digital Grid business unit, OpenUtilities Solutions for DER empowers electric utilities, electricity suppliers, and distribution network operators (DSO) with software applications to analyse, design, and evaluate DER interconnection requests through desktop and cloud-based services, while supporting the reliability and resilience of network operations. OpenUtilities Solutions for DER create automatic network analysis models for Siemens’ PSS SINCAL, with the integration of GIS-based network data (including ESRI, GE, and Smallworld). The solutions generate an electrical digital twin for utilities - a GIS digital twin that enables owner/operators to more efficiently model the grid for decentralised energy, without compromising safety and reliability. Some of the major challenges utilities encounter with DER integration are system complexity, increased regulatory requirements, high customer demand, and cost management. Digital twins can provide huge efficiencies in grid operations, by streamlining DER interconnection applications with optimised workflows to better assess operational impacts, long-term strategic scenarios and investment decisions. With the increasing penetration of DER into the grid, utilities need digital applications to handle the increasing demand for DER interconnections and collaborate across work groups. OpenUtilities DER Optioneering offers a cloud-based decision-support initial screening and supplemental screening mechanism to evaluate DER interconnection requests using validation checkpoints and hosting capacity analysis. Utilities can benefit from this fast-track interconnection procedure, to readily approve DER applications or to defer them to power systems planners to conduct further studies and impact analysis.

the ability to efficiently study many power flow scenarios within the network. It enables power system planners to better forecast and model the grid for decentralised energy, without disrupting current operations. OpenUtilities Design Optioneering advances OpenUtilities Analysis one step further, with costbased decision-support for planning and designing complex utility networks with DER. The application provides the ability to analyse both planned and existing infrastructure, optimise equipment sizing, and estimate material and labour costs, for DER projects. This helps utilities minimise design and construction costs associated with DER and streamline the DER interconnection process, with detailed cost estimation included with the impact analysis studies. Bentley’s OpenUtilities solutions all leverage an open Connected Data Environment (CDE), a source of information, used to collect, manage, and share all information about assets. By enabling an open CDE, utilities can better manage and access consistent, trusted, and accurate information. Utilities can share the benefits of an open, integrated, and connected framework to enable collaboration, improve decision-making, and optimise the value of high penetrations of DER.

OpenUtilities Solutions for DER empowers electric utilities to actively manage the increased demand for distributed energy resources (DER) in the evolving energy mix while maintaining grid reliability, resilience, and safety.

The application provides a practical and cost-effective method to streamline and automate the DER approval process, without always having to involve costly engineering resources, and expedite the interconnection request process. It enables non-engineering staff and managers alike to effectively manage DER interconnection applications while adhering to complex regulatory requirements for DER permits. In cases where more detailed system impact studies are needed before an interconnection request can be approved, OpenUtilities Analysis gives power system engineers a mechanism to reduce the amount of manual work required, at each step of an impact analysis study. This means accurate forecasting, advanced models and 18


The OpenUtilities Analysis framework enables power systems planning engineers to more efficiently perform simulations to study the potential impacts of increased DER penetration.


ABB to support the increasing

digitalisation of substations ABB and Intel have signed a formal agreement to collaborate on the marketing and selling of next-generation distribution automation systems and products for protection and control in utility and industrial applications. At the core of the agreement is ABB Ability smart substation control and protection for electrical systems, SSC600, powered by Intel Xeon processors. SSC600 centralises all protection and control functionality in a single, IEC 61850-compliant device at the substation level, to reduce network complexity and support optimal, lifelong asset management for the digital substation. It helps utilities make the change to a more digital environment, allowing protection and control of a wide variety of applications in real-time.

ABB’s ismart substation control and protection device is capable of delivering the following benefits: • Reduced security management and capital investment costs. • Reduced operational and maintenance expenses with optimised system reliability. • Enhanced cybersecurity features with multiple hardware and software layers. • Easy and efficient process management with station-wide process visibility. • Improved operational safety with centralised protection concept. • Easy adaption to changing network protection requirements, with scalable software architecture.




Digital Energy at

HANNOVER MESSE 2019 Many sectors, such as industrial production, building systems and mobility, to name just a few, have yet to achieve the full benefits that digitisation of energy management can offer. From 1 to 5 April 2019, experts will gather at HANNOVER MESSE 2019, in Hannover, Germany, to discuss the areas and ways in which digital processes can be further leveraged to conserve energy and resources, and reduce costs. HANNOVER MESSE 2019 will again feature a special Digital Energy showcase, where innovative companies from around the world will present ideas and solutions for digitising the entire energy sector. A key focus will be on smart meters, particularly Germany’s nationwide rollout which is currently gathering pace. Nationwide rollout of smart, digital electricity meters is fundamental to further efficiency gains and, indeed, to the energy transition. Smart meters are the all-important ‘last mile’ in energy system digitisation. The smart meter technology itself has been around for quite some time and is capable of measuring the electricity consumption of any device in any setting, be it in the home, in large public buildings or in factory halls. While awareness of energy efficiency is growing, many sectors of society still have some catching up to do. This is certainly true of Germany’s public sector and its extensive building portfolio. Timely planning and long-term planning certainty are also important when it comes to operating and upgrading power grids. The same is true of electricity quality,

The Digital Energy display at last year’s event. 20


especially now that power grids are receiving ever greater in-feeds from solar, wind, hydro and biogas. The growth in fluctuating, green in-feeds is not the only problem for power grids. Sector coupling is also a challenge: More and more people are charging their electric cars overnight, so residential areas are likely to resemble industrial zones in terms of electricity demands. The Digital Energy display at HANNOVER MESSE 2019 will also highlight the convergence of industrial manufacturing, power grids, renewable energy and mobility, as a result of digitisation.


Driving solar initiatives in Singapore The Housing & Development Board (HDB) is tapping the potential presented by the rooftop spaces crowning HDB blocks, to generate renewable energy. HDB’s journey in developing its solar capabilities began in 2008, when it embarked on the implementation of sustainable and innovative solutions to enable Singapore to harness solar energy on a large scale. Today, HDB is the largest stakeholder in the installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems in Singapore, having committed to fulfil over 60% of the 350 megawatt-peak (MWp) of solar capacity that Singapore plans to achieve, by 2020. Including its fourth SolarNova tender, HDB has committed to achieving a solar capacity of 230 MWp over 4,550 HDB blocks, exceeding its targeted solar capacity of 220 MWp, by 2020. With solar PV capacity of 230 MWp that has been committed, 277 GWh of clean energy can be generated annually. This is equivalent to powering about 57,500 four-room flats, with carbon emissions reduced by 138,500 tonnes each year. HDB says it will continue to meet its target of 5,500 HDB blocks to undergo, or be identified for, solar installation, by 2020.

installation of extensive solar systems particularly on existing buildings, which is more challenging, as the roofs were not originally designed for such installations. It was also possible to use the energy harnessed to power the common services in the blocks. • In 2009, HDB commenced wide-scale test-bedding of solar PV in selected HDB precincts, under the Solar Capability Building Programme, supported by funding from the Inter-Ministerial Committee for Sustainable Development (IMCSD) and Clean Energy Research and Test-bedding Programme (CERT).

As of November 2018, solar PV panels have been installed on 1,347 HDB blocks, that contribute to almost 46% of Singapore’s total solar installations, currently [1]. The solar panels cover an area of about 360,000 m2 which is approximately the size of 44 football fields. The solar energy harnessed is used to fully power common services in the HDB estates in the daytime. These include powering the blocks’ lifts and water pumps. As a result, on average, all the 1,347 HDB blocks are able to achieve net-zero energy consumption with excess solar energy channelled back to Singapore’s electrical grid. About 6 GWh of solar energy is generated by the solar PV system each month, which can power about 15,000 four-room HDB flats.

Key milestones in HDB’s solar energy journey • In 2008, HDB conducted its first solar test-bedding projects at two existing precincts - in Serangoon and Wellington. These test beds allowed HDB to gather valuable technical knowledge on the

HDB conducted the first solar test-bedding projects at Serangoon (top) and Wellington (bottom). THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER February 2019



cost for solar leasing tenders had been borne by HDB, to kickstart the solar leasing programme. With economies of scale from the wider adoption of the solar leasing model, HDB no longer needed to fund the upfront cost of subsequent projects. • In June 2016, HDB completed its pilot solar-ready roof at Punggol Edge BTO project. The roof was designed with due consideration given to structural and electrical requirements, to facilitate the installation of future solar PV systems.

Treelodge@Punggol is the first solar PV-integrated public housing project.

• Completed in 2010, Treelodge@Punggol is HDB’s first eco-precinct, and also the first solar PV-integrated public housing project. • Under the solar leasing model, first introduced in 2011, private solar PV system developers would design, finance, install, operate and maintain the solar PV systems. This model was subsequently developed on a wider and more sustainable scale. Accordingly, Town Councils managing the HDB blocks with solar panels would enter into a service agreement with the developer to pay for the solar power generated and consumed, at a preferential rate not higher than the retail electricity tariff rate. This helps the Town Councils to mitigate the rising cost of energy and prevent the increase in Service and Conservancy Charges. The expertise of private enterprises is harnessed to maximise solar generation without additional cost to the Town Councils. • In October 2014, HDB awarded the first zero-dollar solar leasing tender, with the full cost of the solar PV systems borne by the solar PV developers. Prior to this, part of the

• In August 2017, HDB announced that solar-ready roofs will be rolled out in all future public housing blocks with at least 400 m2 of open roof space, where feasible (excluding space needed for essential block services such as water tanks, water pumps and lift rooms). This would enable more productive and efficient installation of solar panels on HDB rooftops. • In May 2018, HDB signed a Research Collaboration Agreement (RCA) with Million Lighting Co Pte Ltd to develop a 100 Kilowatt Peak (KWp) floating solar system in Tengeh Reservoir in Tuas, using HDB’s floating modular system. This is the first time a locally-designed flotation system has been deployed for solar panels. The Floating Solar System is estimated to generate about 120 MWh of electricity in a year and reduce carbon emissions by 60 tonnes annually. • In July 2018, HDB signed a Research Collaboration Agreement with ISO Landscape Pte Ltd, to study expanding the use of the floating modular system for coastal marine conditions, that can address the harsher environmental conditions at sea. The collaboration will look at methods to overcome the challenges of marine conditions, such as strong winds, wave action, and the accumulation of marine organisms. The study is expected to be completed by 2019.

SolarNova Programme The SolarNova programme, led by the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), in partnership with HDB, aggregates demand for solar energy across public

The solar-ready roof piloted in the Punggol Edge BTO project was designed to facilitate the installation of future solar PV systems. 22



sector agencies. This results in economies of scale, which lowers the cost of electricity generated from solar energy, and thus accelerates solar adoption in Singapore. • In June 2015, HDB called the first consolidated tender under the SolarNova programme, for a solar capacity of 40 MWp. This initiative aims to accelerate solar deployment in Singapore through promoting and aggregating solar demand across government agencies. With HDB as the government’s central procurement agency for solar panels, agencies with a smaller demand will benefit from economies of scale and enjoy the benefits of solar energy at a lower cost. In December 2015, the tender was awarded to Sunseap Leasing Pte Ltd which offered a higher installed capacity of 76 MWp. Under this tender, installation works for about 800 HDB blocks are expected to be completed by mid-2019. • In October 2016, HDB called the second consolidated tender under the SolarNova programme, for a solar capacity of 40 MWp. The solar panels will be installed at 636 HDB blocks and 31 government sites. The tender was awarded in June 2017 to Million Lighting Co Pte Ltd. Installation works have commenced in 4Q 2017 and are estimated to be completed in 1H 2019. Including the second tender, a total of 150 MWp had been procured and committed.

• In November 2017, the third consolidated tender under the SolarNova programme was called, with a solar capacity of 50 MWp. The solar panels will be installed at 848 HDB blocks and 27 government sites. A total of eight government organisations took part in the SolarNova programme under this tender. The tender was awarded in June 2018 to Sembcorp Solar Singapore Pte Ltd and Kurihara Kogyo Co Ltd (Consortium). Installation works were scheduled to commence in 3Q 2018 and is estimated to be completed in 2Q 2020. • In December 2018, the fourth consolidated tender under the SolarNova programme was called, with a solar capacity of 70 MWp. The solar panels will be installed at 1,218 HDB blocks and 49 government sites. With this tender, a total of 12 government organisations are on board in the SolarNova programme. Including this tender, HDB has committed a solar capacity of 230 MWp, over 4,550 HDB blocks, exceeding HDB’s targeted solar capacity of 220 MWp by 2020. References [1] https://www.ema.gov.sg/cmsmedia/Publications_and_Statistics/Publications/ses/2018/solar/index.html.

All images by Housing & Development Board.

By 2020, more than half of the existing 10,000 HDB blocks will be fitted with, or identified for, solar installation. THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER February 2019



CDL wins global recognition for

sustainability efforts and climate action The company gives top priority to initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and has set ambitious targets. City Developments Limited (CDL) has emerged the top Singapore company in the ‘2019 Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World’ ranking, taking 25th place. This also makes CDL the first and only Singapore company to be listed on the Global 100 list for 10 consecutive years.

Accelerating CDL’s sustainability and climate change strategy, the company launched its Future Value 2030 Sustainability Blueprint, in 2017, setting ambitious ESG targets to future-proof its business and contribute towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDG).

Further, for its steadfast action on climate change and robust carbon strategy, CDL has been included in the 2018 CDP Global A-List for corporate climate action, making it the first and only Singapore company to achieve this honour.

CDL aims to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per square metre across its Singapore operations (corporate office, commercial and industrial buildings) by 59% from base-year 2007, by 2030. For its development projects, the company is committed to using sustainable building materials, instead of their conventional equivalents, to reduce embodied carbon by 24%, by 2030.

In addition to the Global 100 and CDP (since 2007) lists, CDL is listed on 12 other leading sustainability benchmarks and indices such as the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (since 2011); FTSE4Good Index Series (since 2002) and MSCI ESG Leaders Indexes (since 2010).

2019 Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World

CDL has also continued to set benchmarks in sustainability reporting, to rigorously track its sustainability performance. It was the first Singapore company to issue a Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)checked sustainability report in 2008. In addition, CDL

Conducted by Corporate Knights, a Toronto-based international media and investment research firm, the Global 100 ranking is recognised as the world’s preeminent sustainability equity index and gold standard in corporate sustainability analysis. The names of companies selected for the 2019 Global 100 ranking were announced at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2019 in Davos, Switzerland. They were selected from some 7,500 publicly listed companies - each evaluated on a set of up to 21 Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) indicators relative to their industry peers, using publicly available information. “In the face of climate change and its devastating impact, businesses must embrace sustainability as one of their top priorities to mitigate climate-related risks. We need to conscientiously strike the required balance between financial performance, environmental stewardship and community engagement. It is a tremendous honour for CDL to be recognised as the most sustainable Singapore company in the 2019 Global 100 ranking. For over two decades, strategic ESG integration has complemented our growth and continues to unlock value for our business. We must consistently explore sustainable alternatives to improve the way we operate. Looking ahead, CDL will drive innovation to develop more sustainable buildings, increase resource efficiency, and engage our stakeholders to build a sustainable future”, said Mr Sherman Kwek, Group Chief Executive Officer, CDL. 24


At South Beach, CDL’s joint venture mixed-use development, photovoltaic panels were installed on the top surface of louvre modules at the tower roof, and the wavy canopy at the ground level, covering a total area of approximately 1,800 m2. The photovoltaic panels produce 219,000 kWh of energy annually. Image by CDL.


adopts global best practices such as the International Integrated Reporting Council’s Integrated Reporting Framework and Recommendations of the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). “The Global 100 companies show that doing what is good for the world can also be good for financial performance. I would like to congratulate CDL on its 10th consecutive year on the Global 100 and its remarkable standing in the ranking, bearing testament to its leadership in sustainability performance”, said Mr Toby Heaps, Chief Executive Officer, Corporate Knights.

CDL recognised in CDP Global A-List for corporate climate action Every year, thousands of companies submit data about their environmental impacts, risks and opportunities to CDP for independent assessment against its scoring methodology. CDP is an international non-profit that drives companies and governments to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, safeguard water resources and protect forests. In 2018, companies were requested to do so, by over 650 investors with over USD 87 trillion in assets. “Congratulations to all companies that made it onto CDP’s A-List this year. As the severity of environmental risks to

business becomes ever more apparent, these are the companies that are positioning themselves to provide solutions, seize new market opportunities and thrive in the transition to a sustainable economy. We need to urgently scale up environmental action at all levels in order to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals. It is clear that the business world is an essential player in this transition and the A-List companies are set to make a substantial contribution to those goals”, said Mr Paul Simpson, CEO, CDP. CDL’s ‘A’ score reflects a company’s comprehensive understanding of its climate-related risks and opportunities, its proactive efforts to mitigate climate change, and adoption of sustainability best practices and strategies to reduce GHG emissions. “As governments across the world step up their commitment to climate action, businesses must also urgently transit to a low or zero-carbon economy. CDL is honoured to be recognised as a global leader for corporate climate action. We have been steadfast in our climate and carbon management strategies to reduce our carbon emissions and reliance on fossil fuel. We will continue to actively engage our stakeholders to collectively reduce our environmental footprint. Together, we can accelerate climate action”, said Mr Sherman Kwek, Group Chief Executive Officer, CDL.

Developed by CDL, the Singapore Sustainability Academy at City Square Mall is built using cross laminated timber and glued laminated timber, verified to have come from responsible sources. The zero-energy building features 300 m2 of photovoltaic panels that generate solar energy. Image by CDL. THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER February 2019



In the wake of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) 1.5° C Special Report and COP24 summit in 2018, the threats of climate change and environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues have become increasingly pertinent for policy makers and businesses. Recognising the importance of future-proofing its business, CDL conducted a climate change scenario study in 2018, looking into the potential impact of both a 2° C and 4° C warming scenario to its operations in key markets, based on the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures’ (TCFD) recommendations. In view of the IPCC Report, the company aims to continue with its climate change impact study by looking into the potential risks of a 1.5° C warming scenario. As part of its carbon management strategies, CDL implemented a science-based approach in setting reduction targets for carbon emissions intensity. On 16 July 2018, it became the first Singapore property company to have its carbon reduction targets validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). CDL expects to reduce its carbon emission intensity across its Singapore operations by 59%, by 2030, from baseyear 2007. This is an increase from an earlier target of 38%. CDL aims to reduce Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions per square metre of its Singapore operations. Scope 1 includes direct emissions from sources that are owned or controlled by the company, for example, emissions from combustion in owned or controlled boilers, furnaces, vehicles, etc and emissions from chemical production in owned or controlled process equipment. Scope 2 includes indirect emissions due to purchased electricity consumed at the company’s corporate office, commercial and industrial buildings. For its development projects, CDL is committed to using sustainable building materials, instead of their conventional equivalents, to reduce embodied carbon by 24%, by 2030. CDL will also engage its subsidiary, Millennium & Copthorne Hotels plc, which contributes close to 90% of emissions from CDL’s key subsidiaries, to set a science-based emissions reduction target by 2025. The embodied carbon in construction materials includes the GHG emissions arising from the manufacture, transport, assembly, replacement and deconstruction of building materials. Apart from being the first Singapore developer to generate solar power on site at selected developments since the early 2000s, CDL has adopted carbon offsetting since 2009 for its corporate office operations and 11 Tampines Concourse project. In 2017, the company started to look into procuring Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). In 2018, CDL advanced its sourcing strategy for renewable energy, becoming a pioneer buyer of RECs on SP Group’s blockchain platform. This enables CDL to procure RECs from solar developers conveniently, seamlessly and securely while meeting its evolving energy demands and carbon reduction ambitions. 26


International scientists to gather in Norway to accelerate carbon capture and storage The Trondheim CCS Conference (TCCS-10) is expected to attract 500 international carbon capture and storage (CCS) researchers, industry representatives and policy makers. To be held in Trondheim, Norway, from 17 to 19 June 2019, TCCS-10 will be hosted jointly by SINTEF and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and is organised by the Norwegian CCS Research Centre (NCCS). Leading keynote speakers will present and discuss the latest CCS research to accelerate CCS technology. The city of Trondheim will also host a Mission Innovation CCS workshop on 20 June 2019 and The Big Challenge Science festival featuring countless popular science lectures, cultural events and concerts. CCS is a field dedicated to capturing, transporting and storing CO2. CCS technology prevents CO2 emissions from energy-intensive industries such as power, oil and gas, steel, and cement. CCS can provide for climate positive solutions (Bio CCS) and enable massive production of clean hydrogen from natural gas. The UN climate panel launched a report in October 2018, Global Warming of 1.5° C, showing that CCS is a technology that is critical to achieving the Paris Agreement. “Achieving the climate goals is a global responsibility. TCCS10, and the Mission Innovation CCS workshop, is going to be an important meeting place to inspire and showcase the latest research, share knowledge internationally and help bring CCS technology closer to deployment”, said Dr Nils Røkke, EVP Sustainability, SINTEF. “To accelerate CCS implementation, we all need to work hard together. To do that, we have to come together at important conferences. The Trondheim CCS Conference in June 2019 is going to be one of those seminal moments for CCS, and we all really must get along there because we are not going to beat climate change unless we have CCS”, said Brad Page, CEO, Global CCS Institute. “Leading experts from industry, research, and both public and private sector will participate in these vitally important conversations. The conference will inspire through high level keynotes and create change through in-depth conversations, giving participants insight into the latest research and trends to realise the new CCS opportunities”, said Mona Mølnvik, Head of FME, NCCS. SINTEF and NTNU have worked on CCS technology with Norwegian and international industrial companies and researchers for several decades. In Trondheim, panEuropean collaboration through the ECCSEL laboratory is making important contributions to CCS development. Norway has also initiated the world’s first full-scale, industrial CCS at a cement plant and a waste incinerator plant. This makes Trondheim the ideal city to host the TCCS-10 conference. The conference is expected to feature 150 presentations and 100 scientific posters. The SINTEF and NTNU CCS Award for outstanding CCS achievements will be presented for the 5th time, at TCCS-10.


NUS launches Singapore’s first new-build net-zero energy building It will showcase the latest ideas and solutions in sustainable development.

The design of the building demonstrates a deep understanding of the tropical climate of Singapore. Image by National University of Singapore.

The National University of Singapore (NUS) recently unveiled the first newbuild net-zero energy building in Singapore. Located within its School of Design and Environment (SDE), the new SDE4 building is energyefficient and environment-friendly, with a suite of innovative building strategies to improve the comfort and well-being of building users. Mr Heng Swee Keat, Minister for Finance and Chairman of the National Research Foundation, Singapore, officiated the launch of SDE4, and visited the building’s new facilities. SDE4 is a new addition to the existing constellation of three buildings serving students and staff of the school. Designed to be climate-responsive, with net-zero energy consumption, the building incorporates a range of sustainable features, such as solar roof installations, a hybrid cooling system, as well as approaches to optimise natural ventilation and lighting. The building has been awarded a Green Mark Platinum certification, and the school is applying for certification by the International WELL Building Institute which recognises best practices in design and construction with evidence-based health and wellness interventions. “NUS is proud to be home to the first new-build netzero energy building in Singapore. This is testament to our continuous efforts in incorporating sustainability in 28


SDE4 will function as a living laboratory, developing and showcasing the latest green building technologies. Image by Rory Gardiner.

various aspects of our campus life - from operations, planning, construction, research and education. The conceptualisation and construction of SDE4, which is also our very first net-zero energy building on campus, involved a collaborative partnership between our resident experts at the NUS School of Design and Environment as well as external consultants, builders and developers. The result is a dynamic living laboratory,


showcasing the latest ideas and solutions in sustainable development”, said Prof Tan Eng Chye, NUS President. “The school will continue to push the boundaries of innovative design as it embarks on the next phase of transforming three other buildings in the precinct, to embrace a ‘well and green’ philosophy. We hope that this novel concept will inspire future high performance buildings and sustainable development designs in Singapore and beyond”, he added.

Pioneering a ‘well and green’ precinct on campus As part of its continual efforts to explore new frontiers of sustainable development, the school has incorporated a ‘well and green’ approach in its teaching and design approaches, with an emphasis on the integration of human-centric design within a sustainable natural and built environment. The completion of SDE4 marks the first milestone in realising the school’s vision of creating a ‘well and green’ zone, called the Engineering and Design & Environment precinct, that will be a prototype of human-centric approaches to future sustainable development in NUS. Two existing buildings are currently being renovated. One more building will be redeveloped, and this new building will demonstrate the ambitious goal of being a net-positive energy, net-zero water, wellness certified and low carbon construction. “The successful completion of SDE4 demonstrates that stringent energy targets for buildings in the tropics are achievable. Through a well-executed integrated design process, the building will also provide a comfortable and biophilic experience coupled with a low carbon footprint. This principle of fusing beauty, comfort, wellness and sustainability will be applied to the other three buildings in the precinct”, said Prof Lam Khee Poh, Dean, NUS School of Design and Environment.

within the building are supplied with cool air at higher temperatures and humidity levels than that associated with a conventional air-conditioning system. Ceiling fans circulate the cool air to generate a comfort condition that is significantly better than overcooled spaces. The building also makes use of the architectural concept of ‘floating boxes’, where its shallow plan depth and porous layout allows for cross-ventilation, natural lighting and views to the outdoors. Rooms can also be opened to let in natural breezes. Airconditioning can be used only where it is needed, reducing the overall electricity usage. Premised on the idea that a connection with natural systems can enhance human comfort and well-being, SDE4 integrates natural elements and nature-like qualities into its environment, with features that offer uninterrupted views of greenery and water systems, and access to daylight. These features make up an architecture that functions as a living laboratory, facilitating the test-bedding and developing of green building technologies, and promoting research collaboration with public agencies and industry partners. PROJECT DATA Completion of construction January 2019 Gross floor area 8,588 m2 Certification Green Mark Platinum (awarded by BCA, Singapore) WELL (certification by International WELL Building Institute, in progress)

Energy-efficient spaces that promote well-being The SDE4 building houses a mix of research laboratories, design studios, as well as teaching and common learning spaces over six floors, covering a gross floor area of 8,588 m2. A key aspect of the building is its contemporary architectural design which demonstrates a deep understanding of the tropical climate of Singapore. The concept incorporates a large overhanging roof, together with double facades on the east and west sides of the building, to shade it from the sun’s heat and provide a cooler interior. Designed to consume only as much energy as it produces, SDE4 is equipped with a solar ‘farm’ on the roof top, comprising more than 1,200 photovoltaic panels to harvest solar energy. On days when there is insufficient sunlight, the building will draw energy from the university’s power grid. To effectively manage the building’s energy consumption, SDE4 adopts an innovative hybrid cooling system which ensures that rooms would not be overly cooled. Rooms

PROJECT CREDITS Design Architect Serie + Multiply Consultants Pte Ltd Project Architect Surbana Jurong Consultants Pte Ltd Mechanical & Electrical Engineer Surbana Jurong Consultants Pte Ltd Civil & Structural Engineer Surbana Jurong Consultants Pte Ltd Quantity Surveyor Surbana Jurong Consultants Pte Ltd Energy and Climate Consultant Transsolar Energietechnik GmbH Contractor Kajima Overseas Asia (Singapore) Pte Ltd



Mechanical & Electrical Engineering

THE ‘NEXT GENERATION’ GEARLESS HIGH Volume Low Speed fans offerS multiple advantages These include lower power consumption, noise levels and maintenance requirements. Spectra instruments Pte Ltd (Spectra Instruments), a home-grown SME, has launched its ‘next generation’ of High Volume Low Speed Fans’, comprising Spacefans Gearless DCL5 Series (with five airfoils), Spacefans DCL6 Series (with six airfoils) and Spacefans DCM Series (with eight airfoils). The diameter of the fans ranges from 2.4 m to 7.3 m. HVLS fans are said to be more energy-efficient than wall fans in delivering gentle breeze to the occupants of spaces under them. The fans are directly driven, have no gearboxes, no nitrogen-filled parts and no on-board electronics. They require no oil, thereby eliminating the problem of oil leaks. The compact, maintenance-free and reliable drive unit and the IP-55 rating (for Ingress Protection) of the fans contribute to a long service life. Incorporating strong rare earth magnets (NdFeB, Grade N38) in multiple brushless DC (BLDC) electric motors with SKF bearings, the HVLS fans are quiet, producing

noise levels of less than 40 dBA, and have a high electrical efficiency of 84%. The HVLS fans are also equipped with advanced variable frequency drive controllers which provide easy integration to building management systems and fire control systems. Application areas for the fans include airports, educational institutions, sports facilities, MRT stations, bus interchanges, manufacturing facilities, warehouses, shopping malls, community centres and military facilities.

Spectra Instruments From 2006 to 2014, Spectra Instruments was the regional distributor of a major line of HVLS fans. In 2014, the company launched its own Spacefans brand. Today, Spectra Instruments has become a one-stop solutions provider offering design, supply, installation and maintenance services for the systems it supplies. Spectra Instruments has successfully completed projects awarded by government agencies, government-linked companies, multinational corporations, local SMEs and other organisations.

A close-up view of a DCL5 Series fan.

A Spacefan installation at an industrial facility. 30


Providing cool breeze in a commercial building.


A power upgrade implemented in A data centre in Amsterdam This is in response to the demand of major cloud providers and multinational companies seeking high density colocation infrastructure in the city. Datacenter.com, recently announced that it has completed the first step of the second phase expansion of its flagship data centre, AMS1 Amsterdam, by upgrading the current power grid connection to 10 MW of capacity. The expansion is the company’s second step forward, following the opening of the AMS1 data centre in January 2018. The company believes this improvement drives the further growth of its customer base and further expansions.

already able to use high density cabinets, but now with the new improvement, they are positioned to be able to grow even more, with the removal of obstacles related to these issues. Datacenter.com AMS1 is run in an energy-efficient way, that is respectful to its environment, that is, it is 100% green.

“We were facing a problem with the power availability in the Amsterdam area and this leads to large headaches within our industry”, said Jochem Steman, CEO of Datacenter.com. “Completing this upgrade should go a long way towards solving this problem, by making further growth available for our customers”, he added. Currently, the shortage of power in Amsterdam could have a large, negative impact on the community’s working environment. It is disrupting the current data centre industry growth. This is an industry which has enormous power requirements, but also has many firms who would love to expand into the city, bringing both employment and increased financial opportunities. By securing the 10 MW grid connection, Datacenter.com can continue providing colocation services, something vital for the firm. Datacenter.com’s AMS1 data centre is based in Amsterdam’s business district in the southeast of the city. According to the company, this area features some of the highest fibre densities of any major or minor city across the globe, and the AMS1 data centre features 5000 m2 of colocation whitespace. The continued quick growth of the AMS1 data centre made it clear that the only answer to the challenge was in finding a way to bring in more power. Even with the amount of power still extremely limited in the Amsterdam metropolitan area, the upgrade of AMS1’s grid connection to 10 MW total power by Dutch company Liander is already having a positive impact. Clients, such as Cloud Service Providers, Enterprises, Media Outlets, and many SMB companies, were

In the second phase expansion of AMS1 Amsterdam data centre, the power grid connection has been upgraded to 10 MW of capacity. THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER February 2019



Global Indian International School launches a SMART Campus in Punggol The aim is to facilitate next-generation learning.

GIIS students awaiting the arrival of the Guest of Honour, Mr Ng Chee Meng.

Global Indian International School (GIIS), a leading international educational institute, recently launched its flagship SMART Campus in Punggol. The campus combines 21st century pedagogy with advanced facilities to provide a holistic, innovative and disruptive education, allowing GIIS to nurture future-ready global citizens. The SMART Campus was officially opened by Mr Ng Chee Meng, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, Secretary-General of the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), and Member of Parliament for Pasir Ris-Punggol Group Representation Constituency. Speaking at opening, Mr Ng said, “The SMART Campus is the latest addition to our energetic Punggol Kampung. The campus is designed to meet the learning needs of students and develop 21st century skills. By so doing, every student is afforded an opportunity to get all-round experience for them to excel in the increasingly complex and globalised world. GIIS has struck a good balance between academia and future skills development, with the SMART Campus furthering their commitment”. The SMART Campus provides learning opportunities that focus on individuality, leadership and experimentation amongst students. The 9GEMS Model promotes value-based learning beyond academics, through a holistic development framework which emphasises academic and sports excellence, visual and performing arts, personality development, innovation and creativity, entrepreneurship, leadership, universal values and eth32


At the Global Indian International School (GIIS) SMART Campus Launch are, from left, Mr Jawed Ashraf, High Commissioner of India to Singapore; Mr Ng Chee Meng, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, Secretary-General of the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), and Member of Parliament for Pasir Ris-Punggol Group Representation Constituency; and Mr Atul Temurnikar, Co-founder and Chairman, Global Schools Foundation (GSF) Singapore.

ics, community and care and overall skills development amongst all students. Mr Atul Temurnikar, Co-Founder & Chairman of GIIS, said, “Today is a very special day for us as we unveil our SMART Campus to the world. GIIS is committed to nurturing global citizens who are future-ready for any job they choose. The SMART Campus allows us to expose our students to technology and disruption at every step of their educational journey from the day they join GIIS. Our


multi curricula offering coupled with the 9GEMS Model instils four key skills in all our students - critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity - that further prepares them for the challenges of tomorrow”. The SMART Campus will leverage proprietary data analytics software to improve learning and teaching outcomes across the school’s infrastructure. These include 92 digitally connected SMART classrooms connected with 2GB fibre networks; more than 40 skills-based studios; eight SMART science, composite and design technology labs; four multipurpose halls for sports and performances; and concepts like Student Innovation Rooms, Flipped Classrooms, and Learning Commons, for collaborative learning. The SMART Campus is also equipped with technologies such as the Sports Performance Enhancing Data Analytics System (SPEDAS) to enhance student performance in

sports, and smart features including facial recognition to ensure the safety of students across the campus. Aiming to have a low carbon footprint, the SMART Campus also champions green initiatives. These include motion sensors, using natural materials like terracotta on the building façade to increase airconditioning efficiency, and conserving water through all available resources. The SMART Campus offers multiple International curricula including International Baccalaureate (IB), International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE), Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and the Global Montessori Programme (GMP). This is the flagship campus of GIIS, which has two other campuses in Singapore at East Coast and Mountbatten. Students benefit from the option of seamless movement across all 23 GIIS Campuses in seven different countries across Asia and the Middle East.

Highlights of the GIIS SMART campus • Spread over 10 acres (3.5 hectares) of land, the campus has a built-up area of 45,000 m2, and a student capacity of 3500. • The school has, over the years, built a proprietary data analytics software to provide useful performance analytics to teachers to enable them to apply specific interventions for the benefit of students. The timely actions result in better and improved learning outcomes for students. • Extending data analytics to the field of sports, GIIS offers the Sports Performance Enhancing Data Analytics System (SPEDAS), to enhance the performance of players. • Floor & classroom level student location mapping allows teachers to know the whereabouts of students and determine the usage patterns of all the schools’ facilities. • There are over 6,000 digital lockers which are operable by Smart ID cards. Each student will have a locker to store books, notepads and sports gear. • With more than 170 facial recognition machines, students and teachers can use their facial imprints to gain access to all classrooms and studios, and mark their attendance at all places. • Students can rely on accurate timings displayed by Internet clocks in the classrooms. These clocks are synchronised with world clock servers. • Student toilets are fitted with ammonia sensors and people-count sensors, which transmit relevant information to cleaners and maintenance personnel. • All corridors and toilets have energy saving dimmers for the lights, that are activated by motion sensors. • Student innovation rooms (SIR) with hot-desk-

ing devices allow them to book and work from anywhere in the campus. There are 16 special SIR rooms provided for the purpose of innovation and collaboration. • The entire campus including classrooms, staircases, corridors, and external spaces are monitored through more than 600 high performance IP-based CCTV cameras, using data analytics. • Partition walls between classrooms can be folded, thereby allowing two or three classroom spaces to be merged into a single space, when needed. • Special areas called Learning Commons combine open classroom spaces with informal seating arrangements. • The school provides for three specially designed outdoor classrooms. • Every teacher is equipped with an iPad Pro which connects wirelessly to the classroom displays, and a personalised collar mike which pairs with the classroom sound systems. • The campus has received the BCA Green Mark Gold certification. • Water conservation is a major consideration in the design of the GIIS SMART Campus. Accordingly, the school makes optimal use of rainwater, NEWater, industrial water and potable water, for its needs. • The campus has a school bus interchange that can accommodate over 250 buses to transport over 3500 students at any time. Technology is deployed to make the interchange efficient, safe and easier for students to find their buses. • The school has 2.5 km of fibre optics network as well as high-performing Wi-Fi.




Singapore designates 2019 as

THE ‘Year Towards Zero Waste’ The Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR) aims to raise awareness of waste issues in Singapore and work with partners to build a strong 3R (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle) culture.

Mr Masagos Zulkifli, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, launched the year-long campaign at Our Tampines Hub (OTH) recently. The launch was followed by a weekend of activities at OTH, which included sharing sessions on the circular economy by Mr Arthur Huang, National Geographic Emerging Explorer and CEO, Founder of Miniwiz; exhibition booths by MEWR’s Partners promoting the 3Rs; and tours of OTH’s eco-friendly facilities. The launch was attended by 250 guests from the 3P (People, Public and Private) sectors and the diplomatic corps.

Vision of a Zero Waste Nation Over the years, Singapore has put in place an effective and efficient waste management system to safeguard the health of the people and protect the environment. But with an increasing population, urbanisation and economic growth, there are new challenges to manage increasing amounts of waste. Singapore generated 7.7 million tonnes of waste in 2017. This is a seven-fold increase from 40 years ago, and it is enough to fill 15,000 Olympic-size swimming pools. Based on the current rate of waste generation, the Semakau landfill, the only such facility, will run out of space by 2035. With limited land for waste disposal and landfilling, there is a need to reduce waste and adopt a circular economy approach to waste and resource management. This approach aims to reuse and recycle resources by turning trash into treasure and engaging in sustainable production and consumption. A circular economy will also create new jobs.

Key statistics

Calls to Action

E-Waste Singapore generates 60,000 tonnes of e-waste annually. This is equivalent to every person disposing 73 mobile phones a year. 60% of people do not know how to recycle their e-waste.

Buy only what you need. Repair instead of replace. Donate your usable items. Recycle your e-waste at designated collection points.

Key waste statistics and calls to action. 34


Singapore’s Inaugural Zero Waste Masterplan MEWR and the National Environment Agency (NEA) will be publishing the inaugural Zero Waste Masterplan in the second half of this year. The masterplan will chart Singapore’s adoption of a circular economy approach to sustainable waste and resource management. It will detail the key policies and strategies that the government will be implementing in the next few years, supported by industry transformation and research & development. Examples of policies include the introduction of the Extended Producer Responsibility approach to managing e-waste by 2021. The government will consult the public and industry stakeholders on the development of the masterplan.

Call for collective effort Singapore’s vision of a Zero Waste Nation can only be achieved through the collective efforts of its people. Over the course of the year, the MEWR Family will work with 3P partners to engage various stakeholders individuals, schools, businesses and community groups - on actions everyone can take to help move Singapore towards a Zero Waste Nation. Examples include buying only what one needs and bringing one’s own bag. A #RecycleRight movement will be launched to encourage everyone to recycle the right way. Partners will be engaged to help educate the public on the items that can go into the blue recycling bin, and the importance of ensuring the items are clean and free of food/liquid waste. To support relevant ground-up projects, a ‘Towards Zero Waste Grant’ will also be set up.

Food Waste Food waste is one of the biggest waste streams in Singapore and it has grown by 40% over the last 10 years. 810 million kg of food waste was generated in 2017. This is equivalent to the weight of 55,000 double decker buses. Households generate 50% of total food waste. Buy, order and cook only what you can finish. Turn leftovers into new meals. Donate your excess food.

Packaging Waste Of the 1.6 million tonnes of domestic waste disposed in 2017, one third consisted of packaging waste (includes plastics).

Recycling 40% of materials deposited into recycling bins are not suitable for recycling. These include items with food and liquid waste, which contaminate other recyclables.

Avoid single-use disposables where possible. Bring your own reusable bags, containers and utensils. Choose products with less/ green packaging.

Recycle more: Deposit recyclable waste at designated collection points, e.g., blue bins Recycle right: Do not contaminate recyclables with food or liquid waste.


Co-digestion of food waste AND used water sludge enhances biogas production The consequent increase in energy generation is a step forward in achieving energy self-sufficiency in used water treatment, and marks a milestone in maximising resource recovery from food waste. Results from a trial project to co-digest food waste and used water sludge have shown that the process can triple biogas yield, compared to the treatment of used water sludge alone. The maximisation of resource recovery from food waste through co-digestion also supports Singapore’s vision of becoming a Zero Waste Nation and adopting a circular economy approach to manage waste. Through the two-year trial, which started in December 2016, PUB, Singapore’s National Water Agency, and the National Environment Agency (NEA), explored the viability of collecting and transporting source-segregated food waste from various premises, to the demonstration facility at the Ulu Pandan Water Reclamation Plant for co-digestion with used water sludge. As part of the trial, up to 40 t of used water sludge and food waste from 23 premises were treated daily at the facility. The mixture of used water sludge and food waste underwent anaerobic digestion - a biological process that breaks down organic materials in the absence of oxygen, to produce biogas for energy generation. Results showed that synergistic effects in the co-digestion of used water sludge and food waste can increase biogas production by up to 40%, compared to the separate digestion of the two inputs. The biogas yield from co-digestion of used water sludge and food waste is triple the biogas yield from the digestion of used water sludge alone.

which is well below Singapore’s overall recycling rate of about 60%. As the second largest waste stream disposed of, there is great potential to not only reduce food wastage at the point of consumption, but also to recycle better by developing technologies to turn food waste into higher value products, such as biogas for energy recovery. We are grateful for the active participation of various premises owners and stakeholders in this pilot project, who have been conscientiously segregating their food waste for collection and subsequent treatment. We look forward to the continued support of the community and industry to co-create zero waste solutions in this Year Towards Zero Waste”, said Mr Tan Meng Dui, CEO of NEA. Co-digestion of food waste and used water sludge will be implemented at the new Integrated Waste Management Facility (IWMF) and Tuas Water Reclamation Plant (WRP), collectively known as the Tuas Nexus which is scheduled to be completed in 2025. Tuas WRP is a key component of Singapore’s Deep Tunnel Sewerage System (DTSS) Phase 2, the backbone of Singapore’s used water management system that also ensures long-term water sustainability. The IWMF is an integral part of Singapore’s long-term plans to meet its solid waste management needs, with treatment processes for multiple waste streams. The Tuas Nexus will harness potential synergies and reap the benefits of a Water-Energy-Waste Nexus to maximise both resource and energy recovery, while minimising the environmental footprint.

“Positive results from the trial show that it is possible to make the used water treatment process in water reclamation plants more energy self-sufficient. We can therefore achieve greater synergy by co-locating the facilities of used water sludge and food waste treatment, which will be implemented at the new Tuas Nexus. This is also in line with our continued efforts to innovate and leverage technologies that will allow us to meet future water demand at today’s energy footprint,” said Mr Harry Seah, Assistant Chief Executive, Future Systems and Technology, PUB. “Food waste is a waste stream which all of us are familiar with. What may be less well known is its low recycling rate, at only 16%,

As part of the trial, up to 40 t of used water sludge and food waste from 23 premises were co-digested daily in the demonstration facility at the Ulu Pandan Water Reclamation Plant. Image by PUB. THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER February 2019



Water-free Combined Cycle Distributed Power Generation by Michael Welch, Industry Marketing Manager, Siemens AG Combined Cycle Gas Turbine power plants offer operators both environmental and economic benefits. The high efficiency achievable across a wide load range reduces fuel costs and CO2 emissions. However, the scale of the plant plays a major role in determining the cost and efficiency - a modern centralised CCGT of 600 MW output will have full load efficiency over 61% and a very competitive installed cost on a $/kW basis. The smaller gas turbines required for distributed power applications are not optimised for combined cycle operation, with full load efficiencies ranging from 40% to 58% depending on the power output of the gas turbine, the exhaust gas conditions and the plant configuration, while the installed cost is double that of a large centralised CCGT on a $/kW basis. The drawback of a conventional combined cycle plant design is the need for water, which can be a scarce commodity. Air cooling of the CCGT can be used to reduce water consumption, but make-up water will still be required for the steam system. The lower exhaust gas temperature of smaller gas turbines impacts the combined cycle efficiencies achievable, but Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) technology can be considered as an alternative combined cycle configuration. This article compares both the capital and operating costs and performance of combined cycle power plants for distributed power applications in the 30 MW to 250 MW power range, based on conventional steam and various different ORC configurations. INTRODUCTION Increasing penetration of intermittent renewable power generation on electricity grid networks and electrification of developing nations and remote regions are driving the need for small, flexible distributed power plants. These power plants must be capable of operating at a high efficiency across a wide load range while still ensuring compliance with the applicable emissions legislation, and as they may be the only available source of power, overall power plant availability has to be high, so a multiple unit configuration is preferred. Occasionally, an ‘anchor customer’ with a high heat load can be found to enable a distributed power plant to be a cogeneration facility with a very high overall energy efficiency, but in most cases this is not possible. With no, or only a low heat load available, power plant efficiency (fuel consumption) has a major impact on the economic evaluation, becoming more important as the number of operating hours of the power plant increases. Traditionally, small, distributed, stand-alone power plants have been the domain of reciprocating engines. Often located in places with no access to natural gas, these power plants, based on multiple units, have tended to use heavy fuel oil (HFO) or light fuel oil (LFO) as the primary fuel, both of which have a negative impact on the environment, through GHG emissions, pollutant emissions and the potential for contamination if spillage or leakage occurs. 36


However, as the availability of natural gas grows, through pipeline networks, or as Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) or Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), operators are preferring to use clean, low cost natural gas, retaining HFO or LFO as the back-up fuel in case of an interruption in natural gas supplies. Increasing global natural gas production is also leading to increased availability, and reduced cost, of natural gas liquids (NGLs) such as ethane, propane and butane. NGLs are, like natural gas, clean fuels compared to LFO and HFO, and are excellent fuels for gas turbines. Thus, growing access to natural gas and NGLs creates additional fuel sources in the distributed power market and creates opportunities to construct high efficiency, reliable and flexible combined cycle power plants with outputs of 30 MW or lower. Flexibility to operate over a wide load range is important for distributed power plants, as in many cases, they must follow a variable grid load demand, due to both consumer demand profiles and the intermittent nature of wind and solar power generation. This variable load demand drives a distributed power plant towards a multiple unit solution to provide the highest efficiency and emissions compliance across the widest possible power plant output range, while also ensuring enhanced power plant availability, as electricity can still be generated with one unit out of service. Whether open cycle or combined cycle, Figure 1 illustrates the difference between a single unit and a multiple


unit configuration. For a power plant based on a single gas turbine, as load reduces, efficiency reduces. At around 50% load (depending on the gas turbine model and the applicable legislation), the minimum emissions compliance level is reached and the power plant load can no longer be reduced. For a multiple unit configuration, units can be turned on and off, to extend the operational range and maintain a good efficiency over this wider load range. Depending on the number of units installed, the operating range and minimum emissions compliance level of the power plant can extend from 100% of rated output to below 10% of rated output. There may be an efficiency penalty at full load for the multiple unit configurations, depending on the gas turbine models selected, but part-load efficiency is greatly improved. Distributed power plants, based on multiple gas turbines in a combined cycle configuration, offer an efficient, flexible solution for distributed power applications, but there is one final hurdle to overcome - water. Water is in many regions becoming an increasingly scarce commodity, and power generation must compete for this resource with agriculture, industry and the general needs of local populations. While water is predominantly used for cooling purposes, a conventional ‘steam’ combined cycle plant

Figure 1: Typical variation in efficiency with load for single and multiple unit solutions in combined cycle configurations.

still requires make-up water to compensate for steam losses which can exceed 1% of steam production on an hourly basis. Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC), combined with air-cooled condensers, provides a water-free alternative without sacrificing the operational flexibility, and eliminating the need for water supply and treatment.

ORGANIC RANKINE CYCLE Gas turbines in power generation applications produce vast quantities of waste heat that can be recovered to produce additional energy. This recovered heat can be used to generate additional electricity in a bottoming cycle. Most systems used to convert this waste heat into electricity are based on the Rankine Cycle, as used in combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power plants where water (steam) is the working fluid in the bottoming cycle. ORC systems are based on the same principle, but use an organic compound as the working fluid instead of water. This makes ORC technology an interesting option for opportunities where the bottoming cycle size is small and/or exhaust gas temperature is low, or where water is scarce or costly. The typical ORC thermodynamic cycle and the relevant components of an ORC system are shown in Figure 2. The organic working fluid (confined to a closed and leakfree circuit) is pre-heated and vaporised using the heat source in the pre-heater and evaporator. The organic fluid vapour expands across the turbine, which drives a generator, and the vapour is then condensed. The condensate is then pumped back to the evaporator, closing the thermodynamic cycle. ORC technology can be used to recover waste heat from sources with lower temperatures than can be effectively used with steam. Typically, 120° C is the minimum heat source temperature, although there are technologies available that can recover energy from temperatures down to 80° C. For high temperature applications, a re-

Figure 2: Thermodynamics and typical schematic of the Organic Rankine Cycle. THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER February 2019



generator (heat exchanger) can be installed downstream of the turbine to improve cycle performance. For small sizes (below 20 MW), ORC is often preferred to steam for energy recovery due to the higher efficiencies achievable with low waste heat source temperatures, and the lower running costs due to the low maintenance requirements and the absence of any need for dedicated operating personnel. ORC turbines operate at low rotational speeds (typically 3,000 rpm) and low temperatures, compared to steam turbines, thus they experience low mechanical and thermal stresses. ORC turbines are also able to operate at low loads - the minimum load at which the ORC is still producing net power is equivalent to about 10% of the nominal, thermal power input. Depending on the temperature of the heat source, different ORC configurations can be employed. The most common configuration is the indirectly heated concept, in which thermal oil acts as a heat transfer fluid (HTF) between the gas turbine exhaust and the ORC working fluid, but this incurs additional heat losses in the HTF circuit. Directly heated and cascade cycle concepts are available and these are more fully discussed in the following sections.

WORKING FLUIDS ORC employs heavy molecular weight working fluids that guarantee dry vapour expansion under all operating conditions. Requiring no superheat and operating at a relatively low (non-supercritical) pressure, these non-oxidising working fluids ensure there is no risk of condensation or blade erosion in the turbine, and no corrosion issues. The working fluids are readily available in most countries. The working fluid is generally selected based on the application to achieve the maximum power output for the optimum costs and system reliability, although other factors such as safety are taken into consideration depending on the application. The most widely used organic fluids are hydrocarbons (eg pentane, butane etc), siloxanes and refrigerants. Figure 3 illustrates the general applicability of the different working fluid families based on waste heat source temperature.

from a cost and performance perspective. Cyclopentane, though, is flammable and potentially explosive under the correct conditions, so in applications where fire or explosion risk must be eliminated, refrigerants can be considered as the working fluid although this negatively impacts both capital costs and performance. Although the fluid loops in the ORC modules are sealed and the risk of leakage is extremely low, risk mitigation measures for directly heated cyclopentane configurations must be incorporated into the ORC and waste heat recovery unit (WHRU) designs. However, new working fluids and cycle variations are constantly being evaluated, and in the future, a better alternative working fluid may be identified.

ORC CONFIGURATIONS There are multiple ORC configurations possible, depending on whether the application is power only or cogeneration. Most commercially available ORC systems are based on the indirectly heated working fluid configuration, described in a later section, but alternative concepts have been developed and commercialised, with improved efficiency and reduced cost. Depending on distances between the WHRU and the ORC, though, and other project-specific factors, the indirectly heated working fluid configuration may be the only possible technical solution. One common factor, whatever the configuration, is that the cost per kW of the ORC system reduces as the power output increases (Figure 4). This indicates that it is better to connect multiple gas turbines, where possible, to maximise the size of the ORC turbo-generator. The ORC turbines are currently limited in power output to around 20 MW, although it is possible to have two or more ORC turbines driving a common generator to give up to 80 MW power output.

Evaluations for gas turbine applications indicate that currently cyclopentane is the optimum ORC working fluid, Figure 4: Cost trend for increasing ORC power output.

Indirectly Heated Working Fluid ORC configuration The indirectly heated working fluid ORC configuration is the one that is most commonly available, commercially. Thermal oil is used as the primary heat transfer fluid (HTF), transferring the energy from the gas turbine exhaust gases into the main ORC working fluid loop (Figure 5).

Figure 3: Chart indicating typical working fluid selection by waste heat source temperature. 38


The thermal oil type can be selected, based on the exhaust gas temperature, and be heated to around a maximum temperature of 350° C. This configuration


ensures separation of the main organic working fluid (usually cyclopentane) from the high temperature heat source. With a low operating pressure, this is a reliable, easy to control, almost maintenance-free configuration, although there is a very low risk of fire in the WHRU, should the tubes inside the WHRU leak. From a performance perspective, efficiency is compromised due to the losses in the thermal oil loop and in the intermediate heat exchanger, between the thermal oil and the cyclopentane loop. The need for the intermediate heat exchanger also adds to the capital cost of the system.

Directly Heated Working Fluid ORC configuration To improve the efficiency of the ORC cycle and reduce the cost, ORC OEMs have developed the directly heated working fluid ORC configuration. In this concept, the thermal oil loop is eliminated and the organic working fluid vaporised directly in the WHRUs by the gas turbine exhaust gases (Figure 6). This configuration offers an efficiency and cost improvement over the indirectly heated working fluid concept, improving the competitiveness of a gas turbine ORC combined cycle solution. While cyclopentane offers the best efficiency in the directly heated solution, it can be replaced by a non-flammable fluid, such as a refrigerant. However, this may increase the working fluid volume flows and the size of the equipment, as well as reducing performance.

Cascade Cycle ORC configuration In 2016, one ORC OEM proposed an alternative ORC configuration for high temperature heat sources that offers enhanced power output and efficiency compared to both the indirect and directly heated working fluid options, while reducing any potential safety concerns by isolating the cyclopentane working fluid from the gas turbine exhaust stream. The cascade cycle optimises the energy recovery from the gas turbine exhaust gases through the use of two ORC loops. As shown in Figure 8, in the cascade cycle, there are two separate loops. In the primary loop, VP1 thermal oil is vaporised in the WHRU, and this vaporised oil drives one ORC turbine, before being condensed in a heat exchanger and sent back to the WHRU. The heat produced during the condensation of the VP1 oil is used to vaporise the cyclopentane in the secondary loop. The vaporised cyclopentane drives a second ORC turbine before being condensed itself. The cascade cycle offers a significant performance enhancement compared to the directly heated working fluid configuration, but the additional equipment count increases the total cost of the bottoming cycle. However, the increased power output basically means that the

The design of the WHRU must ensure that the cyclopentane does not exceed the temperature at which it begins to break down. This sets an upper limit on the gas turbine exhaust temperature of around 600° C.

Figure 5: Simplified schematic of the indirectly heated working fluid ORC concept.

Figure 7: Cascade Cycle T-S diagram.

Figure 6: Simplified schematic of the directly heated working fluid ORC concept.

Figure 8: Simplified schematic of the cascade cycle ORC concept THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER February 2019



Net plant efficiency (%)

60 50 40 30 20 10 0 3 x 7.5MW

3 x 14.4MW Direct C5

1 x 55MW


Figure 9: Full load net efficiency comparison between the directly heated cyclopentane ORC concept and the cascade cycle ORC concept for different gas turbine configurations (25° C ambient, sea level, air cooling).

cost/kW installed is similar to or lower than the directly heating working fluid concept. The efficiency comparison of the cascade cycle over the directly heated working fluid configuration for three studied examples is shown in Figure 9. As the cascade cycle requires thermal oil to be vaporised in order to work, there is a minimum temperature for the gas turbine exhaust gases of around 430° C, although it is only above 500° C that the best results are seen. This must be taken into consideration when looking at the gas turbine operating range envisaged, as exhaust temperature varies with load.

COMPARISON OF MULTIPLE GAS TURBINE COMBINED CYCLE PLANT PERFORMANCE AND COSTS USING STEAM TURBINES WITH ORGANIC RANKINE CYCLE TECHNOLOGY To compare the installed costs of an ORC-based solution with that for a traditional steam solution, various configurations using multiple high efficiency light industrial and aero-derivative gas turbines were considered for the ORC option, and compared to a best-in-class steam CCGT solution using a 50 MW industrial gas turbine. For the purposes of the comparison, a 40° C ambient temperature was selected to ensure adequate sizing of the aircooled condenser. Since the exhaust gas temperatures of the 40 MW industrial gas turbine and 55 MW aero-derivative gas turbine were both below 500° C, a directly heated ORC concept was selected for the exercise. The results are shown in Figure 10. Figure 10 clearly shows that, depending on the gas turbine configuration, above 100 MW, ORC-based solutions have an installed cost on a US$/kW basis, that is comparable to or lower than that for a traditional steam solution. However, if evaluating, using a Net Present Value (NPV) or Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE) basis, with a reasonable number of operating hours per year, then the higher efficiencies achievable from gas turbines optimised for combined cycle with high pressure, high temperature steam production, contribute to the steam solution coming out on top. Water availability and costs will therefore be critical in determining which bottoming cycle option to select. 40


Figure 10: Installed cost comparison on a US$/kW basis for a site at sea level and an ambient temperature of 40° C (2015 cost data).

Industrial GT Steam Output (MW) Temperature and number of units

Steam Pressure

ORC Configuration

3 x 7.5


60 bar

Cascade Cycle

3 x 8.5


60 bar

Cascade Cycle

3 x 13


60 bar

Cascade Cycle

Table 1: Steam conditions and ORC configuration selected for evaluation for the specific gas turbine models studied.

However, below 100 MW, the ORC option appears to show noticeable cost savings potential over a steam solution using multiple gas turbines, which lead to NPV and LCOE calculations showing little benefit for steam over ORC. The CAPEX of the steam option could be reduced by considering lower steam temperatures and pressures for the bottoming cycle, but this reduced the efficiency and negatively impacted the NPV and LCOE of the steam option. With the release by Turboden of the cascade cycle concept, it was decided to re-evaluate performance and cost data for various power plant configurations below 100 MW for both steam turbine and ORC options using industrial gas turbines with exhaust gas temperatures above 500° C. For this evaluation, it was decided to use steam conditions that gave the maximum power output and efficiency (according to Thermoflow software). The selected conditions are given in Table 1. In all cases, direct air cooling only was considered for calculating auxiliary plant loads.

FULL LOAD EFFICIENCY COMPARISON Using Thermoflow to calculate the steam combined cycle plant data, and based on ORC performance calculations provided by Turboden, full load net power plant efficiencies were calculated for power plants with nominal outputs of 30 MW and 50 MW at sea level, 25° C ambi-


ent temperature with air-cooled condensers considered for both the ORC and steam cases. Figure 11 shows the power output and efficiency comparison plot for the various gas turbine configurations considered. For the ‘steam’ case of 3 x 13 MW gas turbines, a low CAPEX option was considered for the steam turbine and WHRU, operating at reduced steam temperatures and pressures. The impact was that steam and ORC combined cycle performance was virtually identical. Figure 11 illustrates that gas turbine combined cycle configurations, even for smaller power plants, can offer attractive net efficiencies in either the steam or the ORC case, but steam will show the higher net efficiency if the highest steam temperatures and pressures possible are used and the cost of such a system is acceptable.

PART LOAD EFFICIENCY COMPARISON For distributed power plants, the flexibility to operate efficiently across a wide load range is a key attribute required by both grid and power plant operators. As shown previously in Figure 1, a solution based on multiple units maintains a higher part load efficiency than one based on a single unit, while also overcoming the potential minimum emissions compliance issue. Figure 12 shows that the ORC solution maintains efficiency well at part loads, in this case, equivalent to or better than the net efficiency of a solution based on multiple reciprocating engines. Another point of interest is that in the case above, some power output can still be generated from the ORC with a single gas turbine operating under no load conditions! While the power output in Figure 12 is not shown

Figure 11: Net power output and net plant efficiency comparison for various steam and ORC combined cycle configurations (data at 25° C, sea level).

Figure 12: Variation in part load net efficiency with load for a power plant based on 3 x 14.4 MW gas turbines (sea level, 25° C site ambient temperature, air cooled). THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER February 2019



below 50% load on a single gas turbine, this is frequently the Minimum Emissions Compliance load and not the Minimum Stable Operating Load - most gas turbine models can operate down to very low loads without a restriction on operating hours.

LCOE COMPARISON While an extensive comparison of the performance of the different solutions (steam, ORC direct, ORC cascade) has been carrried out, the corresponding evaluation of the cost of such solutions has been conducted only at a high level. While the ORC turbomachinery is a little more expensive than a steam turbine, the WHRU is simpler and therefore is of lower cost, while overall installation costs are also expected to show considerable savings. Compared to a ‘steam’ solution, an ORC configuration eliminates the cost of water supply and treatment, removes the need for deaerators, reduces the size (and cost) of feed pumps and the air-cooled condenser, and greatly simplifies the pipework required to interconnect all the systems. Based on the initial study undertaken internally by Siemens, and a more recent comparison of data in the PEACE software suite of Thermoflow GT Pro, there are strong indications that for sub-100 MW power plants, an ORC solution shows at least 10% lower CAPEX than the equivalent steam option. This was studied in further detail for a nominal 50 MW power plant based on a 3 x 13 MW gas turbine configuration. The baseline data for the various configurations for the LCOE calculations is shown in Table 2. The LCOE comparison was undertaken using the following operating conditions, and financial considerations: Fuel Costs: US$3/mmbtu - US$5/mmbtu - US$10/mmbtu - US$15/mmbtu Operating Hours: 8,500 hrs/yr Working Cost of Capital:10% Calculation Horizon: 15 years Tax Rate: 30% Power Plant Availability: 97% Debt / Equity: 70/30%

Table 2: Baseline Performance and Power Plant costs for LCOE comparison. 42


14 LCOE (US ct/kWh)

12 10 8 6 4 2 0 3

Maximum Efficiency Steam



Fuel cost (US $/mmBtu)

Most economical steam



Figure 13: LCOE comparison for a nominal 50 MW power plant based on 3 x 13 MW gas turbines with different fuel costs for three different bottoming cycle options.

The results, shown in Figure 13, indicate that ORC offers a lower LCOE than either of the steam options until the fuel cost reaches levels around US$ 15/mmBtu. This is because CAPEX and efficiency have the biggest impact on LCOE. While the steam cycle may be optimised for maximum efficiency, the CAPEX premium over ORC outweighs the benefits of the higher efficiency. In the example used in this article, the ‘break-even’ fuel cost for the maximum efficiency steam cycle is US$ 5/mmBtu. The more economical steam cycle solution has no efficiency benefit over ORC for an overall investment cost that is 16% higher.

ORC MAINTENANCE An ORC unit requires minimum maintenance throughout its lifetime, and since the working fluid is clean and does not condense in the turbine itself, unlike in a steam turbine, no overhaul is required during the unit life. The ORC module is completely automatic which minimises both the amount and the skill level of the labour required for operation of the unit. The ORC units are supplied with a remote monitoring system which allows


the OEM to monitor the proper operation of the ORC system and make remote diagnoses in the event of any issues notified by the operator. The routine operator activities for ORC operation are estimated to be around three to five hours per week, and do not require the unit to be stopped. The fluid systems are sealed and no leakage is expected under normal operating conditions. In the first months of operation, some of the working fluid may be ejected due to the systems designed to remove non-condensible gases from the working fluid loop. The maximum expected loss of working fluid is 100 kg per year, a small fraction (0.05%) of the working volume, and, because the units are supplied with 20% spare working fluid capacity, it is anticipated that the unit could work for 20 years without a top-up of the organic working fluid. Cyclopentane and thermal oils are readily available. Cyclopentane is a common solvent used in the polyurethane and foam industries, while most thermal oil suppliers (for example Solutia and Eastman) have branches in most countries. Cyclopentane typically costs less than € 2.00 per kg, while VP1 thermal oil (commonly used in solar CSP plants) costs around € 4.00 per kg. Scheduled maintenance on the ORC is expected to be performed once or twice per year, and can be planned to coincide with periods of low usage or plant shutdowns. The replacement frequency of some key components due to normal wear depends on the operating conditions of individual units. The cost of a maintenance contract, including predictive maintenance, will vary depending on the ORC model and output. Indicative costs are between US$ 1.50/MWh and US$ 2.00/ MWh for a unit operating continuously. To undertake this maintenance, an annual downtime of between five and seven days is expected - again in line with the expected downtimes of a gas turbine.

HYBRID PLANTS It is perfectly feasible to combine a gas turbine plus ORC configuration with other technologies to create a hybrid solution that either improves the response and flexibility of the combined cycle, or incorporates a renewable energy element. Two of many potential hybrid concepts are discussed in the following sections.

COMBINED CYCLE / BATTERY ENERGY STORAGE SYSTEM (BESS) HYBRID Combining a gas turbine or a combined cycle plant with a BESS improves the operational response. The BESS can act as a black start system, provide power instantaneously to cover demand while the gas turbine or CCGT starts up, and even provide operational support, such as ‘spinning reserve’ services and ramping support. In Figure 14 below, the BESS provides the complete power plant output instantaneously until the gas turbine comes online, and then continues to provide the balance of power required until the steam turbine achieves full power. In this example, the steam turbine and ORC turbine are interchangable although the definition of hot start and cold start will differ, so the ORC may achieve full load faster than the steam turbine under the correct circumstances.

INTEGRATED SOLAR ORGANIC RANKINE COMBINED CYCLE (ISORCC) One major issue with renewable energy sources such as solar and wind is that they are intermittent and non-dispatchable. By combining intermittent renewables with a fossil fuel plant, the renewable component reduces fossil fuel consumption (and hence improving fossil fuel efficiency and reducing CO2 emissions), while the hybrid plant provides reliable, fully dispatchable power. There are several ways of combining wind with fossil fuel generation and energy storage, but for a gas turbine, the

Figure 14: The variable contribution over time from the different components during the start-up of a CCGT/BESS hybrid power plant. THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER February 2019



lower than that of a most efficient steam solution, the lower CAPEX, reduced maintenance needs and reduced site manning requirements lead to the actual cost of electricity generation being better unless fuel prices are high. Future developments of the ORC technology, improved integration of the gas turbines and ORC, and the emergence of new working fluids may help reduce the LCOE still further. The simplicity of the ORC systems may also allow easier and lower cost integration of energy storage and renewable energy sources to create low carbon, increased flexibility hybrid solutions for distributed power applications.

Figure 15: The Integrated Solar Organic Rankine Combined Cycle (ISORCC) concept.

combination of concentrated solar power (CSP) technology with a combined cycle scheme is probably the most practical. In this configuration, the solar field provides heat to the bottoming cycle, adding to or displacing heat produced by the gas turbine. Combining CCGT and CSP creates a highly reliable and dispatchable power plant, as any reduction in heat generation from the solar field, due to, for example, passing clouds, can instantaneously be picked up by the gas turbines. There are several Integrated Solar Combined Cycle (ISCC) plants operational. In a traditional ISCC, the solar field produces steam, which is then superheated to the required temperature in the WHRU behind the gas turbines and fed to a steam turbine generator. The heat input from the solar field can either boost the power output from the power plant compared to normal CCGT operation, or enable the gas turbines to run at part load, and still meet the required power demand through additional power generation from the steam turbine, as compared to a conventional CCGT scheme. In either case, the result is an increase in fossil fuel efficiency, with the possibility to achieve levels as high as 70% for short times depending on the the plant location and the type of solar collectors used. Replacing the steam turbine with an ORC turbo-generator (Figure 15) offers several potential benefits to a conventional ISCC scheme. Firstly, the need for water is eliminated, while secondly, by using thermal oil as the main heat carrier, the WHRU designs are simplified, and both the gas turbines and solar field can heat the thermal oil to the same temperature. In addition, power can be generated from the solar field even if the gas turbines are not operating. Heat storage also can be easily integrated into the design, so that the solar energy contribution can be realised over a longer time period.

CONCLUSIONS It is clear that ORC offers a competitive alternative to conventional ‘steam’ combined cycle concepts. While the efficiency of an ORC-based scheme is currently slightly



The clear benefit though is the ability to offer ‘zero water’, flexible distributed power generation with combined cycle efficiencies in regions where water is unavailable or a scarce resource, without incurring large additional costs or seeing significant reductions in power plant performance.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The author would like to thank Nicola Rossetti and Tommaso Ferrari of Turboden SpA for their assistance in providing the ORC data and information, and Jeremy Zamzow of Opero Energy for his assistance in plant costing and LCOE calculations. References [1] ‘Improving the Flexibility and Efficiency of gas turbine-based Distributed Power Plants’: M Welch & A Pym, Siemens, Powergen Natural Gas Conference, Columbus, Ohio, USA, August 2015. [2] ‘Flexible Combined Cycle Gas Turbine Power Plants utilizing ORC Technology’: M Welch (Siemens) and N Rossetti (Turboden), GT2016-56116, ASME TurboExpo, Seoul, South Korea, June 2016. [3] ‘Battery Electrical Energy Storage: Enhancing the operational flexibility of flexible combined cycle industrial gas turbines’: J Charlton, U Fuchs, B Hartland-Johnson, M Welch, Siemens, IET Reference Article ETR-2016-0118, IET, 2016. [4] ‘Performance prediction of solarized combined cycle power plants in a load following strategy’: G Franchini, A Perdichizzi, S Ravelli, University of Bergamo, Powergen Africa conference, Johannesburg, South Africa, July 2016. [5] ‘Flexible Natural Gas / Intermittent Renewable Hybrid Power Plants’: M Welch & A Pym, Siemens, PowerEnergy 2017-3079, ASME Power & Energy Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, June 2017. [6] ‘Water-free Combined Cycle Power Plants for Distributed Power Generation’: M Welch, Siemens, ASME PowerEnergy 2018-7146, ASME 2018 Power and Energy Conference, Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA, June 2018. (This article is based on a paper authored by Michael Welch, Industry Marketing Manager, Siemens AG, and presented at POWERGEN Asia 2018. The paper won a Best Paper Award, under the Power Plant Technologies track. Held from 18 to 20 September 2018, in Jakarta, Indonesia, POWERGEN Asia 2018 was organised by Clarion Energy).



initiative takes on first start-up incubatee To support and promote new and innovative technology ventures, the Institution has embarked on a new initiative, known as the IES Incubator and Accelerator (IES-INCA) programme. The objective of IES-INCA is encourage and help build successful deep technology and engineering ventures anchored by technically competent engineers, so as to drive progress through the creation of competitive products, services and solutions to address today’s complex problems. “It is imperative and important for IES to provide our young a platform to be engineers and to innovate as technopreneurs. When each technopreneur starts a venture, it will create high value, high tech jobs for other young engineers. Consequently, this will ensure that Singapore continues to grow as a high-tech nation, manufacturer and service provider,” said the programme committee in a statement. Thus, IES-INCA officially embarked on its mission on 31 December 2018, with the signing of a letter of intent with its first incubatee, Phaos Technology Pte Ltd. Phaos Technology is an advanced optics technology startup founded by Professor Hong Ming Hui and his research

team from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) at NUS. The company specialises in the research and development of advanced optical nanoscopes, which can show objects smaller than 200 nanometres in size. Its vision is to make them at a fraction of the cost of microscopes, so that they are affordable for SMEs to enable them to achieve higher accuracy, efficiency and productivity. Some applications of the nanoscopes include their use in laser micro-processing and nanofabrication for thin wafer processing and femtosecond laser precision engineering of man-made bio-skins for tissue engineering. To help guide new technopreneurs, IES-INCA has set up a strong and collaborative network of mentors, who will be able to assist them in charting their company’s growth in a sustainable manner and in turn, attract others to join them. Fellows and Senior Members who are interested to be mentors will be trained through the NUS Lean LaunchPad Programme (see story on page 46).

(Left to right) Mr Andy Wee, Vice Chairman, Technoprenuership Development Committee; Ms Emily Tan, Acting Head of Secretariat, IES; Er. Edwin Khew, Immediate Past President and Chairman of IES-INCA; Prof Hong; Mr Andrew Yeo, Associate Director, NUS Technology Translation and Alliance Development; and Mr Chen Lian Wei, NUS ECE pose for a group photo before the signing ceremony.



Engineers IES Collegeshare of Fellows knowledge commit AND to


technopreneurs The IES College of Fellows led a team of Fellows and Senior Members to learn about the important role of mentors in guiding early tech start-ups at the Lean LaunchPad (LLP) Educators’ Workshop organised by NUS Enterprise on 11 January 2019. Modelled after the US National Science Foundation I-Corps programme, the LLP programme seeks to help early tech start-ups and publicly-funded research teams learn about technology commercialisation. Adjunct Associate Professor Neo Kok Beng, also an IES Fellow, is the programme’s Engineering Track Instructor. He is an awardwinning technology entrepreneur specialising in the commercialisation of technologies from universities and research institutes, having founded numerous hi-tech startups in diverse areas such as medical and aviation technology, and cybersecurity. His accolades include the President’s Design Award and NUS Innovation & Enterprise Award, and was named Honorary Fellow of the ASEAN Federation of Engineering Organisations in 2018. During the workshop, A/Prof Neo led a group exercise using the Owlet Case with Hypothesis Test Cards and Learning Cards to demonstrate the Lean Validation Process. Ms Susan Kheng, the Associate Director of NUS Entrepreneurship Centre, also introduced LLP and its pedagogy to participants and encouraged them to use

A/Prof Neo speaks to participants about the LLP programme.



their wealth of knowledge and experience to contribute as mentors. Through the workshop, the IES College of Fellows aimed to open an avenue for its Fellows and Senior Members to play an active role in mentoring IES members who are or aspire to be technology entrepreneurs. “As a leading champion in developing engineers of the future, the IES College of Fellows is in a unique position to mentor aspiring engineerentrepreneurs. This is the second round of LLP Singapore. We hope that by working with LLP Singapore, we will be able to harness the collective knowledge base of our Fellows and Senior Members towards helping our members validate the commercial potential of their innovations, pinpoint target customer segments and understand product development requirements,” said Er. Chong Kee Sen, Dean of the IES College of Fellows. For completing the workshop, participants received a certificate of attendance, which also qualified them to register as team mentors for the Lean LaunchPad Singapore @ NUS programme, which is held from January to April this year. For more information about the programme, please visit the IES website or contact Ms Agnes Ong at agnes.ong@iesnet.org.sg.




YOUTH TECHNOPRENEURSHIP SYMPOSIUM 2018 At the Youth Technopreneurship Symposium 2018, the spotlight was on creating business opportunities through smart city technologies. Under this overarching theme, the following trends were put up for discussion and sharing: Smart Manufacturing, Digital Citizens, Open Data, Smart Healthcare and Smart Infrastructure for Transportation and Buildings. Held from 12 to 13 October 2018, the 2-day event was co-organised by Singapore Polytechnic (SP), IES-SP Student Chapter, Tanjong Pagar Community Club Youth Executive Committee, as well as its Digital Makers Interest Group. It was supported by the National Youth Council and sponsored by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. More than seventy-five participants took part and attended masterclasses on topics like the Internet of


Student Chapter visits Micron

Things, data analytics, cyber-security, entrepreneurship and blockchain tech. They then applied what they had learnt to formulate business plans, pitching them to an expert judging panel, with five winning teams walking away with $200 worth of cash each. It was certainly a thought-provoking symposium and participants were observed to be extremely immersed in discussions with their teammates during the various activities. The organising committee would like to thank all eight speakers and 20 judges for supporting the symposium, as well as Mr Loh Yew Chiong, Senior Director, Engineering Cluster, Singapore Polytechnic, for gracing the closing ceremony as guest-of-honour. Last but not least, it is hoped that the symposium has managed to nurture and grow the seeds of technopreneurship within all the youth participants!

The IES-NTU Student Chapter conducted the first industrial visit of the semester to the Singapore facility of global semiconductor manufacturer, Micron Technology, on 25 October 2018. The aim of the visit was to expose the participating NTU engineering students to the semiconductor industry. It also enabled them to explore the working environment and learn about potential career opportunities in Micron. After a facility tour, where they got to see the intricacies of wafer fabrication up close, there was a brief networking session which was hosted by the company’s engineering and talent acquisition divisions. Questions on a variety of topics, including employment, industry outlook, and work culture were posed and answered. A majority of the students enjoyed the interactivity during the visit and indicated their strong preference for future such events, reflecting on its usefulness in bringing to life the knowledge gained in the classroom, in addition to the myriad career possibilities that were open to them. Stay tuned for more to come! THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER February 2019




Student Chapter organises industrial visit to Keppel O&M

Group photo at Keppel O&M

On 8 November 2018, the IES-NUS Student Chapter organised an industrial visit to Keppel Offshore & Marine (Keppel O&M). The objectives for the visit were to let students understand more about the company and its expertise in the construction and repair of ships and offshore rigs, experience its working environment, and boost student membership sign-ups for the student chapter. The visit kicked off with a presentation on Keppel O&M and the offshore and marine industry. This was followed by a sharing on the training opportunities available at the company, including scholarships and management traineeship schemes, which expose graduates to a wide spectrum of Keppel O&M’s businesses and operations. The students were also engaged in an interactive dialogue session with Keppel O&M staff and had the opportunity to hear about their personal experiences in the company. The visit concluded with a bus tour around the shipyard, which gave students the chance to see the rigs and vessels up close. This informative visit would not have been possible without the support of the committee members of the IES-NUS Student Chapter and the Keppel O&M team.

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