"With our extensive connectivity to regional and global markets, Singapore’s strategic location as well as our political and socio-economic stability lends itself as a key proposition point in a company’s guiding decision."
Could you share some key developments in the drive towards the circular economy model, such as plastic recycling?
While plastics play an indispensable role in our daily lives, the identification of packaging waste, including plastics, as a priority waste stream by the government underlie the timeliness of getting the ball rolling on driving towards plastics circularity.
Through a series of insightful discussions to chart out action plans towards plastic circularity, SCIC took the lead in initiating engagement with our partners in the plastic value chain as well as the key regulatory agencies and trade associations. The provision of such a collaborative and multi-stakeholder platform presents as a key driver in synergising joint efforts to elucidate a sustainable circular economy model and catalyse systemic change.
The Standards Development Organisation (SDO)@SCIC was also appointed to take on the management of an additional portfolio on the Environment and Resources Standards Committee (ERSC) in April 2020. ERSC will focus on spearheading the development and adoption of standards to address sustainable development in the following key areas: Climate change mitigation and adaptation, Circular economy, Water management, Sustainable energy, Sustainable finance, Clean technologies.
As we synergise our efforts as an industry, the management of ERSC by SCIC will complement industry initiatives towards addressing issues on climate change, including energy efficiency, carbon emission, greenhouse gases emission and waste management. This will also further support EDB’s Energy and Chemical’s Industry Transformation Map as well as other national initiatives in the drive towards a zero-waste nation.
What are some of industry’s efforts on driving productivity improvements?
Formed in 2015 as a 6-years implementation project (2015 to 2021) by EDB Singapore, SCIC, and the Association of Process Industry (ASPRI), the Productivity Council (PC) looks into the management practices and productivity improvements in Singapore through greater exploration on the adoption of advanced technologies.
With the focus on encouraging companies’ adoption of new technologies and tools to boost productivity, the PC has now progressed to the certification phase, which will assist in the pre-assessment of the Process, Construction and Maintenance (PCM) companies’ operational efficiency.
With Singapore’s reputation as a petrochemical hub, what prospects do you see for the specialty chemicals segment?
In view of higher value-adds that the specialty chemical companies could bring about, Singapore has naturally leaned towards attracting more of such companies to set up their facilities on our shores. While recognising that there has been an uptick in the specialty chemical segment, the oil refineries and petrochemicals plants are still the important nucleus of the industry.
With our extensive connectivity to regional and global markets, Singapore’s strategic location as well as our political and socio-economic stability lends itself as a key proposition point in a company’s guiding decision. This further extends to our business landscape which includes the leveraging of technologies and innovations to transparency rights such as IP (intellectual property) protection.
What is your outlook for the chemical industry in Singapore, post 2020-2021?
The chemical industry has also been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, with the chemical industry serving as an intermediator in supporting the production of necessities to our daily lives as well as in the provision of solutions to sustainability issues, we are optimistic about the industry’s recovery prospects as we move in tandem with the world’s population growth.