Home Asia - Pacific Sembcorp And Nus Establish Corporate Lab For Sustainable Energy, Water And Waste-To-Resource Technologies
Sembcorp And Nus Establish Corporate Lab For Sustainable Energy, Water And Waste-To-Resource Technologies

Sembcorp And Nus Establish Corporate Lab For Sustainable Energy, Water And Waste-To-Resource Technologies

  • This R&D partnership will develop new solutions that reduce emissions, enhance water and wastewater treatment systems and extract resources from waste
  • Strengthens partnership between academia and industry to promote a more sustainable future for Singapore

Leading energy and water company Sembcorp Industries (Sembcorp) and the National University of Singapore (NUS) today established the Sembcorp-NUS Corporate Laboratory to develop new, competitive and sustainable solutions in the areas of energy, water and waste-to-resource. Set up with a jointly-funded investment of S$60 million, the new corporate laboratory is supported by the National Research Foundation (NRF) Singapore under its Corporate Laboratory@University Scheme, which supports the setting up of key corporate laboratories via public-private partnerships.

Mr Teo Chee Hean, Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security, and Chairman of NRF Singapore, was the Guest-of-Honour at the launch event.

Based at the NUS Faculty of Engineering, the new Corporate Laboratory will harness the combined expertise of 45 researchers from NUS and 35 engineers from Sembcorp. It aims to generate new scientific and engineering knowledge and develop competitive and sustainable solutions for power generation, industrial wastewater treatment and water reuse, as well as the transformation of waste into useful and high-value products such as ultra-light composites for modular construction.

Research activities will include:

  • The development of predictive maintenance systems that will optimise and enhance the efficiency of energy generation operations, while reducing emissions and waste residue.
  • The development of cost-effective solutions to meet stringent chemical oxygen demand (COD) discharge standards, as well as comprehensive biological models to optimise plant performance and reduce liquid discharge.
  • The conversion of solid residue from power plants and incineration facilities into useful and high-value products, and utilisation of combustion ash and solid residue to produce ultra-light composites for modular construction.

The projects will involve laboratory and pilot studies, as well as research conducted using full-scale facilities, with the final aim of full-scale implementation.

Sembcorp, which develops, owns and operates energy and water facilities across 15 countries worldwide, has a long history of investing in and using technology and innovation to provide its customers the best solutions, build its competitive advantage and support sustainable growth. The company has applied innovations that have helped to build a cleaner, more efficient energy industry in Singapore. This includes pioneering cogeneration using combined-cycle gas turbine technology here, introducing the sale of natural gas to the market as a more environmentally-friendly energy source for power plants in place of fuel oil, and also applying low-carbon and renewable power and steam technologies such as energy-from-waste and biomass steam generation. In addition, Sembcorp is a world leader in advanced water and wastewater solutions for industries and water-stressed regions, and has successfully exported advanced water solutions to key industrial parks in China. It has well-established capabilities in water reuse, and was the first to reclaim water in Singapore from treated municipal and industrial effluent.

Leveraging on Sembcorp’s capabilities in the areas of energy, water and waste-to-resource, as well as NUS’ strong expertise in a broad range of disciplines such as Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Industrial and System Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and other related fields, the Sembcorp-NUS Corporate Laboratory will deepen collaboration between industry and academia and pioneer green technologies in its three core areas to promote sustainable development in Singapore.

The Corporate Laboratory will work closely with NUS’ research centres, such as the Centre for Water Research and Centre for Advanced Materials and Structures which are based in NUS Engineering. It will also provide an important platform for NUS students and researchers to gain experience in industrial R&D and promote interaction and exchange of ideas with engineers from Sembcorp.

NUS President Professor Tan Chorh Chuan said, “NUS is pleased to partner Sembcorp and NRF in setting up the Sembcorp-NUS Corporate Laboratory, which will strengthen the synergy between industry and the academia. We are very excited to have this opportunity to contribute NUS’ expertise in basic and applied engineering research to create knowledge and novel technologies that will enhance the long-term competitiveness of Singapore and our industries, and at the same time improve environmental sustainability. We look forward to working closely with researchers from Sembcorp to develop innovative and sustainable solutions in the areas of energy, water and waste-to-resource.”

Mr Tang Kin Fei, Sembcorp Industries Group President & CEO said, “Sembcorp strongly believes in technology and innovation. Staying at the forefront of advancements in energy, water and waste-to-resource allows us to offer our customers the best solutions, sharpen our competitive advantage and promote sustainable development. The Sembcorp-NUS Corporate Lab will look at cutting edge solutions that are highly relevant to industry. These have the potential to help us increase efficiency, lower costs, make better use of scarce resources and improve productivity. In addition, they can also help us improve safety performance and reduce our environmental impact.”

The Corporate Laboratory@University Scheme seeks to strengthen Singapore’s innovation system by encouraging public-private research and development collaboration between universities and companies. It ensures that universities achieve impact by developing cutting edge solutions for problems faced by the industries. The collaboration creates employment opportunities and trains a pool of industry-ready research manpower.


Anand Gupta Editor - EQ Int'l Media Network


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