Singapore Makes Progress Towards Transformation of Environmental Services Industry

Jul 2019

At the opening of the CleanEnviro Summit Singapore (CESS) Catalyst 2019, Singapore’s Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr Masagos Zulkifli, provided key updates on the transformation efforts of the environmental services industry. CESS 2019 was themed “Circular Economy: Towards A Resource Efficient and Sustainable Business” in recognition of Singapore’s Year Towards Zero Waste. The Singapore government plans to release its inaugural Zero Waste Masterplan later this year.

The Minister announced that several environmental services (ES) solutions have been supported by the  Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG) since it was available in September last year. Till date, 32 applications have been approved and SGD 1 million (USD 0.75 million) of the grant has been committed. Examples of approved applications include Smart litter bin with compactor function for Changi Airport and autonomous floor cleaner/scrubbers for multiple premises. The SGD 30 million (USD 22 million) Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG) for the Environmental Services (ES) industry was launched to help drive widespread adoption of technology across the industry, and encourage SMEs, multinational corporations, as well as premises owners to adopt commercially available and proven environmental services technologies, to increase operational efficiency and productivity.

The National Environment Agency (NEA) has approved two regulatory sandbox projects for trials, under the regulatory sandbox announced at CleanEnviro Summit Singapore 2018, to create an environment with relaxed regulations within parameters for companies to experiment with innovative solutions. The first project is Alpha Biofuels’ proposal to use of a digital platform, along with and leveraging its logistic partners’ vehicles for reverse logistics during their usual delivery runs to collect used cooking oil from food and beverage (F&B) operators. The second project is Singapore Power Group (SP Group) proposed use of an onsite gasification system to treat waste generated at the Gardens by the Bay. The system will harvest energy from the process to produce heated water to be utilized by the F&B tenants at the Gardens and solid carbon material for possible horticultural R&D purposes. 

Two grant calls have also been successfully concluded to date under NEA’s “Closing the Waste Loop” R&D Initiative, announced along with the Environmental Services Industry Transformation Map (ES ITM) in December 2017. This SGD 45 million (USD 33 million) R&D funding initiative aims to help universities, research institutes and companies develop solutions to extract resources from key waste streams (e.g. plastic and electronic waste) and residues (e.g. incineration bottom ash). Under the first grant call, two projects have been awarded to the Institute of Chemical and Engineering Sciences and Temasek Polytechnic respectively, on treating and extracting resources from plastic waste. Under the second grant call, another two projects have been awarded to the Nanyang Technological University and Republic Polytechnic respectively, on reusing incineration bottom ash. 

(Source: National Environment Agency, Singapore)

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