Speech by Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources, at the opening of the 800 Super Holdings Limited Tuas integrated energy and resource recovery facility on 2 Decy
Good morning everyone. I am honoured to officiate the opening of the 800 Super Holdings Limited Tuas integrated energy and resource recovery facility.
Let me begin by congratulating 800 Super Holdings Limited on this occasion. The opening of this facility demonstrates the company’s commitment towards our national effort to adopt a circular economy approach to waste and resource management.
Key Initiatives in the Year Towards Zero Waste
2019 has been a milestone year for Singapore’s journey towards Zero Waste. In August this year, we launched our inaugural Zero Waste Masterplan, which sets out our strategies to build a sustainable, resource-efficient and climate-resilient Singapore. We have set a new target — to reduce the waste sent to Semakau Landfill by 30 per cent by 2030. This is an ambitious target, but if we can achieve this, we will be able to #SaveSemakau and extend its lifespan beyond 2035.
The Resource Sustainability Act, which supports the strategies outlined in the Masterplan, was passed by Parliament in September. The Act puts in place a legislative framework to mandate key responsibilities for producers of electrical and electronic waste, food waste and packaging waste, including plastics.
We are also harnessing innovation and R&D to bring Singapore closer to our vision of becoming a Zero Waste Nation. Our efforts include the S$45 million ‘Closing the Waste Loop’ initiative and the upcoming NEA-PUB Tuas Nexus, which will harness synergies between water, waste and energy to maximise resource efficiency.
Through investments in science and technology, we are also transforming incineration bottom ash (IBA) into useful construction material, which we call NEWSand. NEWSand is born out of our drive to create precious resources from waste. Just like how we have closed the water loop with NEWater by recycling water endlessly, we can potentially close the waste loop with NEWSand.
Just last week, the National Environment Agency announced the award of a tender to conduct a field trial on the use of IBA. This brings us another step closer to achieving our Zero Waste vision.
New Integrated Facility
The opening of 800 Super’s new Tuas integrated energy and resource recovery facility is yet another milestone in this Year Towards Zero Waste. By co-locating its biomass combustion plant, sludge incinerator and industrial laundry plant, this facility becomes an integrated energy ecosystem that is self-sustaining and supports multiple business applications.
For example, the biomass plant makes use of horticultural waste from the company’s landscaping business and garden waste collected under the public waste collection contracts to produce electricity. Every day, up to 120 tonnes of wood and horticultural waste are combusted to generate electricity. The resulting energy is used to power all operations and business activities on this site.
Separately, a sludge incinerator treats the sludge from Singapore’s water reclamation plants. The treatment process produces steam which is used to wash, iron and sterilise items from the company’s laundry business. In fact, the steam produced exceeds the laundry business’ requirements, and the excess is channelled to two additional facilities and services – animal feed drying and the third-party ISO tank heating services.
In this way, the integrated facility has adopted a sustainable circular business model to create synergy among its operational activities. Nothing goes to waste, as the by-products from one business activity are used to generate green energy for another.
I understand that the facility is also moving towards achieving carbon neutrality – this is a commendable effort which will support Singapore’s fight against climate change.
800 Super’s new Tuas integrated facility is a good example of what can be achieved if we change our mind-set to view waste as a resource, and to design waste and wastefulness out of our economy. I hope that such a business model will become a future norm, and that it will inspire other companies to explore solutions that enable the recovery and recycling of energy and resources which is not just environmentally friendly but makes business sense too.
As we continue our journey Towards Zero Waste, adopting such a circular economy approach also allows companies to create new and good job opportunities to drive innovation and adopt greater use of technology to raise productivity. In doing so, businesses can close the waste loop to become more sustainable over the long term.
Let me conclude. There are many challenges ahead in our journey towards sustainable development, but opportunities abound too, if businesses are willing to transform themselves to become energy- and carbon-efficient. The Government can lead the way with the right policies, but we need the strong partnership of all stakeholders, including our industry partners, to achieve a Sustainable Singapore for future generations. I hope the opening of this facility will inspire even more initiatives to adopt a circular economy approach to waste management.