Thursday, 4 September 2014

Jurong Rock Caverns officially opens 2 Sep 2014

Singapore digs deep to realise oil storage dream
Ambitious Jurong Rock Caverns completed at a cost of $950m
By Chia Yan Min, The Straits Times, 3 Sep 2014

SINGAPORE yesterday unveiled its latest engineering feat to overcome the constraints of land - an underground commercial storage facility for oil products.

The ambitious Jurong Rock Caverns took six years of planning and a further eight of construction at a cost of $950 million, with about 1,700 workers employed.

Declaring it officially open, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong told a ceremony on Jurong Island that the endeavour was challenging, risky and expensive, but will ultimately prove rewarding.

Mr Lee noted that the Jurong Rock Caverns was "born out of this same spirit of innovation and determination" behind Jurong Island, another ambitious project that involved amalgamating seven southern islands.

He cited the benefits the caverns bring - they free up 60ha of land, or 70 football fields, above ground - but noted also that they demonstrate how Singapore can "create new space for (itself) both physically and metaphorically".

The facility also signals Singapore's determination to develop its petrochemical industry, which makes up about a third of the country's manufacturing output and provides "good jobs for Singaporeans", he added.

Mr Lee noted that Singapore has become a world-class petrochemical hub despite its land constraints and the fact that it produces no crude oil or feedstock.

The caverns, which are also a first in South-east Asia, sit 150m below the Jurong Island energy and chemicals hub - or four times further underground than Singapore's deepest MRT station. They are Singapore's deepest underground public works endeavour to date.

Adding to the complexity was the challenge of having to construct the caverns 130m beneath the seabed. Industrial landlord JTC also had to build 9km of tunnels.

The five nine-storey-high caverns will be used to store 1.47 million cubic metres of liquid hydrocarbons such as crude oil and condensate - equivalent to 600 Olympic-sized swimming pools. Liquid hydrocarbons are usually stored in large tanks above ground.

Two of the five caverns have already been leased to Jurong Aromatics Corporation to store feedstock for its upcoming aromatics plant on Jurong Island. The other three are expected to be operational by 2016.

Dr Loo Choon Yong, chairman of JTC, told the ceremony that the project planning process, which included numerous study missions abroad and extensive soil and rock investigations, was "rigorous and intense".

The project was riskier and more complex than above-ground facilities, he added.

It was also expensive: It costs about 30 per cent more to build storage infrastructure underground than to reclaim land, but the space above ground can be used for higher value-added activities such as petrochemical plants.

With Jurong Rock Caverns behind it, JTC is now exploring other subterranean projects, said Dr Loo, adding: "Land will always be scarce in Singapore, but with human creativity and ingenuity, we continue to find ways to do more with less."




With technology, ingenuity, determination, we can push our limits further than we think! I was delighted to open the...
Posted by Lee Hsien Loong on Tuesday, September 2, 2014





Underground caverns for oil products open
The Straits Times, 3 Sep 2014

THE Jurong Rock Caverns, Singapore's first subterranean cavern storage facility for oil products, were officially opened yesterday after six years of planning and eight years of construction.

The $950 million facility is located 150m below energy and chemicals hub Jurong Island and consists of five underground caverns, each nine storeys high. They will be used to store 1.47 million cubic m of liquid hydrocarbons such as crude oil and condensate.

Two of the five caverns have been leased to Jurong Aromatics Corporation, which will be using them to store feedstock for its upcoming aromatics plant on Jurong Island. The remaining three caverns are expected to be operational by 2016.





Underground push pays off
PM Lee hails Jurong Rock Caverns as embodiment of Singapore’s spirit of innovation and determination
By Lee Yen Nee, TODAY, 3 Sep 2014

One of Singapore’s most ambitious industrial projects, the S$950 million Jurong Rock Caverns (JRC) — South-east Asia’s first commercial underground rock cavern storage facility for crude oil and petroleum products — were officially opened yesterday after nearly eight years of rigorous construction.

Located 150m under the seabed at Jurong Island, the mammoth project was hailed by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong as an embodiment of Singapore’s spirit of innovation and determination.

The engineering marvel demonstrates the need for Singapore to be bold in tackling challenges such as land constraints, he said, noting that JTC Corp — the developer of JRC — is now exploring building an underground science city, as well as an underground warehousing and logistics facility.


JTC said it will conduct feasibility studies for the underground science city that will likely be located at Science Park 1 and 2 in Kent Ridge. Tanjong Kling will be the preferred location for the underground warehousing facility pending feasibility studies, it added.

While it cost 30 per cent more to build the JRC below ground compared with reclaiming land, the Government decided to go ahead with the project as it would free up 60ha of surface land — about the size of 85 football fields — for higher value-added facilities, Mr Lee said.

“Sixty hectares of land is enough to house up to six petrochemical plants ... the JRC show we are determined to develop the petrochemical industry here, despite our land constraints and also despite the potential impact of a United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change arrangement on carbon emissions,” he said. “The (petrochemical) industry provides good jobs for Singaporeans, it contributes significantly to our economy — the chemicals industry comprises a third of our manufacturing output.”

The JRC, with a total storage capacity equivalent to 600 Olympic-sized swimming pools, were conceptualised as a key plank of the petrochemicals industry with the aim of overcoming land constraints in Singapore and supporting long-term economic growth.

Their location under Jurong Island complements refining plants and infrastructure on the surface and reinforces Singapore’s position as a leading global energy and chemicals hub. Jurong Island hosts more than 100 energy and chemicals companies, including the largest in the world such as ExxonMobil, Shell and Chevron, with collective investments of more than S$47 billion. With the JRC’s massive storage capacity, petrochemical plants in Jurong can rely on a stable and uninterrupted supply of feedstock.

While similar underground storage exists in countries such as Japan, South Korea and the United States, most of them are used to hold strategic stockpiles of oil instead of being used for commercial purposes.

In Singapore, the JRC are also not the first subterranean storage space. The Ministry of Defence’s Mandai Underground Ammunition Facility served as an inspiration for JTC to go below the surface.

Construction of the JRC started in January 2007 beneath the waters of Banyan Basin in Jurong Island, facing tough challenges such as high humidity and water ingress that threatened to delay the project. But after excavating close to 3.5 million cubic metres of rock, the first two caverns were completed in March this year and have been leased to Jurong Aromatics Corp, which will store condensate that will be used as a feedstock for its new aromatics plant.

The other three caverns are scheduled for completion by the end of 2016.






Singapore to double production of petrochemicals by 2030: JTC
TODAY, 5 Sep 2014

Republic sets aside up to 40% of reclaimed land on Jurong Island for new chemical plants

The Republic aims to double its petrochemicals production by the end of the next decade and is setting aside up to 40 per cent of its reclaimed land on Jurong Island for new chemical plants, a JTC Corporation executive told Reuters in an interview.

And to make sure it has sufficient space for these plans for petrochemical expansion — which is more lucrative than refining and storing crude and oil products — land-scarce Singapore has gone underground for oil storage on Jurong Island.

The newly-opened Jurong Rock Caverns cost almost a third more than onshore tank farms of a similar capacity, but the facility has left enough land open for six chemicals plants.

“The amount of land we have is just limited. I think we want to be able to focus on petrochemical plants as we go forward in terms of development,” JTC assistant CEO Heah Soon Poh said in an interview at the official opening of the caverns on Tuesday. “The more downstream you go, the higher the value that’s created.”

The chemicals industry contributes around 30 per cent of Singapore’s manufacturing output, which in turn makes up about 20 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product.

“We have about 4 million tonnes per annum (mtpa), and I think going forward, we are looking at the possibility of growing that to between 6 and 8 mtpa,” Mr Heah said.

There is still 30 to 40 per cent of land on Jurong Island “reserved either for the expansion of existing plants or new plants that fit into the whole value chain”, he said.

Mr Heah did not mention any specific expansion plans or new projects, but said in an emailed statement that JTC was “in discussions with several companies on this”.

Any new storage facilities will be strictly reserved for manufacturers to use to store feedstocks rather than for trading, Mr Heah said. “We have had traders coming to us, and we have said no,” he added.

JTC, the government agency in charge of the planning and development of Singapore’s industrial landscape, opened Asia’s first subterranean oil storage facility after starting construction in 2007.

Located 130m beneath the Banyan Basin in Jurong Island, the S$950 million Jurong Rock Caverns will provide up to 1.47 million cubic metres of storage by 2016, including for crude and condensate.

Official data from trade promotion body International Enterprise Singapore showed that trade in petroleum oils more than tripled in the 2003-to-2013 period to S$44 billion, accounting for more than 4 per cent of the country’s total trade last year.

With Singapore unable to commit more land to commercial storage to serve trading companies, Indonesia and Malaysia have stepped up their investments into oil and chemicals storage infrastructure and could offer a combined 8 million cubic metres by 2016, a third of Singapore’s 23 million cubic metres.

The pricing of regional oil benchmarks is also changing to reflect the widening geography of storage terminals beyond Singapore, similar to the European model in Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp.

REUTERS





















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