04 November 2008

Pulau Semakau Master Plan by early 2009

A Master Plan to make Semakau self sufficient in water and energy is expected in early 2009. "A test bed for renewable and clean energy technologies will take up a quarter" of Semakau.

Pulau Semakau is also the site of our first coral nursery and the living shores are part of regular guided intertidal walks. More about Pulau Semakau.

Plan to develop eco-park on Semakau Landfill expected early 2009
Asha Popatlal, Channel NewsAsia 3 Nov 08;
SINGAPORE: Semakau Landfill is set to get a new lease of life.

Jurong Consultants, as well as RSP Architects and Planners, are expected to come back with a master plan by early 2009.

The aim is to determine whether part of the area can be turned into an eco-park that runs on its own water and energy.

A growing population means a growing mound of rubbish. Waste disposal has increased six-fold in Singapore between 1970 and 2000.

Created in 1999, Semakau Landfill is on an island eight kilometres south of Singapore. It is currently used for the disposal of ash from Singapore's incinerators.

While recycling efforts have already extended the expected lifespan of Semakau Landfill to beyond 2040, the country still has some way to go. The national recycling rate has increased from 40 per cent in 2000 to 54 per cent in 2007.

The National Environment Agency is now looking at having an eco-park on Semakau Landfill to provide a test bed for renewable and clean energy technologies. It will take up a quarter of the area there.

Environment and Water Resources Minister Yaacob Ibrahim said: "With this, we can create opportunities for research and development, as well as the application of clean technologies."

Industry players say one advantage of using Semakau Landfill is that testing on the landfill will be much cheaper than on the main island of Singapore.

Chairman of Sustainable Energy Association of Singapore, Edwin Khew, said: "This provides good opportunities (for)... testing out solar panels and even wind, perhaps around the island.

"There are enough waves and currents that can be used and other types of clean energies where you have cheap space to test bed on how useful it is and develop further the (current) technologies."

General manager of Semakau Landfill, Ong Chong Peng, said: "Our long-term vision is to make Semakau Landfill self-sustainable in energy and water needs."

The announcement was made on Monday at a waste management congress - where companies such as Asia-Pacific Breweries, which reduced packaging cost, received awards.

- CNA/yt

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