Opening Remarks by Mr Chan Chun Sing, Minister for Trade and Industry,
At Virtual Press Conference during Company Visit to 800 Super Holdings Ltd
On 11 March 2021
1 Good morning to all of you. Today’s visit is a continuation of our routine visits to companies, for us to talk about the potential and opportunities of the various sectors.
2 Today, we are visiting a company in the waste management industry. You would have heard a lot about this particular sector recently, partly because of the concerns about environmental sustainability, but also because of Singapore’s ongoing efforts to make sure that all our waste management is done properly. We have been doing so all these years, perhaps even before sustainability became common lexicon in public. We have done so because we have limited land area and there is only so much area that we can use as our landfills.
3 It is in our interest to make sure that we reduce the amount of waste we produce as much as possible and recycle or reuse the waste for other more useful purposes such as generating energy.
4 800 Super is an interesting example of how a Singapore company has tried to integrate the various aspects of the waste management business together. They have a biomass plant, sludge treatment plant and from there, due to their ability to generate steam and electricity, they have integrated that with their operations for their laundry operations and other parts of the entire waste management cycle.
5 I am highlighting the example of this particular plant and this particular enterprise, because we can see how the plant has built up its capabilities progressively over time. Part by part, they build up the capabilities. Part by part, they integrated those capabilities into a synergistic system that allows them to have a stronger competitive advantage in the waste management industry.
6 Today, their operations are quite different from other conventional waste management enterprises because while others might do so in silos, they do so in an integrated way from the sludge treatment to the biomass treatment to the laundry business and so forth. With this synergy, they are able to achieve greater competitive advantage in the waste management ecosystem. Now, that is the first step of how by thinking green and going green within their operations, they have achieved a certain competitive advantage.
7 The second part is that after they go green, they can really grow green because now they are making forays into the foreign markets with the help of Enterprise Singapore, Infrastructure Asia and other economic agencies. This is a very important lesson for us because once we have the capabilities in-house on how we can do this in a much more competitive manner, once we have achieved the standards required, we can then go forth to provide such services in other parts of the region, where waste management services will also become increasingly important. This is a good model of how we envisage our businesses going green and growing green in the process.
8 You can find the rest of the information on the scale and the potential scale of the market in waste management, in the deck of slides given. We can discuss how Singapore can carve out a niche for ourselves and for our enterprises, by making sure that we have those capabilities and then scale those capabilities to the region based on the standards that we are able to achieve and the technical capabilities that we have already built up in the country.
9 This is consistent with what we have been talking about regarding our economic strategy, during my visit to different sectors over the last few months. In order for us to be competitive, we need real capabilities, capabilities that few other people can have, so that we can achieve a competitive advantage over potential competitors. We can then scale up operations and look at the regional market and to see how we can provide solutions for the regional market. Hence, 800 Super is one of the examples in the waste management industry, which has growing potential due to the concerns with environmental sustainability and everybody is taking a greater interest on how they can treat their waste in a more sustainable way and a more economically efficient ways. Therefore, this is a good model for us to share with the rest of the countries and industries.
10 Thank you.