1. Your excellency, Mr. Juan Carlos Jobet, Minister for Energy and Mining for the Republic of Chile,
2. Your excellency, Mr. Ignacio Concha, Ambassador of Chile to Singapore,
3. Excellencies, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
4. It is my pleasure to be here today to speak on the important topic of energy. In February this year, Chile and Singapore signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Low-Carbon Hydrogen Collaboration. This webinar is the first initiative we have embarked on together on this topic since we signed the MOU. I am heartened to see interest from industry players, academia, and colleagues from the public sector, who are in attendance today.
5. Singapore and Chile are like-minded partners in many ways. We are supporters of open markets, and advocates of upholding multilateral trade rules. We have worked together on several trade agreements. Two key ones that we are signatories to are the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement. We are also finalising a Free Trade Agreement between Singapore and the Pacific Alliance, an economic bloc in Latin America that Chile is part of. We are targeting to sign the Pacific Alliance-Singapore Free Trade Agreement later this year. All these agreements are modern and progressive. They bring Chile and Singapore closer together and prepare us for the future as we enhance economic links.
6. Energy security and sustainability are global and current issues of interest to both Chile and Singapore. We can be valuable partners to each other.
7. As an alternative energy disadvantaged country, a key strategy for Singapore in our transition to a low-carbon future, is the adoption of low-carbon technologies, such as hydrogen. Hydrogen can serve as a versatile energy carrier to store and transport renewable energy. It can help Singapore diversify our fuel mix for power generation and reduce emissions in sectors such as shipping and aviation.
8. Chile is on its way to becoming a world-class hydrogen producer and exporter. Chile is committed to tackling climate change; has huge potential for renewable energy like wind and solar; is actively developing its hydrogen economy; and aims to be a major hydrogen producer by 2030.
9. We should take opportunity of the compatibility and potential partnership between Chile and Singapore in this field. I can think of three ways to do so.
a. One, experts, practitioners, businesses, and policy makers from Chile and Singapore could share best practices with one another to exchange knowledge and catalyse ideas. Events like the annual Singapore International Energy Week are useful platforms to do so.
b. Two, the governments of Chile and Singapore, with industry players, could work together towards the development of international certifications and guarantees of origin for low-carbon hydrogen.
c. Three, industry players and the research community could collaborate to develop the hydrogen supply chain, and pilot new technologies. Some have already started. For example, Keppel Data Centres is leading a private sector consortium to study the commercial viability of a liquefied hydrogen supply chain. Chiyoda Corporation is leading another consortium to develop ways to utilise hydrogen as a low-carbon energy source. Itochu Corporation is leading a joint development study on ammonia as a new marine fuel in Singapore.
10. Low-carbon hydrogen is still a nascent technology, but it is enjoying unprecedented momentum. It holds huge potential to green our energy sources and create economic opportunities.
11. I hope today’s event will facilitate connections among businesses, researchers, and officials from Chile and Singapore. I urge everyone here to be bold and take full advantage of the increasing momentum of the hydrogen economy. We must further the work in this field, and explore tangible partnerships, as we move together towards a sustainable energy future.
12. I wish you a fruitful time at this webinar.
13. Thank you.