Ladies and Gentlemen,
1. A very good morning to you. It gives me great pleasure to welcome you, on behalf of the Singapore Government, to the Asian Downstream Summit, held together with the Asian Refining Technology Conference.
2. These two anchor events, organised in conjunction with SIEW, provide an excellent platform for the downstream industry to engage in meaningful discussions about the opportunities and challenges of our journey and transition towards net zero.
Energy Transitions Towards a Net-Zero World
3. How do we stay the course toward a net-zero future? This apt question and theme is timely as the urgency to achieve our net-zero goals hastens with climate change.
4. The oil and gas industry plays a pivotal role in determining the pace of our transition towards cleaner energy sources. It also impacts the adoption of circular economy practices and deployment of emerging technologies such as Hydrogen and its derivatives and CCUS (Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage). The switch to clean energy involves complex trade-offs, particularly between economic competitiveness and climate change mitigation. It also impacts the bottom line, livelihoods and cost of living. On the other hand, the growth of a green economy as a result of this transformation is creating new and exciting opportunities.
5. As a small country with very limited alternative energy resources, Singapore must explore all options to achieve our decarbonisation goals. Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong announced last night about our investment in the second LNG terminal. To that end, one other significant project that many of you would be familiar with is “Sustainable Jurong Island”. Jurong Island is being transformed into a Sustainable Energy and Chemicals Park that operates sustainably and exports sustainable products globally.
6. Further, the Government has ramped efforts to drive our economic transformation and energy transition.
a. First, since launching the National Hydrogen Strategy at last year’s SIEW, we have made good progress in implementing our ammonia pathfinder project for power generation and bunkering.
b. Second, Singapore has signed MOUs with several countries to explore Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS). One of them is the MOU, which I had the pleasure of signing with the Qatar Government in June this year, paving the way for our countries to collaborate.
c. Third, we are studying the potential for the broader adoption of biofuels to catalyse our decarbonisation efforts, as we are located in a region rich in bioresources. As an observer in the Global Biofuel Alliance, Singapore will have the chance to learn from global leaders, including yourselves, and better understand the role of biofuels in our country’s operating context.
Government and Industry Partnerships
7. The Singapore Government will continue to design frameworks and policies supporting decarbonisation and adopting clean technologies. This journey has to be a collective effort, for we need industry players to partner with us in developing and deploying low-carbon solutions.
8. Allow me to highlight two key avenues for collaboration.
9. First, the industry can work with the government and academia to ensure that R&D projects are well-defined in their purpose and have a clear implementation plan. For instance, Singapore’s Low-Carbon Energy Research Programme aims to improve t low-carbon technologies advancement and their economic viability through partnerships with companies and research institutes. To that end, the government has supported 12 research, development, and demonstration collaborations on low-carbon technology solutions under phase 1 of the programme. Of these, 8 projects involve CCUS (Carbon Capture, Usage and Storage). We look forward to the continued strong participation from industry players for phase 2 of this programme, which will focus on hydrogen.
10. Second, industry players can also partner with the government to accelerate the adoption of clean technologies and processes. Industry players possess deep capabilities in areas such as carbon dioxide management and process engineering. By combining their technical expertise and the government’s industry support framework, we can work together to use more renewable feedstock, implement new processes to reduce carbon emissions and increase the production of sustainable products. The expansion of Neste’s refinery in Singapore serves as a very good example. With the more extensive facility, Singapore is now the world's largest producer of sustainable aviation fuel. This complements our broader sustainable aviation fuel strategy and will significantly contribute to Singapore’s efforts to reduce aviation emissions.
11. We should also recognise industry players who have been trailblazers in tackling climate change. Today’s Asian Downstream Awards honour industry players whose outstanding performance and innovative technologies are shaping our clean energy future for the better. On behalf of the organisers and the Singapore Government, we would like to give our heartiest congratulations to all award winners!
12. To conclude, the downstream industry is integral to our transition to a net-zero global energy landscape. Conferences like today’s play a vital role in forging collaboration and partnerships and serve as important platforms to share expertise, exchange ideas and discuss solutions. I am very confident the industry can realise its potential and overcome these challenges as we work towards our decarbonisation goals. As breakthroughs in green technology emerge, and we accelerate our path toward net zero, new chapters will be written in our collective sustainability story.
13. I wish all of you a wonderful day of robust and engaging discussions. Thank you.