Environmental News Archive

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Oil Goes Underground

9 Feb 2007 (TODAY)
In Business

Chow Penn Nee

THE first underground oil storage facility in Singapore - and South-east
Asia - got off to a smooth start yesterday, paving the way for more land
to be freed up for other uses on Jurong Island.

Breaking ground yesterday to kick off the construction of Jurong Rock
Cavern, JTC said it would be able to save at least 60 hectares of surface
land, equivalent to the size of the six Singapore Expo halls.

The construction of a subterranean oil storage facility - built at depths
beneath the seabed - will also provide support to Singapore's fast-growing
chemicals sector, which was worth $74 billion last year.

The $700-million Jurong Rock Cavern will feature a storage capacity of
1.47 million cubic metres, or about 9 million barrels of oil, and will be
used to store crude oil, condensate, naptha and gasoil.

"The primary objective of the Jurong Rock Cavern will be to support the
operations of Jurong Island manufacturers," noted Mr Lim Hng Kiang,
Minister for Trade and Industry at yesterday's ceremony.

The cavern, which stand nine-stories tall, will be located beneath the
seabed at Banyan LogisPark on Jurong Island.

Scheduled to be completed in four years' time, JTC is already confident of
demand for the facility, so much so that construction of Phase 2 is
already being planned, which will add another 1.3 million cubic metres of
storage space.

"We have had letters of intent for (use of the cavern) from customers on
Jurong Island," said Mrs Ow Foong Pheng, JTC Corporation, CEO, which is
handling the project.

Jurong Island is a hub for the Republic's chemicals sector. There are some
94 petroleum refining, petrocehemicals and specialty chemicals firms
located on the 3,200-hectare island.

Tenders for the management of the project will open in April, and results
will be made known in June.