The Energy Market Authority (EMA) has renewed its S$10m ($7.22m) partnership with Sembcorp, which will involve initiatives to catalyse Research and Development (R&D) and to develop new capabilities in Singapore’s energy sector.


Image: EMA renews partnership with Sembcorp. Photo: Courtesy of Julie Elliott-Abshire/

The S$10m renewal this year will take EMA and Sembcorp’s joint commitment to over S$20m to date. The refreshed Sembcorp-EMA Energy Technology Partnership (SEETP) will allow Sembcorp and EMA to encourage the translation and commercialisation of R&D solutions in areas of strategic interest to Singapore.

Researchers and companies will have the opportunity to develop new technologies that could potentially be test-bedded at Sembcorp’s facilities. They can also leverage on Sembcorp’s strong business networks for commercialisation.

Thus far, S$10m in grants have been awarded under the SEETP to three R&D projects, of which two teams are from A*STAR’s Institute for Infocomm Research (I2R), and one team from the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore). Announced by Minister Chan today, the awardees will develop solutions to:

Enhance the efficiency of pipeline inspections via autonomous vehicles and automation (I2R);
Recover low-grade waste heat and enhance energy efficiency at industrial plants (NTU Singapore); and
Automate plant boiler inspections through online condition monitoring and data science (I2R).

Research teams for the three projects will comprise local small and medium enterprises, such as optical microspectroscopy solutions provider TechnoSpex and aerospace precision engineering firm Flare Dynamics. These companies will, respectively, help to develop local capabilities in real-time plant boiler inspection and the use of autonomous vehicles to monitor pipelines.

Aside from supporting R&D through the SEETP, there is also a need to build a pipeline of future-ready talent to support the evolving needs of the energy sector. EMA and Sembcorp are working together to attract young people to explore careers in the energy sector. One avenue is through the Sembcorp-EMA Energy Challenge (SEEC). This incorporates an energy-related gaming competition, learning journeys and internship opportunities for students from Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs).

The SEEC competition aims to give participants a taste of solving real-world issues that power sector professionals face in the course of their work. The experiential learning journeys take students to sites generally inaccessible to the public, such as the Pulau Ubin Micro-grid Test-bed and Sembcorp’s energy facilities. These visits will allow students to interact with engineering professionals and gain a richer understanding of the energy sector. Over the past three years, more than 300 students from various IHLs have benefited from the SEEC.

On the significance of the partnership, EMA CEO Ngiam Shih Chun said: “Our partnership with Sembcorp will help to catalyse R&D innovations to enhance the resilience of Singapore’s energy sector. To make this possible, we are also working to nurture a future-ready and competent workforce to keep the lights on for Singapore.”

Sembcorp Industries chief digital officer Matthew Friedman said: “As a homegrown energy player with over two decades in Singapore’s power and utilities market, Sembcorp is thrilled to extend our partnership with EMA in supporting R&D, and developing a new generation of future energy professionals. Our joint initiatives with EMA are in line with Sembcorp’s belief in technology and innovation, attracting good talent and giving back to our community. They will also help to support the long-term growth of Singapore’s energy sector.”

Source: Company Press Release