The first phase of Tuas Power's $2bn Tembusu Multi-Utilities Complex (TMUC) on Jurong Island in Singapore, which was underway since August 2012, has been completed and begun operation.

The plant will burn low-sulphur coal, palm kernel shells and wood chips, and natural gas or diesel to supply steam and electricity to industries.

Petrochemical firms like Asahi Kasei, Dairen and Lanxess, which would use the electricity from the plant, will be able to save about 10% on their utility bills as fuel costs are nearly 10% lower than burning gas alone.

The electricity generated from the plant will be supplied to the national grid, reported straitstimes.

Tuas Power chief executive Lim Kong Puay said coal was selected to diversify the plant’s fuel mix for energy security, and coal prices are also less volatile than oil prices.

The plant will employ about 100 workers, of which nine in ten will be from Singapore, while the company is considering to fill about 50 more positions.

The TMUC has been developed in line with the plans of the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) to develop the Tembusu industrial area of Jurong Island as a new petrochemical sector over the next five years.