Best of our wild blogs: 29 Oct 12

Latest Green Jobs in Singapore [22 - 28 Oct 2012]
from Green Business Times

Stonefish and Owl at the Northern Expedition Day 14
from Mega Marine Survey of Singapore

In Mandai's shadows
from The annotated budak and Paradoxa botanica

The Black-backed, and goodbye Bidadari
from Trek through Paradise

Juvenile Little Grebe’s Feet
from Bird Ecology Study Group

A New Lycaenid (for SG) Found at Bukit Brown
from Beauty of Fauna and Flora in Nature

Damselfly (28) – Agriocnemis Nana
from Dragonflies & Damselflies of Singapore

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Reclaim land at islands for a second petrochemicals hub

Straits Times 29 Oct 12;

WITH the recent plans to build a fourth storage facility at the liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal on Jurong Island ("$500m plan to grow LNG terminal"; last Thursday), Singapore's energy sector is once again in the spotlight.

With the ever-tightening space constraints on Jurong Island, it may be time to explore additional areas for reclamation so as to maximise the potential of our energy sector.

Singapore is the third-largest global oil refining and trading centre, and the petroleum and petrochemicals industry is a key pillar of our economy.

However, with most of the land on Jurong Island already in use, the Government should launch a feasibility study into reclamation on the islands further south, namely Pulau Bukom, Pulau Busing and Pulau Sebarok.

These islands already contain crucial facilities, such as the Shell Refinery on Pulau Bukom, which churns out 500,000 barrels per day.

Joining these islands through reclamation would create much needed land for a further expansion of the petrol and petrochemicals industry, and fuel its continued growth.

The presence of another significant petrochemical hub is a potentially lucrative prospect, especially because of its close proximity to Jurong Island, which provides for the easy integration of operations between the two.

Furthermore, the scarcity of industrial land on Jurong Island has forced some global companies to search for alternative sites in the region.

Malaysia and Indonesia have already started developing their own respective downstream oil sectors. This is a cause for worry as both countries already have extensive upstream oil sector operations and the construction of a petrochemicals hub would be a logical and convenient step to take.

Furthermore, the Fukushima nuclear disaster has caused many countries to re-evaluate their reliance on nuclear energy.

If Singapore does not rapidly expand its energy sector to tap this huge potential in the global oil market, it stands to lose out on the potentially lucrative returns, and may also see a decline in its status as a key global oil hub.

The Government has launched numerous initiatives to tap the potential of the energy sector, such as the Jurong Rock Caverns, an underground oil storage facility.

However, it is unwise to put all our eggs in one basket.

It may be prudent to reclaim land and subsequently develop a second petroleum and petrochemicals hub to complement Jurong Island for the long-term benefit of Singapore's energy sector.

Kuek Jia Yao

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Of low tides and high appetites

Straits Times 27 Oct 12;

NEWS of the launch of the Comprehensive Marine Biodiversity Survey this week had so struck Senior Minister of State for National Development Tan Chuan-Jin - known for his interest in heritage issues - that he was moved to make a long posting on his Facebook page.

Inspired by reports of the largest marine life audit to be done and the seagrass, sponges and starfish that can be found in local waters, Mr Tan waxed lyrical over Singapore's marine life and posted photos of his field trip with a survey expedition.

He also got quite serious, reminding readers that Singapore will not be able to conserve all areas with biodiversity as some of them will be needed for development.

In effect, he was addressing a tough question that Singaporeans have been grappling with - how much heritage to preserve or sacrifice in the name of development.

But Mr Tan posed perhaps the most quintessentially Singaporean of all questions when contemplating a crab that had been found.

"A fine specimen," he commented. "I wonder if it is edible..."


Related links
The Wonders of our Waters by Minister Tan Chuan-Jin on facebook

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