Singapore is a major refining center for Southeast Asia, with refining
capacity of nearly double its rate of petroleum products consumption.
It also is strategically located near the Strait of Malacca, a major
route for oil tankers.
Note: The information contained in this report is the best available
as of November 2002 and can change.
Singapore’s strategic location at the entrance to the Strait of Malacca has
helped it to become one of the most important shipping centers in Asia. The
Port of Singapore, the world's busiest in terms of shipping tonnage, is a
key component of Singapore’s prosperity and economic health. Singapore also
is a leader in new biotechnologies, petroleum refining, and the manufacturing
of computer components.
Recognizing that Singapore’s future growth depends on overcoming resource
limitations and a small domestic market, the Singaporean government has
vigorously encouraged local firms to regionalize their operations and
to invest abroad. Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong has identified China,
India, and the ASEAN countries as priority countries in the regionalization
Singapore's economy has suffered, though, from the global economic slowdown
of the last two years. In the short term, its heavy concentration in
computer hardware and consumer electronics exports has been a liability.
Singapore's real GDP fell by 1.9% in 2001, and growth in 2002 is projected
at only 2.2%, well below the phenomenal technology-led growth rates of
the 1990's. Real GDP growth is projected at 4.8% in 2003, largely on
an expected recovery in demand for computer components and consumer electronics
Singapore is one of the major petroleum refining centers of Asia, with
total crude oil refining capacity of nearly 1.3 million barrels per
day (bbl/d). The Asian economic crisis of 1997-98 had a negative impact
on Singapore’s refining industry, and Singapore’s refining companies
lost significant business due to declining demand for oil products
in the region. While the region staged a recovery from the financial
crisis in 1999 and 2000, the construction of new refineries in Singapore's
traditional export markets has had a more enduring negative effect. Recent
refinery expansions in several of its traditional markets also are
hurting Singapore's exports. New refineries in India, particularly
the 540,000-bbl/d Reliance Petroleum refinery at Jamnagar which began
production in 2000, have reduced Indian demand for imports of refined
products. The Melaka refining complex in Malaysia also has become
a competitor. While there has been a short-term recovery in refining
margins in 2002, the overall outlook for Singpore's refiners is still
uncertain, with so much capacity being built elsewhere in Asia.
In response to these pressures, individual refinery operators in Singapore
have been exploring different restructuring measures. For instance,
Shell has centralized control of its Asian refining operations in Singapore.
Caltex has followed a similar strategy. Other Singaporean refiners
are exploring approaches ranging from large run cutbacks to cost cutting
in an effort to boost margins.
Some owners of refineries in Singapore reportedly have expressed interest
in selling their stakes in 2002. BP has had discussions with Malaysia's
Petronas about its interest in the Singapore Refining Company, but no
sales agreements have been reached.
The rapid growth of Singapore’s petrochemical industry has been a direct
result of the country's strong base in petroleum refining. A large
project to reclaim seven islands to form a 12-square mile petrochemical
complex on Jurong Island is in progress. This project will provide
more land to support the growth of petrochemicals and chemical industries.
Recent major developments in the petrochemical industry in Singapore
include the start up of a second naphtha cracker by the Petrochemical
Corporation of Singapore and its downstream partners, Phillips Petroleum,
The Polyolefin Company, Hoechst, and Seraya Chemicals. In addition, Germany’s
Messer Group and U.S.-based Texaco have built a $200-million synthetic
gas plant on Jurong Island. The synthetic gas is being used for industrial
purposes and as feedstock for petrochemical and refining customers on
Singapore imports all of its natural gas, which is mainly used for power
generation and as a feedstock for petrochemical production. Natural
gas use is rising rapidly, as the Singaporean government promotes policies
aimed at reducing carbon dioxide and sulfur emissions, ensuring energy
security, and promoting the country as a regional hub for an integrated
gas pipeline network. Singapore Power currently imports 155 million
cubic feet per day (Mmcf/d) of natural gas through a pipeline from
Malaysia, its first natural gas supplier. This pipeline was the first
transnational natural gas pipeline built in East Asia.
Singapore has embarked on a diversification strategy so it will not
become dependent on a single source for gas imports. In January 1999,
the Singaporean gas consortium, SembGas, (which consists of SembCorp
Engineering, Tuas Power, EDB International, and Belgium’s Tractebel)
signed an agreement to purchase West Natuna gas from Indonesian state
energy company Pertamina. SembGas has agreed to purchase 325 Mmcfd of
natural gas for 22 years, through a pipeline from the West Natuna natural
gas fields to Singapore. Deliveries of natural gas through the
pipeline began in January 2001.
Another firm contract was signed for supplies to PowerGas from Pertamina
in February 2001. The 20-year contract calls for supplies of 150 Mmcf/d
to begin in 2003, rising to 350 Mmcf/d by 2009. The natural gas will
come from deposits on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. The subsea pipeline
linking Sumatra to Singapore is expected to cost $300 million. Construction
on the pipeline began in June 2002.
In addition to natural gas imports from Malaysia and the two pipelines
from Indonesia, Singapore has plans under discussion to build an LNG
import terminal, thereby freeing itself from complete dependence on neighboring
states for its gas supply. The Singaporean government announced in September
1999 that it has set aside land at Tuas View for the project. In the
last three years, however, the project has made little progress. While
it would have obvious energy-security benefits for Singapore, LNG currently
would cost more than piped natural gas.
One new use for natural gas in Singapore is as a fuel for motor vehicles.
Singapore has launched a program to convert public buses in some areas
to compressed natural gas (CNG), and the first SembGas CNG filling station
opened in April 2002. The CNG vehicle program may later expand to taxis.
Singapore may eventually become important as a regional natural gas
hub for Southeast Asia. The idea of a regional gas grid for members
of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has been under
discussion for several years, and international links already exist or
are under construction between Burma and Thailand, between Malaysia and
Thailand, and between Indonesia and Singapore. Singapore has an
ideal location to function as the hub of such a system if it comes to
Singapore is in the process of restructuring and privatizing its electric
power sector, which is to transform what was a monopoly into a competitive
market. Two subsidiaries of state-owned Singapore Power, PowerSeraya
and PowerSenoko, along with Tuas Power, are currently generating electricity.
PowerGrid, another subsidiary of Singapore Power, maintains and operates
the country's electricity transmission and distribution system. The
Singaporean government currently owns majority stakes in all of these
firms through holding companies. The process of privatization has been
repeatedly delayed, and current plans call for the Singporean government
to divest its stakes in the electric utility sector in 2004.
A regulatory agency for the country's electric utility sector, the Energy
Markets Authority (EMA) was created in April 2001. It is working
out the details of the privatization process.
Natural gas importer SembCorp already has entered the power generation
business as an independent power producer (IPP), completing the construction
of a 815-megawatt (MW) gas-fired plant under the name SembCorp Cogen. The
facility began operation in September 2001. Malaysia's Tenaga Nasional has
expressed interest in entering Singapore's power market after deregulation. It
would either sell power from its grid in Malaysia to customers in Singapore,
or possibly purchase generation assets in Singapore.
Most of the state-owned utilities' generating capacity has been converted
from fuel oil to natural gas as it has become available. Most new
planned capacity also will burn natural gas. Tuas Power awarded
a contract to Mitsubishi in 2001 for two 367-MW combined cycle generating
units, which are to be completed in 2006. The current economic
slwodown, however, has largely stalled expansion of electricity generating
capacity in Singapore.
Sources for this report include: Business Times Singapore; CIA World
Factbook 2002; Dow Jones News Wire; Economist Intelligence Unit ViewsWire;
Global Insight Asia Economic Outlook; Oil & Gas Journal; Petroleum
Intelligence Weekly; Platt's Oilgram News; Reuters News Wire; Straits
Times; U.S. Energy Information Administration.
President: Sellapan Rama Nathan (since 1999)
Prime Minister: Goh Chok Tong (since 1990)
Senior Minister: Lee Kuan Yew
Independence: August 9, 1965
Population (2002E): 4.5 million
Location/Size: Singapore lies in Southeast Asia, with Peninsular
Malaysia to the north, East Malaysia to the east, and Indonesia to the
south. The country consists of one main island and 54 islets located
approximately 77 miles north of the equator.
Major Cities: Singapore
Language: Chinese, English, Malay, and Tamil
Ethnic Groups: Chinese (77%); Malay (14%); Indian (8%)
Defense (1998): 53,900 total active armed forces (221,000 reservists).
Army: 45,000 personnel (210,000 reservists); Navy: 2,900 personnel (3,600
reservists); Air Force: 6,000 personnel (7,500 reservists)
Currency: Singapore dollar
Exchange Rate (11/26/02): 1.77 Singapore dollars = 1 U.S Dollar
Real GDP Growth Rate (2001E): -1.9% (2002E): 2.2%
Inflation Rate (consumer prices) (2001E): 1.0% (2002E): 0.1%
Current Account Balance (2002E): $17.8 billion
Merchandise Trade Balance (2002E): $13.4 billion
Major Exports: Machinery, petroleum and petroleum products,
chemicals, telecommunications equipment, computer equipment, food and
live animals, crude rubber, beverages, tobacco, clothing.
Major Imports: Machinery and transportation equipment, petroleum
and petroleum products, crude materials, foodstuffs, tobacco, textiles,
iron and steel, aircraft.
Top Trading Partners: Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand,
Total External Debt (2002E): None.
Oil Consumption (2002E): 722,000 barrels per day (bbl/d) (all
Crude Oil Refining Capacity (1/1/02E): 1.3 million bbl/d
Natural Gas Consumption (2000E): 53 billion cubic feet (Bcf) (all
Electric Generation Capacity (1/1/00E): 6.7 gigawatts (all thermal)
Electricity Generation (2000E): 27.9 billion kilowatt hours
Minister of the Environment: Lim Siew Say
Total Energy Consumption (2000E): 1.7 quadrillion Btu* (0.5%
of world total energy consumption)
Energy-Related Carbon Emissions (2000E): 31.6 million metric tons
of carbon (0.5% of world carbon emissions)
Per Capita Energy Consumption (2000E): 419.1 million Btu (vs.
U.S. value of 351.0 million Btu)
Per Capita Carbon Emissions (2000E): 7.9 metric tons of carbon
(vs. U.S. value of 5.6 metric tons of carbon)
Energy Intensity (2000E): 14,853 Btu/$1995 (vs U.S. value of 10,918
Carbon Intensity (2000E): 0.28 metric tons of carbon/thousand
$1995 (vs U.S. value of 0.17 metric tons/thousand $1995)**
Sectoral Share of Energy Consumption (1998E): Transportation (61.2%),
Industrial (30.8%), Commercial (4.8%), Residential (3.2%)
Sectoral Share of Carbon Emissions (1998E): Industrial (58.3%),
Transportation (26.5%), Commercial (9.1%), Residential (6.1%)
Fuel Share of Energy Consumption (2000E): Oil (96.7%), Natural
Gas (3.3%), Coal (0.0%)
Fuel Share of Carbon Emissions (2000E): Oil (97.5%), Natural Gas
(2.5%), Coal (0.0%)
Renewable Energy Consumption (1998E): 2.9 trillion Btu* (60% decrease
Number of People per Motor Vehicle (1998): 6 (vs. U.S. value of
Status in Climate Change Negotiations: Non-Annex I country under
the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (ratified May
29th, 1997). Not a signatory to the Kyoto Protocol.
Major Environmental Issues: Industrial pollution; limited natural
fresh water resources; limited land availability presents waste disposal
problems; seasonal smoke/haze resulting from forest fires in Indonesia.
Major International Environmental Agreements: A party to Conventions
on Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes,
Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection and Ship Pollution.
* The total energy consumption statistic includes
petroleum, dry natural gas, coal, net hydro, nuclear, geothermal, solar,
wind, wood and waste electric power. The renewable energy consumption
statistic is based on International Energy Agency (IEA) data and includes
hydropower, solar, wind, tide, geothermal, solid biomass and animal
products, biomass gas and liquids, industrial and municipal wastes.
Sectoral shares of energy consumption and carbon emissions are also
based on IEA data.
**GDP based on EIA International Energy Annual 2000
State Energy Companies: Singapore National Oil Company; Singapore
Petroleum Company; Singapore Power Company; PowerSeraya; PowerSenoko;
Tuas Power; PowerGas
Major Refineries (1/1/02 Capacity): Esso Singapore Pty. Ltd. (265,000
bbl/d); Mobil Oil Singapore Pty. Ltd. (300,000 bbl/d); Shell Eastern
Petroleum (Pte.) Ltd. (405,000 bbl/d) Singapore Refining Co. Ltd. (285,000
bbl/d). Major Ports: Singapore
For more information from EIA on Singapore, please see:
EIA - Country
Information on Singapore
Links to other U.S. government sites:
U.S. State Department
Background Notes - Singapore
U.S. State Department Consular
Information Sheet - Singapore
Factbook - Singapore
of Energy - Office of Fossil Energy - Singapore
U.S. Embassy in Singapore
The following links are provided solely as a service to our customers,
and therefore should not be construed as advocating or reflecting any
position of the Energy Information Administration (EIA) or the United
States Government. In addition, EIA does not guarantee the content or
accuracy of any information presented in linked sites.
Singapore Department of Statistics
Singapore Power Company
Singapore - Energy Market
to Singapore's Government ministries
State of Hawaii -
Country Trade Profile for Singapore
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File last modified: November 27, 2002