Singapore sets up standby generators amid power turmoil

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Singapore is setting up standby fuel facilities for power generation companies to draw upon should gas supplies be affected, announced the country's Energy Market Authority (EMA) yesterday.

The authorities will direct generation companies to generate electricity using fuel from the standby facilities if necessary, to maintain system stability, said EMA, which has also informed companies to contract sufficient fuel to meet the retail demand. It declined to say which fuels would be used, citing citing "energy security sensitivities".

Describing these measures as pre-emptive and extraordinary, the EMA said they are necessary to secure fuel and electricity supply and that it will review the measures again by 31 March 2022.

These measures come as soaring gas prices globally have forced the exit of several electric retailers in the city-state, which relies predominantly on natural gas for electricity generation. The supply of natural gas is at higher risk of disruptions, said the EMA, as there are upstream production issues in Indonesia's gas field in the Greater Sarawak basin, which is likely to last until the end of this year

EMA said Singapore's overall gas supplies remain sufficient, but it is working to further secure fuel and electricity supply. Aside from the standby fuel facilities, the EMA has also informed power generation companies that they have to provide other power companies and EMA the first right of refusal before they sell any excess gas supplies to other companies.

EMA is working with the companies to track their fuel supply levels and generating capacity, and it will provide the standby fuel to them if gas supplies are affected.

EMA did not specify the type of fuels that would be used for the standby fuel facilities. Singapore uses a very small amount of petroleum products for power generation. Petroleum products, consisting mainly of fuel oil or gasoil, comprise about 0.36pc of the fuel mix used for electricity generation in 2020. The share of oil products in the electricity generation mix has fallen over the last decade, dropping below 1pc from 2014 onwards compared to about 20pc in 2010.

About 95.8pc of electricity is generated from imported natural gas, the latest available data from EMA show. Other products used for electricity generation include coal, solar energy, municipal waste and biomass.


By Cara Wong

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