Utilities of Singapore



Singapore has few natural resources of its own – about 80 per cent of electricity is generated from natural gas from Malaysia and Indonesia, while oil provides 16.9 per cent, and other sources make up the remainder (2011). Singapore Power took over the electricity and gas capacity of the previous state provider, the Public Utilities Board. The Energy Market Authority (EMA) was formed to ensure a reliable and secure energy supply and promote effective competition in the electricity and gas industries. Since formation, the EMA’s mandate has been broadened to oversee the further development of a sustainable energy market. Generation companies bid to sell electricity every half hour at the National Electricity Market of Singapore. There are 11 generation licensees in the electricity market (2010) and there are six licensed electricity retailers, of which five actively compete to sell electricity to consumers. About 75 per cent of the total electricity demand has been opened to competition (2010).



Singapore’s public–private partnerships are most populous in the water sector. Water is a precious commodity and a security issue in Singapore due to the lack of land on which to store rainfall. The state-run Public Utilities Board (PUB) currently manages the water cycle. The flagship PPPs in this sector are the two Tuas desalination plants. The first was awarded to SingSpring on a design–build–own–operate (DBOO) basis in 2003. It is designed to supply 136,000 cubic metres (30 million gallons) of water per day from 2005–25. It was officially opened in 2005. Use of a private partner allowed PUB to purchase cheaper desalination technology. The second Tuas Desalination Plant was again awarded to Tuas Spring in 2011, also using a DBOO model. Other completed DBOOs augmented by PUB are the Ulu Pandan NEWater Plant and Changi NEWater Plant, opened in 2004 and 2010, respectively. The country has an excellent sewage system and all water is treated.

When it comes to waste, the National Environment Agency has also set up a DBOO model public–private partnership for an incineration plant. Keppel Seghers Engineering Singapore is the private partner for the plant, which opened in 2009.



Singapore has an advanced telecommunications infrastructure. The major provider of phone services is SingTel, which is majority owned by Temasek Holdings, the investment arm of the Singapore Government. The other prominent players are StarHub, which provides fixed line services, and Mobile One (M1), which provides Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) and code division multiple access networks. Virgin Mobile of the UK also provides mobile telephone services. There are four major internet service providers, namely SingNet, StarHub Internet, Pacific Internet and M1. The regulatory body for telecoms is the Telecommunication Authority of Singapore.

Some 98 per cent of households have TV sets (2006). There are 760 personal computers per 1,000 people (2007).