Committee proposes new waterfront city, nuclear energy

The Economic Strategies Committee (ESC) on Monday gave extensive recommendations to ensure energy sustainability and the full optimisation of Singapore’s land space, given the island-state’s limited resources.

Among the plans is a new waterfront city at Tanjong Pagar, currently a port area comprising Keppel and Pulau Brani. The current port lease in the area expires in 2027.

The land area is similar in size to Marina Bay and the committee believes it can potentially allow for a substantial expansion of the business district, integrated with waterfront housing, hotels and other lifestyle attractions.

The committee said there is also a need for an underground master plan. It said the government should catalyse the development of underground space over the next decade.

The committee also emphasized a need to develop subterranean land rights, a valuation framework and to establish a national geology office.

Besides land constraints, Singapore also faces energy resource constraints. The committee suggested that Singapore study the feasibility of using nuclear energy in the long term, an idea which Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in 2008 said he “hasn’t ruled out”.

The ESC said the option could help meet base load electricity demand as well as Singapore’s energy security in the long run.

In the medium term, the committee suggested Singapore should explore coal and electricity imports to diversify its energy sources. Importing energy will also free up valuable land in the country.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 1 Feb 2010

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