Construction demand expected to remain strong in 2013

Singapore’s construction demand is expected to remain strong in 2013, fuelled by public sector projects.

The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) is projecting a construction demand of between S$26 billion and S$32 billion for 2013.

This comes after the industry reported S$28 billion worth of contracts awarded in 2012.

BCA said the public sector will contribute to 53 per cent of the industry demand this year, due to the ramp up of public housing and rail construction project such as the Thomson MRT Line.

Other than public housing projects, other major public sector projects likely to be awarded this year include the Energy Market Authority’s fourth storage tank for liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal at Jurong Island and the Land Transport Authority’s expansion of the Kallang Paya Lebar Expressway (KPE)/Tampines Expressway (TPE) Interchange.

Meanwhile, private sector construction demand is expected to moderate to between S$12 billion and S$15 billion in 2013, in light of slower domestic economic growth.

In particular, private residential construction demand is projected to continue to soften, coupled with the significant supply of completed housing units over the next few years.

For 2014 and 2015, BCA is projecting contracts worth between S$20 billion and S$28 billion to be awarded annually.

The construction industry has highlighted a manpower crunch as a key concern, but the government has urged the sector to look into improving productivity and building up the local talent pipeline.

Lee Yi Shyan, Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry & National Development, said: “The reality is that we cannot continue to rely on an infinite supply of foreign workers. On the demand side, infrastructural capacity and social constraints would require us to moderate foreign workforce intake.

“On the supply side, we will face increasing manpower supply constraints as the economies of our source countries such as China and India develop. ”

Mr Lee was speaking at the Built Environment and Property Prospects 2013 seminar organised by BCA and the Real Estate Developers Association of Singapore (REDAS).

To build up the local talent pool, BCA is launching new manpower development programmes. These include scholarships for ITE students and sponsorship for full-time local undergraduates taking relevant degree courses.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 16 Jan 2013

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