Sungei Kadut will pioneer the future of manufacturing in Singapore: Chan Chun Sing

Sungei Kadut will pioneer the future of manufacturing in Singapore: Chan Chun Sing

Sungei Kadut is set for a multimillion-dollar facelift that will see the area transformed into an eco-district that embodies the concept of live, work and play, based on a 30-year plan to enliven one of Singapore’s oldest industrial estates.

Announcing the plans on Thursday morning, Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing said Sungei Kadut Eco-District will anchor new growth industries, such as agri-tech and environmental tech.

For example, a new 18 hectare (ha) Agri-Food Innovation Park will be home to companies and research and development (R&D) centres, as well as high-tech production segments such as indoor farming, aquaculture hatcheries and alternative protein manufacturers.

“This will bring in higher value, knowledge-based jobs for Singaporeans such as systems engineers, plant scientists and aquaculture nutritionists,” Mr Chan said.

To ensure Sungei Kadut remains ready to capture new opportunities, 200 ha of land have been reserved for new industries and uses, he added.

Mr Chan also outlined plans to transform Sungei Kadut for community use beyond office hours. In the weekends and evenings, it would turn into a place for residents and the public to relax, with farmers’ markets and farm-to-fork restaurants, he said.

In the meantime, existing industries – which include timber, construction, furniture and waste management – will be moved into JTC Corporation’s specialised buildings in a bid to reduce business costs and optimise resources, JTC said in a statement.

While the revamp will take up to 30 years to complete, the first phase is already well underway, starting last year with the relocation of furniture and related industries into JTC’s S$121 million Trendspace.

Later this year, timber, metal and machinery industries will move into a S$286 million facility called TimMac, while waste management and recycling firms are set to shift next year into Kranji Green, which costs S$242 million to build.

Some companies that have been in the industrial estate for some 30 to 40 years say having to move into a new facility creates a good opportunity for them to digitally transform their businesses.

One such company is wood processing firm LHT Holdings. Its chief executive May Yap said the company has begun retrofitting old machines with sensors and automating some of its processes, as it looks into ways to transform the timber business to keep up with Industry 4.0.