Singapore digest news (24.10-29.10)

Photo by Anna Smirnova

Malaysia's king tours Singapore's NEWater Visitor Centre

Malaysia’s King Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah toured Singapore's NEWater Visitor Centre on Thursday (Oct 27), the last day of his state visit.

The king, who arrived in Singapore on Tuesday at the invitation of President Halimah Yacob, was welcomed by Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu at NEWater's first plant in Singapore. In her welcome remarks, Ms Fu noted Singapore and Malaysia's long history of water cooperation.

"Our officers at our respective waterworks and water agencies work closely with one another and have done so for many years. Their strong personal friendships have enabled us to weather common challenges together," said Ms Fu.

Singapore and Malaysia signed two water agreements in 1961 and 1962. The first expired in August 2011 and the second agreement will expire in 2061. Under the second agreement, Singapore may draw and use 250 million gallons of raw water per day from the Johor River. In return, Singapore is obliged to provide Johor with treated water up to 2 per cent of the water imported.


Orchard Road Christmas light-up starts from Nov 12, Great Christmas Village is coming back

It’s that time of the year again when we wonder where has the time gone! As we see Christmas decorations going up at Orchard Road at the end of October. It's also the first year that festivities on Orchard Road can be enjoyed by locals and tourists alike, with full-scale programming, since the onset of the pandemic.

And what a programme it is. From Nov 12 to Jan 2, Orchard Road is set to transform into a Christmas wonderland with glistening light displays, immersive attractions, musical entertainment and a variety of pop-up events. The festive lights start at Tanglin Road with a teal and white welcome arch, featuring Ferris wheels and stars – offering the first glimpse of the carnival spirit along the 3.1km of lights going all the way to Plaza Singapura.

A new feature this year is the lighting up of 104 trees with energy-saving LED white lights. These same lights will later take on pink hues when Orchard Road ushers in Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day in 2023.

New additions to the Christmas Village include an all-white carousel, a licensed character Inflatable Bouncer and other rides such as the Samba Balloon, Red Swing, Pirate Ship, Trackless Train and Teacups to entertain the whole family.


Singapore, Malaysia can transfer double the amount of electricity to each other after upgrade of interconnectors

Singapore and Malaysia can now transfer double the amount of electricity to each other following the upgrading of the electricity interconnectors between both countries, Second Minister for Trade and Industry Tan See Leng said on Wednesday (Oct 26).

The new interconnectors can now accommodate bidirectional electricity flows of about 1,000 megawatts between the two countries. The interconnector is also being used to import power from Laos under the Laos-Thailand-Malaysia-Singapore Power Integration Project, which began in June this year.

Electricity interconnectors are high-voltage cables that connect the electricity systems of neighbouring countries so that excess power from wind and solar farms, for instance, can be shared and traded.


Singapore strives to develop a hydrogen economy by 2050 – here’s what it will look like

Governments and businesses are betting that hydrogen will be the fuel of a carbon-free world. Singapore is already doing what it does best to move the needle – collaborating with regional neighbours and funding research, says Christian Bruch, CEO of Siemens Energy.

More are placing their bets on this clean fuel in achieving a carbon-free world. On Tuesday (Oct 25), Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong announced Singapore will raise its climate target to reach net-zero by 2050 and identified low-carbon hydrogen as an increasingly promising solution to this end. He said that if technology continues to advance, hydrogen could supply up to half of Singapore’s power needs by 2050.

Hydrogen, when produced with renewable energy such as solar and wind, doesn't create any harmful emissions. The fuel is light and storable, and when used in a fuel cell, its only by-product is water.


Inaugural Global Agri-food Scientific Symposium kicks off

Top scientists around the world are gathering to brainstorm ideas, solutions and technologies that can help pave the way for more efficient and sustainable urban farming, as well as to discuss new trends in future foods.

Organised by the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) and NTU Singapore, in partnership with Good Food Institute APAC and supported by the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), the inaugural Global Agri-food Scientific Symposium saw delegates from both local and international research organisations, academic institutions and industry players.

The symposium, which has a dual theme of “Resilient and Sustainable Urban Food Systems” and “Transformation of Future Food System”, was graced by Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Sustainability and The Environment and Manpower, Dr Koh Poh Koon.

As part of the Singapore International Agri-food Week 2022, the symposium held at the Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre on 27 October 2022, showcases cutting-edge research innovations for urban cities and serves as a knowledge sharing platform for researchers to foster deeper research and development partnerships, develop innovation capabilities, and build transformational market solutions.