Environmental

To responsibly manage and reduce our impact on the environment as well as to effectively manage environmental risks to our operations

Highlights:

Growing our Renewable Energy and Energy-from-Waste Business

 

We are committed in our focus to grow our renewable energy and energy-from-waste portfolio. We made good progress in Asia on this front in 2016. Our total renewable energy and energy-from-waste capacity (including capacity under joint ventures and associates) increased by 17% to 1,807 megawatts. Our renewable power capacity in operation and under construction stands at 745 megawatts in China and 971 megawatts in India. We embarked on our first Singapore solar project, a 49%-owned rooftop solar photovoltaic system. With distributed solar energy likely to play a greater role in future energy solutions, this investment reflects the company’s commitment to providing diverse and innovative solutions to our customers.

Climate Change

As an energy player, our power generation activities release greenhouse gas emissions that impact the climate. Events and actions by governments in response to climate change pose potential regulatory, physical and supply risks to our businesses. The Paris Agreement on climate change has been ratified by countries representing over 80% of global greenhouse gas emissions. However, as a provider of energy and water solutions, we recognise that we are also uniquely positioned to leverage opportunities that have arisen from climate change developments. From renewable energy to environmentally-friendly total water and wastewater solutions, we are actively investing in green business lines.

 

Local Environmental Protection

As a result of the products and services we provide, our operations have varying direct and indirect impacts on the environment. These include the release of NOX, SOX and particulate matter, as well as the discharge of effluent and the disposal of waste. Improper or non-compliant emission, discharge or disposal not only result in harm to the environment, but also threaten the long-term viability of our business, and go against our Statement of Commitment to Environmental Protection.

 

Energy and Water Efficiency

Achieving optimal energy and water efficiency is a business driver for us. Maximising our efficiency and optimising our operations reduces our consumption of natural resources while enhancing our returns. In the face of rising energy costs and water scarcity, energy and water efficiency are becoming increasingly critical to ensure the long-term sustainability of our business.

Climate Change

We are committed to managing the impact of our businesses on climate and the environment in a responsible manner. At the same time, we believe that our businesses, including our power generation business, support economic development and enhance the standard of living for communities. To mitigate potential regulatory, physical and supply risks, we are aligned with and support climate change positions set out by governments in their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions in countries where we have significant energy operations. We also review the potential impact of climate change on our facilities at project due diligence stage, to inform the design and construction of our assets and ensure we have the appropriate safeguards. We keep abreast of developments pertinent to climate change through participation on platforms such as Singapore’s National Climate Change Network. We believe we are well-positioned to manage climate change risks and opportunities through:

i) Growing our renewable energy business as part of a balanced portfolio

We maintain a diversified energy generation portfolio of thermal and renewable energy assets comprising facilities fuelled by gas, coal, wind, solar, energy-from-waste and biomass. We believe that thermal energy continues to be relevant. In addition to gas, we believe that coal, an affordable and abundant fuel, will continue to play an important role in the fuel mix in rapidly developing economies. However, cleaner and higher-efficiency coal technologies will become increasingly important in meeting pressing needs for both electrification and lower emissions. On the other hand, significant focus has been placed on expanding our renewable and low-carbon energy portfolio. We strengthened our specialist renewable energy teams at our corporate office as well as in China and India in 2015 to actively pursue renewable assets via acquisitions and organic growth. In 2016, our total renewable and low-carbon portfolio grew from 1,546 megawatts to 1,807 megawatts. Currently, we have renewable wind and solar power assets in Singapore, China and India, and both biomass and energy-from-waste operations in Singapore and the UK.

ii) Building and maintaining energy-efficient power and water facilities
Sembcorp builds energy-efficient facilities. These include assets utilising supercritical coal-fired technology, combined cycle gas turbines and combined power and desalination technologies.

In addition, we incorporate energy efficiency considerations across the design, operation and maintenance phases of our facilities to further reduce our indirect carbon emissions. We utilise data and predictive analytics to improve plant efficiency and performance in our operations.

 

Local Environmental Protection

Sembcorp’s Statement of Commitment to Environmental Protection and Environmental Protection Management Guidelines set out our principles and practices in the area of environmental protection. We aim to comply fully with all regulations and requirements, and consume resources prudently, focusing on reduction at source. We assess the impact of environmental risks and apply appropriate control measures to manage them. We apply stringent controls in the management of waste generated by our operations, strive at all times to adhere to discharge and emission limits set by local authorities and implement containment measures to minimise any direct impact to the environment and the surrounding community. As a wastewater treatment service provider, our capabilities in treating multiple streams of industrial wastewater from our customers allow us to meet effluent discharge standards. We also have a comprehensive water sampling and testing regime that helps us ensure compliance with such standards.

We aim to minimise impacts through prevention, reduction, reuse and recycling, and seek innovative ways to adopt a circular economy approach to waste. We actively develop capabilities to recover energy from waste. For example, at our Sembcorp Woodchip Boiler Plant in Singapore, woodchips processed from waste wood collected by our solid waste management operations are used to produce economical renewable steam. Also, treated effluent from our wastewater treatment facilities is further treated to produce demineralised water at our water reclamation facilities. We do not draw groundwater for power generation, but rely on seawater to meet the water needs of our power plants. In addition, our design and construction business utilises fly ash, a by-product of coal combustion in power plants, as a material for blended cement, mosaic tiles and hollow blocks.

We conduct environmental assessments in accordance with national and / or international standards and methodologies. These include environmental and social impact assessments, environmental baseline studies and pollution control studies. Recommendations from the assessments form part of our management of HSE risks and these recommendations are incorporated into the planning, designing, construction and commissioning of new plants.

 

Energy and Water Efficiency

Where viable, we invest in the latest technologies and utilise our capabilities as an industry leader to achieve better energy and water efficiency, including the reduction of water consumption through water reuse. Energy and water efficiency parameters are embedded in our plant operation management systems, and are monitored daily. These parameters are reported to management on a monthly basis where deviation and performance gaps are reviewed, and improvement plans are discussed for implementation. Our Group Technology department collaborates with academic and research institutions, technology suppliers and end users to develop innovative solutions and continuously improve our processes, ensuring the optimal performance of our facilities. We also utilise the Sembcorp Global Asset Management System, a data and predictive analytics tool, to help us optimise our operations and improve efficiency.

 

 

Water availability

We leverage Sembcorp’s total water management capabilities for better efficiency and resource conservation for our own operations as well as our customers. By integrating wastewater treatment, water reclamation and water supply into a “closed loop”, we aim to minimise liquid discharge, reducing environmental impact while conserving water resources.

 

Our energy-efficient large-scale integrated power and desalination plants use multi-stage flash distillation and reverse osmosis to provide high-quality water to industries and households in water-scarce areas such as Oman and the UAE. In some of our power plants, we employ closed-loop cooling water systems to further minimise water drawn from the ocean.

Our energy and water efficiency efforts also apply to our office and administrative buildings, and we actively seek to reduce our consumption of energy and water through responsible use and equipment upgrades.

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