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Start of Enhancement Works for the New Tropical Montane Orchidetum at National Orchid Garden to Showcase Greater Variety of Orchid Exhibits

June 30, 2017

- Refreshed orchid exhibits at the Tropical Montane Orchidetum comprising The Sembcorp Cool House, Tan Hoon Siang Mist House, Yuen Peng McNeice Bromeliad House, and Secret Ravine to be ready in 2019

The National Parks Board (NParks) today announced the start of enhancement works for the National Orchid Garden, located within the Singapore Botanic Gardens. The enhancements will focus on the new Tropical Montane Orchidetum, comprising The Sembcorp Cool House, Tan Hoon Siang Mist House and Yuen Peng McNeice Bromeliad House, all of which will be connected by the Secret Ravine. The consolidation of the Cool House, Bromeliad House and Mist House into one curated attraction will increase the combined display area by three times. The enhancement of the 22-year-old National Orchid Garden will strengthen the Singapore Botanic Gardens’ role in orchid conservation, breeding and research, while cultivating in visitors a greater appreciation for orchids. The enhancements are targeted to complete in 2019 and the cost of these works will be partially borne by contributions from the community. These contributions include a S$10 million donation by Sembcorp Industries, made in line with the company’s longstanding commitment to give back to its communities. This is the largest single donation to the Garden City Fund to date, and will go towards the upgrading of The Sembcorp Cool House.

Minister for National Development and Second Minister for Finance Lawrence Wong officiated a ceremony this evening to mark the start of works at the Orchid Garden, together with Mr Ang Kong Hua, Chairman of Sembcorp Industries. The ceremony also kick-started festivities for the annual Singapore Botanic Gardens Heritage Festival, which will run from 30 June to 9 July 2017.

New Tropical Montane Orchidetum at National Orchid Garden to be completed by 2019

When the enhancement works are completed in 2019, the National Orchid Garden will welcome visitors to the new Tropical Montane Orchidetum showcasing the most diversity of orchids ranging from those found in the rich mid to high-elevation montane forest, in a single location in Singapore. A new Secret Ravine will take visitors seamlessly from the mid forest zones of the Yuen Peng McNeice Bromeliad House, to the tropical garden in the Tan Hoon Siang Mist House, continuously into the cool, tropical upper montane atmosphere of The Sembcorp Cool House. The Tropical Montane Orchidetum will also be home to the Singapore Botanic Gardens’ hybrids, which can only be seen in the Gardens.

The Sembcorp Cool House will showcase rare orchids at higher elevations

The Sembcorp Cool House will be installed with optimal system designs that meet energy efficiency and sustainability requirements. This will also provide more opportunities to grow and bring to flower rare orchids found naturally at higher elevations while paving the way for greater conservation possibilities. In addition, there will be a four-fold increase in the plant display area in The Sembcorp Cool House, to allow visitors intimate access to the orchids and other plants located at the higher levels.

Chairman of Garden City Fund Professor Leo Tan said, “We are pleased that individuals and corporate partners such as Sembcorp have rendered such great support for the National Orchid Garden enhancement programme. The enhanced Orchid Garden will exhibit a greater variety of orchids for visitors to appreciate, as well as offer more conservation and research opportunities. In addition, visitors will be able to learn how the Singapore Botanic Gardens’ efforts in orchid research is part of its rich heritage which has been sustained to this day. We hope that Sembcorp’s support will inspire more organisations and individuals to play a role in the living legacy of the Gardens.”

Mr Ang Kong Hua, Chairman, Sembcorp Industries said, “As a home-grown company, Sembcorp hopes that our contribution will help to further enhance our country’s natural heritage for everyone to enjoy, and also add value to the Singapore Botanic Gardens’ standing as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.”

“This is just one of several projects we at Sembcorp have been working with NParks, in line with our longstanding commitment to give back to communities where we operate. Past initiatives include the establishment of the Sembcorp Forest of Giants, a living gallery of endangered giant tree species at the Southern Ridges, as well as the Festival of Biodiversity, which promoted environmental education and conservation in our community.”

Community support for the National Orchid Garden

Apart from Sembcorp’s contribution towards The Sembcorp Cool House, global paints and coatings company, AkzoNobel, has also just completed a 5-month effort to refresh Burkill Hall in order to return it to its original identity as an Anglo-Malayan Plantation Style House.

Newly completed orchid theme displays in the interim period

To ensure that visitor experience is not compromised while works are taking place, NParks has curated new orchid-themed displays, namely the Mist Garden, Silver Arches, Orchid Safari, Orchid Checkerboard, and the Enchanted Garden, which features inter-generic hybrids, such as the Vanda Sunlight x Paraphalaenopsis denevei. In addition, visitors will be able to see 30 more warm-growing orchid varieties that were previously not exhibited in the Orchid Garden. These displays will debut at the Singapore Botanic Gardens Heritage Festival, when Singapore citizens, Permanent Residents and Work Permit holders can enjoy free entry to the Orchid Garden.

Singapore Botanic Gardens Heritage Festival runs from 30 June to 9 July

With activities and programmes spread across the Gardens, highlights of the annual Singapore Botanic Gardens Heritage Festival include a carnival with stalls selling plants, games and food, concerts at the Bandstand and Shaw Foundation Symphony Stage, as well as tours around the Gardens. Cafes and restaurants in the Gardens will also be rolling out promotional menus and organising live demonstrations in celebration of the Gardens’ rich heritage.

- END -

For media enquiries, please contact:

Cassandra Lew (Ms)
Senior Communications Manager
National Parks Board
DID: 6471 7909
Mobile: 9823 5156
Email: [email protected]

Archanaa N. Raja (Ms)
Manager, Group Corporate Relations
Sembcorp Industries
DID: 6723 3186
Mobile: 9066 7432
Email: [email protected]

About Singapore Botanic Gardens

Established in 1859, the Singapore Botanic Gardens played an important historical role in the introduction and promotion of many plants of economic value to Southeast Asia, including the Para rubber tree. Over the years, the Gardens has continued to introduce and rejuvenate its horticultural attractions while continuing its mission of connecting plants and people.

Today, the 82-hectare Gardens is a key civic and community space, and an international tourist destination. Attracting an annual visitorship of more than 4.5 million, it is also an important institution for tropical botanical and horticultural research, education and conservation.

The Gardens showcases the best and most spectacular of tropical flora, including more than 10,000 types of plants and the region’s most significant living collection of documented palms, orchids, cycads and gingers. Its historic 19th century garden landscape is well preserved and includes the earliest ornamental designed lake in Singapore. Home to numerous heritage trees and a tract of primary rainforest, the Gardens is less than a 10-minute walk from the shopping belt in Orchard Road. The Gardens was inscribed as Singapore’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2015.

The Gardens was ranked the number one park in Asia in TripAdvisor’s Travellers' Choice Awards for attractions in 2014. In 2012, it clinched the inaugural Garden of the Year Award by the Canadian Garden Tourism Council. In 2008, it was awarded the Michelin three-star rating and selected by Time Magazine as Asia’s Best Urban Jungle.

The Singapore Botanic Gardens is managed by the National Parks Board. For more information, visit www.sbg.org.sg and www.facebook.com/singaporebotanicgardens.

About National Parks Board (NParks)

National Parks Board (NParks) is responsible for providing and enhancing the greenery of our City in a Garden. Beyond building green infrastructure, NParks is actively engaging the community to enhance the quality of our living environment.

NParks manages 350 parks and 300 km of park connectors, 3,347 hectares of nature reserves and the Singapore Botanic Gardens. We also manage Pulau Ubin and the Sisters' Islands Marine Park. Adding to this is the extensive streetscape, or roadside greenery, that forms the backbone of our City in a Garden. The island-wide Park Connector Network is also being developed to link major parks, nature areas and residential estates.

As the lead agency on biodiversity conservation, NParks has developed an urban biodiversity conservation model, which aims to conserve representative eco-systems in land-scarce Singapore. NParks also monitors and coordinates measures to enhance the presence of biodiversity in our urban landscape.

NParks is working closely with partners in the landscape and horticulture industry to increase productivity, and provide training for all levels of the workforce. Enhancing competencies of the industry will support Singapore’s vision of being a City in a Garden.

For more information, visit www.nparks.gov.sg and www.facebook.com/nparksbuzz

About Sembcorp Industries

Sembcorp Industries is a leading energy, water and marine group operating across five continents worldwide. With facilities of about 11,000 megawatts of gross power capacity and close to nine million cubic metres of water per day in operation and under development, Sembcorp is a trusted provider of essential energy and water solutions to both industrial and municipal customers. It is also a world leader in marine and offshore engineering, as well as an established brand name in urban development.

The Group has total assets of over S$22 billion and employs 8,000 employees. Listed on the main board of the Singapore Exchange, it is a component stock of the Straits Times Index and several MSCI and FTSE indices.