SINGAPORE - A new $2 million research and development (R&D) centre in Kranji launched on Friday by construction and road works firm Ley Choon Group is studying ways to increase the proportion of recycled asphalt and other aggregates used in our roads.
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Here is the speech by Minister of State for Trade and Industry Teo Ser Luck who spoke at the launch of the centre:
It is my pleasure to be here with you at the opening of Ley Choon Group's second asphalt recycling plant, the largest of its kind in Singapore.
Importance of industrial recycling
Industrial recycling is rapidly gaining traction in Singapore, especially for the resource- and materials-intensive construction industry. This has two important benefits.
First, as a small country, Singapore's domestic supply of construction materials is limited. We are heavily reliant on imports. Recycling can help to alleviate this reliance to some extent, and the resulting diversification of supply is beneficial for businesses.
Second, Singapore has limited landfill space for construction waste. Recycling helps to reduce the amount of construction waste that needs to be disposed of, and therefore the amount of landfill space required.
Ley Choon Group is a one-stop underground utilities infrastructure service provider, whose core businesses include construction materials and the pipes and roads segments.
Asphalt recycling is a key component of the construction materials business, as it contributes to the group's asphalt premix production capacity required to support the construction and maintenance of roads.
Ley Choon Group's new asphalt recycling plant will increase the company's asphalt recycling capacity and also strengthen its leadership position in the industry.
I have been informed by Ley Choon Group's CEO, Mr Toh Choo Huat, that the new plant is Singapore's largest asphalt recycling plant and uses advanced technology which can achieve a recycling rate of up to 70 per cent, far in advance of current industry norms of around 30 per cent.
Apart from having a higher recycling rate, the new plant has also helped the group achieve substantial productivity gains. It more than triples the group's total asphalt production capacity from 175 to 575 tonnes per hour. 12 staff are required to operate the centre at the increased production capacity, compared with 8 at the lower production capacity.
This represents an increase of 118 per cent in manpower productivity. The improvement has been achieved through technologies such as pneumatic tube systems and remote process monitoring.
Ley Choon's achievement is an excellent example of how local SMEs can improve productivity and create good jobs through innovation. A large part of the Ley Choon's success has come from its continued commitment to investment in R&D and innovation.
I am heartened to learn that the company is not resting on its laurels, and has set up a new $2 million R&D centre. This centre will focus on developing new asphalt formulate, to further increase the company's recycling rate and also to improve its overall asphalt quality.
I am also glad to note that the new R&D centre has created good jobs, as it employs 9 PMET staff for positions such as researchers, engineers and laboratory technicians.
Once again, my heartiest congratulations to the Ley Choon Group on your milestone event today. I strongly encourage more companies to follow your example, and look forward to your continued growth and success. Thank you.