Singapore plans to secure more liquefied natural gas (LNG) for its electricity needs and develop the country as a trading centre for the fuel.
Minister in the Prime Minister's Office and Second Minister for Trade and Industry S. Iswaran announced on Wednesday that the Government will issue a request for proposals (RFP) for the next tranche of LNG imports next year.
About 90 per cent of Singapore's electricity is generated by natural gas now, with the bulk of it piped in from Malaysia and Indonesia under long-term contracts. Fuel oil and other sources such as waste and renewable energy make up the remaining 10 per cent.
Earlier this year, Singapore's first LNG terminal - on Jurong Island - started operations, allowing it to import the gas in liquefied form, as part of plans to diversify its fuel sources for energy security.
The terminal's capacity will expand to nine million tonnes of LNG per year by 2016, from 3.5 million tonnes now. The LNG supply can help meet Singapore's power needs if the piped gas contracts with its neighbours are not renewed.
The Energy Market Authority (EMA) said last year that Singapore imports almost seven million tonnes of piped gas per year from its two neighbours.
In 2008, the Government awarded a franchise to British natural gas company BG Group to import LNG for use in Singapore. The exclusive franchise is for up to three million tonnes of LNG per year or until 2023, whichever is earlier. If BG supplies the maximum three million tonnes a year, the Government can appoint another LNG supplier.