Updated: 09/03/2014 02:18

Jurong rock caverns shows determination to develop petrochem industry in Singapore despite land constraints

Jurong rock caverns (© Photo: Gwendolyn Goh)

Jurong rock caverns (Photo: Gwendolyn Goh)

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong says the Jurong Rock Caverns shows Singapore's determination at developing a petrochemical industry. 

This is despite land constraints and the potential impact of a United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change agreement on carbon emissions. 

Speaking at the opening of the $950 million caverns on Jurong Island, he said the petrochemical industry provides good jobs for Singaporeans and contributes significantly to the economy. 

The chemicals industry comprise a third of Singapore's manufacturing output. 

Mr Lee also said that the expertise and confidence gained by JTC Corp from the project has opened up further possibilities. 

He said JTC is exploring building an underground science city as well as an underground warehousing and logistics facility. 

It's also looking at potential underground caverns near CleanTech Park. 

The Jurong Rock Caverns sits 150 metres beneath Jurong Island. 

It frees up some 60 hectares of land above-ground, which can be used for higher value-added activities. 

That's enough space to house six petrochemical plants. 

The caverns, which is the first of its kind in Southeast Asia, will be used to store oil products. 

Its first customer is Jurong Aromatics, which has leased two of the five caverns. 

The caverns has a storage capacity equivalent to six hundred Olympic-sized swimming pools.

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