Energy in Singapore

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Energy in Singapore describes energy related issues in Singapore, which is a developed country located in eastern Asia. Energy imports to other are about three times the primary energy supplied in the country itself. Additionally, oil exports in relation to the population demands of the country itself are concerningly high.

The world's largest palm oil company, Wilmar International, is based in Singapore, due to vast amount of forestation available for harvesting many products that rely on palm oil. A Finnish company operates the world's biggest palm oil based diesel plant in Singapore with 800,000 tonnes produced annually since the end of 2010.


Energy in Singapore[1]
Prim. energy
2004 4.24 298 0 548 34.6 38.1
2007 4.59 311 0 628 39.1 45.0
2008 4.84 215 0 650 39.6 44.3
2009 5.0 215 0 685 39.7 44.8
2012 5.2 388 11 919 43.6 64.8
2012R 5.31 291 7.0 823 46.2 49.8
2013 5.40 304 7.4 855 47.7 46.6
Change 2004–09 17.7 % -27.8 % 0 % 25.1 % 14.5 % 17.8 %
Mtoe = 11.63 TWh, Prim. energy includes energy losses

2012R = CO2 calculation criteria changed, numbers updated

According to the IEA Singapore had no energy production in 2008. Energy imports increased 18.6% in 2008 compared to 2004. The primary energy declined by about one third in 2007-8 but during the same period energy imports increased. Energy import was about three times the total primary energy supply in 2008. Compared to the UK in 2008, per capita electricity consumption was 135% and per capita carbon dioxide emissions were 110%. (UK: 61.35 m people 372.19 TWh electricity, 510.63Mt CO2 emissions).[2]

The use of energy (primary energy) in Singapore is only 1/3 of the imported energy.


Singapore was the top 10th country in oil imports in 2008: 50 megatonnes. For comparison, oil imports in Spain were 77 megatonnes (the top 8th country, with a population of 45.59 million) and in Italy they were 73 megatonnes (the top 9th country, with a population of 59.89 million).[3]

Palm oil[edit]

The biggest palm oil based diesel plant in the world, 800,000 t/a production, started operations in Singapore at the end of 2010 by Neste Oil from Finland.[4] The plant requires almost a million tonnes of raw material annually from the oil palm Elaeis guineensis, equivalent to 2,600–3,400 km2 oil palm plantation.

Greenpeace demonstrated in November 2010 in Espoo, Finland, by hanging an orangutan puppet in front of Neste Oil, saying that Neste Oil endangers the rainforest ecosystem. According to UNEP the majority of new palm oil plantations take place in the rainforests.[5]

Multiple containers of palm oil.

According to European Union studies the increased demand for palm oil inevitably leads to new plantations being established in the forests and peat land areas. Land use changes have large green house gas emissions making palm oil diesel much more harmful than petroleum in respect to global warming. According to Greenpeace the Neste Oil plant in Singapore made Finnish Neste Oil among the world's leading palm oil consumers leading to increased rain forest destruction.[6]

Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) would be a way to mitigate climate change. According to UNEP the international REDD mechanism will be a key element of the post-2012 international climate change regime.[7]

Solar power[edit]

Jurong Port is building a 10MW solar installation on the roofs of its warehouses. The system was expected online by the end of 2015.[8]


Wilmar International[edit]

Wilmar International is listed in Singapore. Headed by Kuok Khoon Hong, it is the world's largest palm oil firm. Kuok was the third richest person in Singapore in 2009 with a net worth of $3.5 billion.[9] According to [FinnWatch] in 2007 the Kuok family owned by Malaysian companies a biofuel plant in Indonesia (225 000 t/a).[10] The Wilmar director Martua Sitorus ($3 billion net worth in 2009, 2nd richest in Indonesia) lived in Indonesia in 2009.[11]

In July 2007 Friends of the Earth Netherlands and two Indonesian NGOs accused Wilmar of illegal forest clearances in West Kalimantan, inadequate Environmental Impact Assessments and clearing land outside its concessions. Wilmar denies the allegation. The report calls on Unilever, a major purchaser from Wilmar, to review its purchasing relationship with the company.[12]

Carbon dioxide emissions[edit]

Singapore was the 58th top carbon dioxide emitter per capita in the world. [13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ IEA Key World Energy Statistics Statistics 2015, 2014 (2012R as in November 2015 + 2012 as in March 2014 is comparable to previous years statistical calculation criteria, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2006 IEA October, crude oil p.11, coal p. 13 gas p. 15
  2. ^ IEA Key energy statistics 2010 Page: 23, 52, 54 56
  3. ^ IEA Key energy statistics 2010 Page: 23, 52, 54, 56
  4. ^ Neste Oil rakentaa Singaporeen maailman suurimman biodieseltehtaan yle 30 November 2007 (in Finnish)
  5. ^ The last stand: State of emergency: Illegal logging, fire and palm oil in Indonesia’s national parks of the orangutan UNEP 2007
  6. ^ Neste Oilin Singaporen laitos kiihdyttää sademetsätuhoa, Greenpeace 15 November 2010
  7. ^ Environmental Governance UNEP page 53-63 pdf: 6-Environmental_Governance_UNEP_YearBook_09_low[1].pdf
  8. ^ Shipping Port Gets Super-Sized Rooftop Solar System, Forbes, William Pentland, January 17, 2015
  9. ^ Singapore's 40 Richest No. 3 Kuok Khoon Hong Forbes 2009
  10. ^ Palmuöljystä biopolttoainetta FinnWatch / Niko Humalisto 2006
  11. ^ Martua Sitorus on Indonesia's 40 Richest (2009) Forbes 2 December 2009
  12. ^ Losing land to palm oil in Kalimantan bbc 3 August 2007
  13. ^ List of countries by carbon dioxide emissions per capita