EMA to set up standby fuel facilities as part of measures to boost energy security amid global fuel crunch

SINGAPORE – Singapore is taking steps to boost the country’s energy security amid the global fuel crunch, including establishing standby fuel facilities which generation companies here can draw upon.

The Energy Market Authority (EMA), which regulates the country’s energy supply, on Tuesday (Oct 19) said it has also informed the generation companies – or gencos – to contract sufficient fuel to meet the demands of customers of their retail arms.

Said EMA in a statement: “To help gencos who have not contracted enough gas, EMA has informed gencos which are looking to sell their excess natural gas supply to provide other gencos and EMA with the first right of refusal, before they can divert or onsell the excess gas to other parties.”

There are seven gencos in Singapore. Electricity generated at these plants flow into the SP Group-operated national grid, which delivers the electricity to consumers.

About 95 per cent of Singapore’s energy mix comes from natural gas, all of which is imported into the country.

While Singapore previously relied on piped natural gas from its neighbours, the country has built a liquefied natural gas terminal to boost its energy security, allowing it to import the liquefied form of the gas from all over the world. This terminal started commercial operations in 2013.

The authority said it will also direct gencos to generate electricity using fuel from the standby facilities if needed to keep the system stable. “EMA is monitoring the Singapore Wholesale Electricity Market closely and will intervene if necessary,” it added.

EMA said it will review if these measures are still needed by March 31, 2022.

“During this period, we urge consumers to conserve energy where possible. EMA will continue to monitor developments in the global and domestic energy sector closely and will introduce further measures if necessary.”

These latest measures come after two independent retailers, iSwitch and Ohm Energy, exited the open electricity market (OEM) within three days of each other, citing volatile market conditions and unsustainable price plans.

On Monday, Union Power said it will scaling down its operations by closing some retail accounts. About 850 of its customers – all of which are commercial customers – will be affected.

EMA on Saturday gave the assurance that the electricity supply for all customers will not be affected as retailers look to suspend or cease operations.

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