S'pore's projected construction demand for 2020 slashed by $10 billion; some pickup expected from 2021: BCA

SINGAPORE – The projected construction demand for this year has been cut by $10 billion, following a review of contracts awarded and upcoming public and private sector projects by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA).

The earlier forecast of $28 billion to $33 billion in January this year is now revised to $18 billion to $23 billion, said BCA in a media release on Thursday (Sept 17).

The downward revision is due to a drop in private sector construction demand.

Some public sector projects have also been postponed from this year to next year as contractors and suppliers have asked for more time to assess the impact of Covid-19 on resource management and project implementation timelines, said BCA.

This year’s forecast for public sector contracts is $11 billion to $14 billion while the private sector is $7 billion to $9 billion.

In 2019, the value of public sector contracts was $19.03 billion, while that of private sector contracts was $14.5 billion, totalling $33.52 billion after rounding off the figure.

However, construction demand is expected to recover to some extent from 2021, added BCA.

Public residential developments and upgrading works, developments at the Jurong Lake District, construction of new healthcare facilities and various infrastructure projects such as the construction of the Cross Island MRT line will support demand.

BCA noted that it is important that the construction industry remains vigilant to prevent a resurgence of Covid-19 cases, which could bring the sector to a halt again.

BCA will be providing an update on the projected construction demand for 2021 and 2022 in early next year.

On Thursday, Minister for National Development Desmond Lee said in a Facebook post that the construction industry has realised the need to build up capability for sustainable business development.

He noted that a new planning and coordination regime for business continuity and the role of technology and digitalisation to build up industry resilience in the long run were some issues raised by participants at a leadership webinar co-organised by the BCA and the Construction Industry Joint Committee on Wednesday.

“In spite of the restart, the industry still faces challenges,” he said. “The silver lining is that we expect demand to pick up to some extent next year, and there will be a pipeline of public sector projects coming on stream next year.”

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