Singapore has a comprehensive infrastructure ecosystem which includes developers, financiers, professional services and other supporting services. With our understanding of regional markets and our own development experience, Singapore is well-placed to serve Asia's infrastructure needs and unlock the region's infrastructure potential to support Asia's economic and social growth.
Here are six ways Singapore can partner you and your business to meet Asia's growing infrastructure needs.
With strong expertise in areas such as project structuring, management, financing and investment, Singapore-based developers can work closely with governments and other stakeholders to bring a project from conceptualisation to completion.
Diverse capabilities that span a wide range of sectors
Singapore is home to companies which:
- Owns and operates >13 million m3/day of water assets
- Handles 200,000 containers a day across 30 ports worldwide
- Consultation and management services for over 50 airports in 20 countries
Case study: Changi Water Reclamation Plant
Changi Water Reclamation Plant (WRP) is Singapore’s largest and most advanced WRP. It is owned and operated by PUB, Singapore’s National Water Agency.
Commissioned in 2008, Changi WRP is currently undergoing expansion to increase its treatment capacity from 202 million gallons per day (MGD) to 246 MGD using membrane bioreactors. The design and supervision services for the expansion works were provided by Jacobs Engineering (formerly CH2M Hill) and the main constructors are Sembcorp Design & Construction and HSL Constructor.
In addition, Changi WRP is also commissioning a 44 MGD Wet Weather Facility (WWF) to manage high flows during extreme wet weather.The WWF is designed by Jacobs Engineering and the constructors are Quek & Quek Civil Engineering, Koh Brothers Building & Civil Engineering, and Memiontec. The WWF set to be powered by state-of-the-art technology supplied by Veolia Water Technologies.
Case study: Ninh Thuan Solar Farm
The US$150m project broke ground in June 2018 and is expected to go into commercial operation by June 2019. This project represents the largest solar collaboration between Singapore and Vietnam to date, and will generate enough electricity to power up to 200,000 households in Vietnam.
Financing and risk management
Asia’s financial services hub
Singapore serves as the Asia-Pacific base for many global banks with project finance lending and advisory specialisation – about 60% of project finance transactions in Southeast Asia are lead-managed by Singapore-based banks1. As the largest foreign exchange centre in Asia 2, Singapore can offer a wide range of foreign exchange and interest rate hedging solutions to meet various project needs.
Strong asset management industry and capital market
As the gateway to Asia, Singapore offers a vibrant ecosystem for sourcing capital, making deals, and hiring talent. We are home to a growing pool of infrastructure fund managers and institutional investors with a keen interest in Asia-Pacific infrastructure investment opportunities.
Firms specialising in risk insurance
Singapore has many specialised insurance companies offering political, credit and even energy risk insurance to help project stakeholders manage their risk.
"Underlying the ecosystem that makes Singapore the infrastructure hub of Asia is that unique ability of its constituents, including financial institutions like DBS, to contextualise international financing best practices for the diverse 'lay of the land' that is Asia."
- Lim Wee Seng, Managing Director, Head of Project Finance, Institutional Banking Group, DBS
2 According to the BIS Triennial Central Bank Survey (2016), Singapore was ranked the 3rd largest FX centre globally, after London and New York.
Case study: Sembcorp Myingyan Independent Power PlantThe Sembcorp Myingyan 225MW power plant is one of Myanmar’s largest independent power plants, and is the first awarded through an international competitive tender. The loan financing of US$253 million was partially provided by three major multilateral development banks – the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Asian Development Bank (ADB), and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) – as well as DBS, DZ Bank, Clifford Capital, and OCBC, three of which are headquartered in Singapore. This is the first long-term project financing deal in Myanmar, and won PFI’s Asia Pacific Power Deal of the Year in 2017.
Legal and transaction advisory services
Comprehensive services spanning the infrastructure value chain
Singapore is home to renowned law and accounting firms with strong infrastructure practices. These firms provide legal and transaction advisory services required to put an infrastructure project together, including financial, tax, transactional and legal services.
Regional expertise and experience
Singapore-based law and accounting firms have the relevant expertise and experience to advise regional governments, sponsors and financiers on the structuring and documentation of complex infrastructure deals in Asia, particularly Southeast Asia.
Neutral venue for dispute resolution
Singapore offers parties a full suite of dispute resolution services including arbitration at the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC), mediation at the Singapore International Mediation Centre (SIMC) and litigation at the Singapore International Commercial Court (SICC). Singapore’s dispute resolution services include tailored protocols and forward-looking services which help to manage project risk, and facilitate timely completion of infrastructure projects. Singapore is ranked as the most preferred seat of arbitration in Asia, and SIAC as the most preferred arbitral institution in Asia, with both ranked third in the world 1. Singapore also provides top-in-class hearing facilities at Maxwell Chambers, the world’s first integrated dispute resolution complex and smart hearing centre.
International centre for debt restructuring
Singapore has facilitated regional restructurings even where the assets are overseas. Singapore’s debt restructuring regime was amended in 2017 to enhance Singapore’s framework, by incorporating the best features of the world’s leading regimes. This offers distressed companies the tools to effectively restructure their debts.
Case study: Sirajganj Unit 4 Power Plant
The US$412 million Sirajganj 426MW dual fuel power plant project, Sirajganj 4, was Bangladesh’s first public-private partnership (PPP) in the power sector with a foreign investor. It was collectively sponsored by Sembcorp Utilities, a wholly owned subsidiary of SGX-listed Sembcorp Industries Ltd, and North-West Power Generation Company. Lenders included International Finance Corporation (IFC), CDC Group, Clifford Capital and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). In addition, the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) provided political risk cover for partial equity/loan for the project.
Singapore-based firms which provided advisory services for this project include Allen & Gledhill (legal), Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow (legal), Shearman & Sterling (legal), KPMG (model auditor and tax/accounting adviser), Environmental Resource Management Singapore (Environmental and Social Impact Assessment Report) and IHS Markit (power market study). The project was awarded PPP Deal of the Year at The Asset Triple A Infrastructure Awards 2018, and APAC Power Deal of the Year at the IJ Global Awards 2018.
Technical and engineering services
Strong expertise and long track record
Both local and multinational companies have played significant roles in Singapore’s development in its built environment over the past 50 years. From masterplanning to engineering design, procurement, construction (EPC), our firms are equipped with expertise across the entire value chain. Many engineering consultancies, infrastructure developers and EPC firms have also set up regional project management and project development and financing teams in Singapore to provide a complete suite of services for regional infrastructure projects.
Large infrastructure talent pool
Our well-qualified local workforce plays an integral role in meeting the region’s growing infrastructure demand. Singapore is committed to developing infrastructure capabilities in Regional Project Management, and Project Development and Financing. We partner companies to set up regional Centres of Excellences (CoEs) which help to anchor and build local subject matter expertise in these areas. We are also driving various initiatives across career levels – such as the Infrastructure Development Internship (IDI), Global Ready Infrastructure Talent (GRIT) programme, World Bank Industry Attachment Programme and SMU’s Asia Leaders Programme in Infrastructure Excellence (ALPINE) – to ensure a steady pipeline of infrastructure professionals.
Singapore is also helping to build our regional leaders’ knowledge of infrastructure, such as through the Leaders in Urban Governance Programme and Mayors’ Programme, in which Asian mayors gather to exchange best practices and ideas on infrastructure.
Well-honed infrastructure research capabilities
We are home to a thriving knowledge and research community which examines infrastructure risks and opportunities, as well as new applications of digital technology to EPC and infrastructure development. These developments will help mitigate structural bottlenecks in infrastructure projects and support regional capacity building.
Case study: EDHEC Infrastructure InstituteTo allow institutional investors to objectively evaluate infrastructure investment opportunities, we supported the establishment of the EDHEC Infrastructure Institute Singapore (EDHECinfra). EDHECinfra creates usable performance benchmarks for privately-held infrastructure debt and equity investments. These benchmarks provide investors with more comprehensive data on returns and risks, as well as facilitate performance comparisons of privately-held infrastructure debt and equity against other asset classes.
Collaboration with multilaterals
Singapore works closely with the multilateral development banks to drive infrastructure development in the region. Examples of our collaboration include:
World Bank Group (WBG)
Singapore is home to the WBG’s first Infrastructure and Urban Development Hub, which houses over 200 WBG staff from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), International Finance Corporation (IFC), and Multilateral Investment Gurantee Agency (MIGA). We also play host to prominent WBG events such as the World Bank-Singapore Infrastructure Finance Summit.
Asian Development Bank (ADB)
Enterprise Singapore has a Trade Facilitation Scheme with the ADB to provide higher credit guarantees for Singapore companies exporting to emerging markets. The Sustainable Energy Association of Singapore (SEAS) has also partnered the ADB to establish the Sustainable Energy Centre of Excellence. This will equip regional policy-makers with sector knowledge and share best practices related to clean energy policy, technology and project financing.
Case study: Global Infrastructure FacilityThe Global Infrastructure Facility (GIF) is a US$100 million open platform that facilitates the preparation and structuring of complex infrastructure PPPs to enable mobilisation of private sector and institutional investor capital. Singapore and the World Bank are two of six funding partners. As of August 2018, the GIF has 11 active projects and support opportunities in Asia. If all these projects reach financial close, up to US$12 billion in additional financing could be mobilised, of which over two-thirds are expected to come from the private sector.
International Infrastructure Events
Singapore hosts numerous internationally renowned infrastructure events. These include the World Cities Summit, Singapore International Water Week, Singapore International Energy Week, the World Bank-Singapore Infrastructure Finance Summit and the Asia-Singapore Infrastructure Roundtable. Such events provide a platform for networking and the gathering of minds of infrastructure leaders from both the public and private sectors.
Case study: Asia-Singapore Infrastructure RoundtableThe Asia-Singapore Infrastructure Roundtable is the premier platform for dialogue between government leaders, policy makers, investors and infrastructure companies on Asian infrastructure projects. 2018 marks the eighth run and since its inauguration, it has attracted more than 1600 industry practitioners, with over US$8 billion worth of projects discussed in closed door workshops.