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The launch of SgEC took place at the Singapore International Energy Week 2018 (SIEW). From left: Prof Subodh Mhaisalkar, NTU Associate Vice President for Strategy & Partnerships, Mr Vijay Swarup, Vice President of Research and Development at ExxonMobil Engineering and Research Company, and Prof Philip Li-Fan Liu, NUS Vice President (Research & Technology)
(Photo Credit: NTU)

The Singapore Energy (SgEC) was launched on 31 October 2018, in conjunction with the Singapore International Energy Week 2018 (SIEW). The SgEC, a joint research centre between NUS and the Nanyang Technological University (NTU), aims to develop sustainable energy solutions to overcome the global energy challenges of the future. It is a consortium funded by industry members which leverages the combined expertise and capabilities of the two universities to co-develop early-stage and near-term energy solutions for the manufacturing sector.

SgEC is co-led by both universities, with NTU holding the directorship for the first two years from 2019, and NUS leading the following two years. Prof Lee Jim Yang of NUS Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering is NUS SgEC’s Co-Director.

ExxonMobil is SgEC’s first founding industry partner. It has committed US$10 million over a five-year period to support the centre’s wide range of innovative research projects and activities.

The joint research centre will focus on researching next-generation technologies such as new forms of energy production, innovations in energy efficiency, energy conversion and storage, as well as exploring ways to mitigate and overcome climate change, and improve energy and water resiliency. The topics being explored for funding by ExxonMobil include, but are not confined to:


Looking to nature’s biodiversity to discover novel materials and process designs that could result in low carbon dioxide-emitting approaches for making fuels and chemicals, thus potentially lowering overall carbon dioxide emissions.

Carbon capture, utilisation, and storage

Exploring a broad range of technologies to capture existing carbon dioxide from industrial applications and sequester it or cost effectively convert it to useful products. This research has the potential to reduce carbon emissions in line with Singapore’s national goal.

Energy and water efficiency

Exploring technologies that reduce plastic waste, water and energy consumption during manufacturing, while providing for the needs of a growing population and economy. Water and energy usage are vital areas of interest to Singapore.

These research projects embody the concept of the “green economy”, a key focus in the Sustainable Singapore Blueprint, which targets to transform the nation into a hub for sustainable development that encourages businesses to testbed and adopt greener practices.

Prof Chen Tsuhan, NUS Deputy President (Research and Technology) said, “The SgEC marks a milestone in the joint efforts between NUS and NTU in developing next-generation energy technologies. This strategic partnership will enable consortium members to identify issues of common interest to the industry and co-develop solutions with the two universities. This approach will bridge the gap between early-stage research and economic-centric applied research, both of which are needed for development of long-term sustainable energy solutions.”

“ExxonMobil’s participation in the Singapore Energy Centre further enhances our technological capabilities in the country, and complements our already strong manufacturing and commercial presence,” said Gan Seow Kee, Chairman and Managing Director of ExxonMobil Asia Pacific Pte Ltd. “Our participation in the company’s first energy centre outside of the United States builds on our long and thriving relationship with these two leading universities in Asia.”