Singapore network woes delay Indon gas

Although natural gas finally flowed from South Sumatra into Singapore after a delay of three weeks, the chief of Singapore's City Gas - Ng Heng Liat - states that the financial benefit from using the cleaner and cheaper gas from Indonesia will not be immediately available to homes and businesses in the island republic. Why?

It seems that the network of pipes and nozzles of electrical equipment have to be overhauled to take the new gas. Estimates range over the time frame required for the modifications, with some estimating it will take as long as five years to implement.

A consultant firm has been hired to draft the master plan that will be used to convert Singapore's gas network of pipes to one that can handle the natural gas. This whole process, according to Ng, will cost between US$45.5 million to US$56.8 million but will provide the city with more efficient and cleaner gas.

City Gas' sister company - Gas Supply - was due to receive its natural gas on 12 August but pipeline debris along the 477km pipeline that runs from Grissik in South Sumatra to Singapore's Sakra island via Batam delayed the delivery. Whilst Gas Supply is paying US$9 billion for the 20-year deal, there are provisions for late delivery in the contract.

City Gas will buy up to 424,800 cubic metres of gas a day from Gas Supply over the 20 years. Up to 10 million cubic metres of gas can be piped through the pipeline a day but only 4.2 million cubic metres of gas will be used - primarily for power generation, by businesses and by City Gas.

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