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  Today Online 6 Oct 07
From greenhouse to green Industry seeking to reduce CO2 emissions
Nazry Bahrawi

Chemical and petrochemical companies in Singapore are looking to the Japanese way of reducing carbon dioxide emissions, a contributing factor in global warming.

Grouped under the Singapore Chemical Industries council (SCIC), the companies will embark on a programme to play a bigger role in the reduction of global warming, Dr A Chockalingam, the Council's chairman said in an interview with Today.

"We have seen examples from other countries where companies do more research to improve efficiency to have a significant impact on the amount of carbon dioxide they emit per unit of product they make," said Dr Chockalingam who is also process integrator of Shell Eastern Petroleum.

And sharing with members which number around 60 examples of Japanese companies that have modified their processes to reduce energy will be a starting point, he said.

"The Japanese chemicals industry has made considerable progress in controlling carbon dioxide emissions with levels today similar to that in 1990," said Dr Chockalingam.

He cited the example of Japanese caustic soda production where efficiencies in the industry had reduced energy consumption by 40 per cent.

The SCIC also intends to work with the National Environment Agency to "raise awareness and action", he added.

On another front, the SCIC is seeking to solve the industry's talent crunch issue with help from the Economic Development Board.

"Over the next three to five years the chemical industry sees a need for 100 to 200 engineers and 200 to 300 technicians per year," said Dr Chockalingam.

Earlier this year, the Chemical Manpower Advisory Committee (Chimac) was revived. It was a grouping under the EDB that became dormant in 2004.

"Chimac was active with outreach reaching out to schools and institutes of higher learning.

"It was able to give feedback and influence Government agencies on employment-related legislation concerning foreign workers," Dr Chockalingam said.

The SCIC will also provide students with opportunities for attachments among its member companies.

Previously under the Singapore Manufacturers' Federation, the SCIC became an independent entity in June, said Dr Chockalingam.

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