While a gloomy economic weather in 2012 can be expected, the Singaporean environmental and building markets may just continue to thrive with several opportunities and growth prospects in line with the current Singapore Green Plan 2012 (SGP 2012).
Melvin Leong, Industry Manager, Environment, Building and Technologies, Asia Pacific, Frost & Sullivan said,"One of the main focuses by the Government of Singapore (GOS) in the environmental industry is waste management, specifically waste recycling. The GOS aims to increase the recycling rate to 60 percent by 2012, thus resulting the lifespan extension of its landfill to 50 years from the initial 30 years, and one new incineration plant every 10 to 15 years from the initial period of 7 to 10 years.
Currently, Singapore's waste reduction and recycling attainment are close to the targets and the GOS is likely to continue to sustain and even improve its waste recycling rate. Singapore aims to achieve 70 percent recycling rate by 2030. Inadvertently, 2012 and beyond is expected to see an active market development in Singapore's waste management sector.”
In light of the overall environmental pressures and targets, the expenditure on market and technology development in the waste is unlikely to be tapered in 2012. Key opportunity areas include recycling services, and recycling technologies across waste segments including electronic waste (e-waste). In particular, the market of e-waste management is likely to mirror the performance of the Singapore's electronics manufacturing industry in 2012.
Will the Domestic Market Water Down?
The persistent concern in Singapore is the lack of water resources for potable and non-potable uses. In 2011, Singapore witnessed several endeavours embarked by foreign companies in the areas of disinfection, and desalination. In the same year, a plan for a new desalination plant was unveiled and would be commissioned by Hyflux Ltd, Singapore's leading water treatment specialist.
“Singaporean companies such as Hyflux and Keppel Seghersare already stamping on international grounds especially China, India, and the Middle East and Northern Africa,” Leong said,“Unless the political climate improves in the latter region, 2012 will remain challenging for these water companies.
Despite all the calamities, the Singaporean water market prospects will likely predominate ahead 2012 due to the persistent focus and push by the GOS to transform Singapore into a water hub of Asia Pacific. Doors for opportunities remain open for collaboration possibilities between Singaporean companies and foreign water specialists.”
From Lion City to Eco City
With the not-so-favourable economic outlook, investors and market participants in the building construction market may not have optimistic views of the economic impact that may entail in 2012. The overall construction market registered less than 5 percent in quarterly growth since the last quarter of 2010. While many are bracing for an emergency landing to say the least, there are sporadic market verticals that are up for immediate gains such as tourism and hospitality, and residential green buildings.
Additionally, it is imperative that companies in Singapore's building construction market should reprioritize and focus on projects and activities that may be deemed less uncertain such as green retrofit, and building operations and maintenance works. Projects with green themes are likely to prevail in Singapore although the short term outlook on the rate of implementation and execution of these projects may not accelerate at a desired momentum.
Leong said,“It must be noted that the year 2011 has witnessed Singapore's green commitment with the launched its first eco-town, Punggol Eco Town, and will be constructed from 2011 to 2013 under the helm of Panasonic. Should this green scheme be replicated in 2012 or 2013, which is largely anticipated, technology suppliers in clean energy and green solutions such as photovoltaics, green lighting, building automation controls, and building materials are likely to gain business benefits.”
The overall outlook for the environmental and building technologies market is expected to experience modest development. The global economy may not resonate well with high value resolutions, but there are certain long term priorities undertaken by the GOS that will necessitate good business prospects. Exceptional opportunities in 2012 are green retrofit in buildings, waste recycling technologies and services, and research and development initiatives in water technologies. The market fundamentals for environment and buildings remain compelling and investors and market participants should focus on key areas for long term opportunities in this market sphere.
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