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World’s biggest underground district cooling network now at Marina Bay

SINGAPORE — An underground district cooling network, touted to be the world’s largest, is now in operation at Marina Bay.

Marina Bay's underground district cooling network, touted to be the world’s largest. Photo: Wee Teck Hian/TODAY

Marina Bay's underground district cooling network, touted to be the world’s largest. Photo: Wee Teck Hian/TODAY

SINGAPORE — An underground district cooling network, touted to be the world’s largest, is now in operation at Marina Bay.

The cooling plant’s operations were formally commissioned by the Singapore District Cooling (SDC), a subsidiary of Singapore Power (SP), on Thursday (March 3), following the completion of its expansion.

District cooling is the centralised production of chilled water that is piped to buildings for air conditioning, and as a communal utility, services buildings close to one another within a district.

Customers using district cooling enjoy energy savings of more than  40 per cent, which is achieved by “leveraging economies of scale, optimising asset efficiency and upholding operational excellence”, SP said in a press release.

The energy saved could power 24,000 three-room Housing and Development Board units.

The underground centralised system has a 5km centralised piping network in place to serve its customers in the Marina Bay financial district.

The system “eliminates the space requirements and upfront costs for customers’ own on-site chillers and roof-top spaces for cooling towers”, SP said.

Mr Ng Lang, chief executive officer of the Urban Redevelopment Authority, said developing the centralised district cooling network to serve the Marina Bay precinct is a “bold idea many years in the making”.

For instance, 1.25 million sq m of gross floor area was demarcated in Marina Bay as the pilot zone for the district cooling system project, where the use of the system was mandated and regulated by the Energy Market Authority.

Developers at One Raffles Quay and Marina Bay Sands constructed the space for district cooling plants as part of the requirements of government land tender conditions.

Two plants have been integrated as a result — one in the basement of One Raffles Quay and the other at the basement level beneath Bayfront Avenue at Marina Bay Sands. The third satellite plant is located at One Marina Boulevard.

“Today, we reap the benefits from early planning and thoughtful design, from freeing up space and saving costs to reducing carbon emissions,” Mr Ng said. 

The SDC also announced on Thursday that it had signed up Marina One at Marina South as a new customer to supply chilled water. 

The company now has 12 customers, it said. CHANNEL NEWSASIA

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