Senoko Power Station



Senoko Power Station situated at the former British Naval Base in Sembawang was the most technologically advanced power station in Singapore when it was officially unveiled on 31 July 1977 by then Minister for Foreign Affairs S. Rajaratnam.1 Among its innovations was a computer-based turbine run-up system and an automatic data logging system to keep track of the power station’s operating conditions. The technological innovations in Senoko were introduced as part of the Public Utilities Board’s (PUB) effort to enhance the reliability and efficiency of Singapore’s electricity supply.2

Completed in three stages of development between 1973 and 1983, and costing a total of S$1.2 billion, Senoko Power Station was also Southeast Asia’s largest power station and most technologically advanced at the time. The power station used crude oil as fuel to power its turbines to generate electricity but could be converted to use natural gas.3
The switch to natural gas was made in 1992.4

At the 1977 opening, only Stage I with three 120-megawatt steam turbines had been completed. Stage II with the installation of three 250-megawatt steam turbines was completed in 1979 and Stage III with the installation of two 250-megawatt steam turbines in 1983.5
Following the completion of Stage III, Senoko’s generating capacity went up to 1,610 megawatts or 60 percent of Singapore’s electricity needs.6

Planning for Senoko
Planning for the new power station began in 1971 and by the end of that year, the PUB had acquired the 26.71-hectare (267,100 sq m) site needed for the power station.7
In November 1972, the PUB awarded the Stage I contract to Marubeni Corporation.8

Civil engineering works at the site began in September 1972.9
  By June 1974, the 183-metre tall chimney stack designed to disperse flue gases from boiler plants to within ground level concentration was completed.10 By this time, the design work for Stage II was well underway and the contract for the three 250-megawatt steam turbines to be installed in Stage II was awarded once again to Marubeni Corporation.11 Stage I concluded with the commissioning of the three 120-megawatt steam turbines in March, August and October 1976.12 The total development cost of Stage I was S$200 million.13

The power station complex
The power station complex consisted of an administration block and the powerhouse.14
The powerhouse was divided into two parts. The first was an enclosed turbine room that housed the three 120-megawatt steam turbines together with the control room and the relay room. The second was the boiler house where the combustion of crude oil to generate steam took place. There were also a number of auxiliary buildings that performed other processes essential to the generation of electricity. They included a water treatment plant, water pumps and a chlorination plant. There were also two fuel storage tanks that supplied fuel to the power station, with capacity for up to one month’s fuel requirements.15

Total cost of S$1.2 billion
Stage II with three 250-megawatt steam turbines was completed in 1979 at the cost of S$600 million.16
In May 1980, the PUB awarded the Stage III contract to Marubeni Corporation for the remaining two 250-megawatt steam turbines.17 Stage III was completed in1983 at the cost of S$400 million, bringing the total cost of building Senoko to S$1.2 billion.18



Author
Lim Tin Seng



References
1. Public Utilities Board Singapore. (1977). Souvenir brochure to commemorate the official opening of Senoko Power Station. Singapore: Author, p. 3. (Call no.: RSING 621.31213095957 PUB); Raja to open S'pore’s largest power station. (1977, July 31). The Straits Times, p. 18. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
2.
Raja to open S'pore’s largest power station. (1977, July 31). The Straits Times, p. 18. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
3.
Gamboa, E. (1983, October 8). Historic turn.... The Straits Times, p. 12. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
4.
Chiang, Y. P. (1992, January 30). S'pore's use of gas 'will trigger less reliance on oil in Asean'. The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
5.
Raja to open S'pore’s largest power station. (1977, July 31). The Straits Times, p. 18. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
6.
Gamboa, E. (1983, October 8). Historic turn.... The Straits Times, p. 12. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
7.
Public Utilities Board Singapore. (1977). Souvenir brochure to commemorate the official opening of Senoko Power Station. Singapore: Author, p. 5. (Call no.: RSING 621.31213095957 PUB); Raja to open S'pore’s largest power station. (1977, July 31). The Straits Times, p. 18. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
8.
Raja to open S'pore’s largest power station. (1977, July 31). The Straits Times, p. 18. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
9.
Raja to open S'pore’s largest power station. (1977, July 31). The Straits Times, p. 18. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
10.
Raja to open S'pore’s largest power station. (1977, July 31). The Straits Times, p. 18; Joy for 70 workers at 200-metre chimney.... (1974, June 19). The Straits Times, p. 12. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
11.
Ahmad Osman. (1978, December 20). $470 m paid in one go to ward off losses. The Straits Times, p. 22. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
12.
Public Utilities Board Singapore. (1977). Souvenir brochure to commemorate the official opening of Senoko Power Station. Singapore: Author, p. 5. (Call no.: RSING 621.31213095957 PUB)
13.
Singapore's power houses on the main island. (1988, June 28). The Straits Times, p. 38. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
14.
Raja to open S'pore’s largest power station. (1977, July 31). The Straits Times, p. 18. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
15.
Raja to open S'pore’s largest power station. (1977, July 31). The Straits Times, p. 18. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
16.
Singapore's power houses on the main island. (1988, June 28). The Straits Times, p. 38. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
17.
PUB's $245 m deal with Marubeni. (1980, May 19). The Straits Times, p. 7. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
18.
Singapore's power houses on the main island. (1988, June 28). The Straits Times, p. 38;
Jalil Miswardi. (1983, October 7). Last generator at Senoko power unit goes on-line. Singapore Monitor, p. 3. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.



The information in this article is valid as at 23 June 2014 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.

Subject
Streets and Places
Architecture and Landscape>>Streets and Places