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Circular economy in Singapore

Lots of plastic garbage in the river© Getty Images
Over 80 percent of all plastic pollution in the ocean comes from Southeast Asia. Many Norwegian companies have effective solutions for collecting, sorting, recycling and converting waste.
Norway is focusing on exporting Norwegian waste solutions to Singapore and Southeast Asia.

The initiative is part of Innovation Norway’s High Potential Opportunities (HPO) programme for major export initiatives. The aim is to position Norwegian suppliers in circular economy value chains in Singapore and Southeast Asia.

Major projects

The authorities in Singapore are in the early phase of a comprehensive transformation from linear to circular models for waste management and reuse, water treatment, converting organic waste into fertiliser and animal feed, and the collection and recycling of packaging. This presents great opportunities for Norwegian enterprises within all types of waste management: collection, separation, recovery and conversion.

Singapore has ambitious plans for its contributions to the green shift and will, by 2030, invest more than NOK 50 billion within water and waste treatment alone, according to the Singapore Green Plan 2030.

Southeast Asia is an enormous market that produces 170 million tons of waste that is currently dumped into landfill sites or drifts out to sea. Although Singapore is a ‘generation’ behind Northern Europe, it is a pioneering country for sustainable waste and resource management in Southeast Asia and thus a good gateway for demonstrating solutions from Norwegian companies.

Norwegian solutions

Norway is at the forefront when it comes to regulations and mechanisms for separating, reusing and converting waste. The Singaporean authorities are consulting Norwegian enterprises and authorities on areas such as packaging collection (deposit return schemes) and efficient sewage treatment. In workshops organised by Innovation Norway, companies such as TOMRA, Norsk Gjenvinning and Infinitum have made significant contributions to the development of regulations and models for the circular economy in Singapore.

Singapore’s ambitious Zero Waste Nation plan will require good regulations, efficient and profitable mechanisms, and innovative technological solutions. Singapore thus represents a significant market for Norwegian enterprises.

Singapore shows a great deal of interest in Norwegian solutions within the conversion of organic waste to products such as biogas, fertiliser, and animal and fish feed. In particular, technology for converting fish waste into fish oil and fishmeal has enormous market potential in Southeast Asia, especially after piloting in Singapore.

Marine pollution and low levels of plastic waste reuse are huge challenges in Southeast Asia. Norwegian technology within pyrolysis and polymer and hydrocarbon synthesis, so-called ‘carbon utilisation’, will be highly relevant.

Team Norway

HPO projects bring together Norway’s entire business support system and other members of Team Norway. Norwegian enterprises receive help from Innovation Norway’s regional and international offices, embassies, Export Finance Norway, NORWEP, chambers of commerce and other partners as needed. Team Norway contributes through a bespoke package of services based on the opportunities in the market and business needs. The activities range from political dialogue, financing, networking and marketing to advice for individual enterprises in the market.

The contributors to the HPO project include:

  • Norwegian Embassy in Singapore
  • Innovation Norway’s office in Singapore
  • Innovation Norway’s head office in Norway
  • Innovation Norway’s regional offices in Norway, including financial advisers
  • Norwegian Business Association Singapore

Norwegian enterprises

One key element in this HPO project in Singapore will be building up a Norwegian expert environment within the circular economy in Singapore around a physical TechnologyLab linked to Innovation Norway and the embassy in Singapore. This TechnologyLab is strengthening Norway’s reputation as a relevant and credible partner for Singaporean stakeholders and will improve enterprises’ chances of success in these markets.

Norwegian enterprises will be recruited to the programme from the beginning of 2022.

The project manager is Susanna Quek, +65 68 18 20 66

The following clusters have expressed an interest in participating

  • United Future Lab Norway
  • Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise (NHO), Region Oslo/Viken
  • Marine Recycling Cluster
  • Smart Water Norway
  • Arena Construction City Cluster
  • NCE Heidner Biocluster
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Caleb Chapman
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Martin Olsen
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Stein Oddvar Sægrov
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