Friday 13 February 2015

JTC building its most integrated industrial space

Tuas project will have a 1,300-bed workers' dorm and amenity centre
By Ong Kai Xuan, The Straits Times, 12 Feb 2015

SINGAPORE'S largest industrial landlord JTC Corporation's latest development will be the most integrated factory project it has ever built.

JTC Space @ Tuas on 6.4ha will comprise several different factory space types and supporting facilities, including a 1,300-bed workers' dormitory.

The project, which had its ground-breaking ceremony yesterday, will also feature a parking lot with 200 spaces for heavy vehicles.

Due for completion in 2017, the 10-storey project - taller than typical seven-storey manufacturing buildings - is part of a drive to form clusters of related industries in the same facility to boost efficiency and reduce costs.

JTC chairman Loo Choon Yong said: "Land is, and will continue to be, a constraint in a small country like Singapore."

This was a key factor behind the project's stacking of 36 ramp-up and 95 flatted factories above seven land-based factories.

This allows a plot ratio of 2.4, creating 128,000 sq m of space.

The 13.5m-high land-based factories are designed to cater to heavy manufacturing industries such as those in oil and gas.

The factories above can be used for lighter manufacturing such as precision engineering - which may need to work with the oil and gas firms below.

One of first companies to take up units in the new project, Rohag Singapore, plans to do that.

Its managing director Lee Kong Peng said: "The JTC Space @ Tuas is a good concept as it allows companies like ours to integrate our operations in a single development and help increase our operational efficiency." He added: "As our businesses involve large machines and equipment, it is not easy to find a ready-built facility with these high specifications in the market. The opportunity to tap the other manufacturing and supporting companies in the development is another bonus."

The project aims to enhance the competitiveness of the entire manufacturing value-chain too.

Beyond integrating the value- chain for firms, JTC Space @ Tuas also makes life easier for workers at the factories. Apart from the four-storey dormitory, there will be an amenity centre featuring retail spaces, dining options, a supermarket and services such as a barber and clinic. During time off, workers can use sports and recreational facilities.

Priority for the living quarters will be given to workers in the manufacturing facility. The idea is to reduce transport costs and logistics. The heavy vehicle parking facility aims to reduce illegal parking not just by the companies in the development but also by vehicles associated with the surrounding factories.

Another major point of convenience will be the upcoming Gul Circle MRT station to be linked to the development by a sheltered walkway. JTC hopes that this will encourage public transport use and ease traffic congestion. Dr Loo is confident JTC can adapt and improve to deal with possible problems of noise and safety in the integrated development.

Trade and Industry Minister Lim Hng Kiang described the project as a "stride forward in our efforts to support collaboration and integration". "JTC Space @ Tuas exemplifies the Government's commitment to strengthen the competitiveness of our key growth industries and support collaboration and integration both within and across industries," he said.

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