(EnergyAsia, September 26 2012, Wednesday) — Singapore Power said it is investing S$2 billion to build two tunnels to hold and protect cross-island extra-high voltage transmission cables to ensure the supply of reliable, secure and quality power to 1.3 million consumers. (US$1=S$1.23).

To be constructed between 2012 and 2018, the North-South and East-West cable tunnels will be located 60 metres underground to facilitate continuous upgrading, renewal and maintenance of the country’s power cable grid infrastructure.

In a statement, Singapore Power said the tunnels measuring a total length of 35 km are designed to overcome existing congestion of underground space and utility services in Singapore.

“They will facilitate faster and more efficient maintenance and replacement of cables, thereby reducing the frequency of road-digging works and thus minimising inconvenience to the public in the long run,” it said.

The tunnels will be located under major public roads and will not encroach into any private properties.

As part of the project, 14 utility buildings built to house ventilation facilities and equipment, and provide access to the tunnels.

Singapore Power has promised to will work closely with government agencies and community partners to minimise inconvenience to the public with steps taken to control noise, minimise dust, dirt and congestion, and to maintain environmental safety.

Singapore Power said it awarded six contracts to five companies — Hyundai Engineering, a joint venture between Nishimatsu Construction & KTC Civil Engineering and Construction, Obayashi Corp, Samsung C & T Corp and SK Engineering & Construction — for what will be its largest project to date.

Wong Kim Yin, Singapore Power’s Group CEO, said:

“Singapore’s power supply is among the most reliable in the world. With the city’s rapid growth and the corresponding increase in power demand, we are challenged to sustain this level of reliability and cost-effectiveness in achieving this performance.

“The deep cable tunnels will form the backbone of Singapore’s power supply, serving future generations effectively, securely and with minimum inconvenience. It will translate to improved standards of living and performance for our residential, industrial and commercial consumers.”

Singapore Power Limited, a leading energy utility company in the Asia Pacific region, owns and operates electricity and gas transmission and distribution businesses in Singapore and Australia.