Singapore’s master plan will translate to more steel demand

A master plan unveiled by the Singapore government recently should spell strong steel demand for many years to come, according to Natsteel, the country's sole steel producer.

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Amongst several changes announced by Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in his annual National Day address on August 18, were long-term infrastructural plans involving Southeast Asia’s busiest airport and the relocation of a military airbase to free up land for development.

“This means steel demand will continue to be very strong,” a senior executive at Natsteel told Steel First.

Total construction demand this year is projected to reach S$32 billion ($25 billion), up from S$28 billion ($22 billion) in 2012. Natsteel has a 50% share of the country’s steel market, with the rest supplemented by imports.

In his annual National Day policy address, Lee unveiled plans to build a fifth terminal at Changi Airport by the mid-2020s that will boost the airport’s capacity two-fold in a bid to retain its edge as a regional aviation hub.

He also outlined plans for a fourth runway at Changi Airport which will allow the government to shift a military airbase near central Singapore to Changi after 2030 and free up 800 hectare of land for new homes, offices and factories.

Singapore is also building a new port in Tuas in western Singapore, where all container port activities will consolidate over the long term. The development at Tuas will free up prime land, which the city terminals at Tanjong Pagar near the central business district are currently occupying, for a sprawling new waterfront city, Lee said.

Steel demand in Singapore is dominated by long products, which accounts for 72% of the country’s total steel consumption.