We are a developer and operator of quality infrastructure assets with a focus on growing stable income from the management, operation and maintenance of our projects and the provision of connectivity solutions. The Infrastructure Division comprises the Group’s businesses in energy, environment and infrastructure services, as well as logistics and data centres.
The Infrastructure Division’s revenue of $2.2 billion was $463 million or 27% higher than 2016, mainly driven by stronger performance by the energy and environmental infrastructure segments. Through providing operations and maintenance (O&M) services for power, waste‑to‑energy (WTE), district heating and cooling, as well as water and wastewater assets, our growing Infrastructure Services business contributed recurring revenue of about $160 million for FY 2017.
The Division’s FY 2017 net profit of $132 million was $33 million or 33% higher than 2016, mainly due to higher profit from power and gas businesses and progressive profit recognition from the construction of the Keppel Marina East Desalination Plant (KMEDP), the gain on divestment of GE Keppel Energy Services and fair value gain on investment. In FY 2017, the Division contributed 16% of the Group’s net profit, excluding the one‑off financial penalty from Keppel Offshore & Marine’s global resolution and related costs.
|Earnings Highlights ($m)|
|Profit before Tax||167||123||243|
|Average Headcount (Number)||2,618||2,669||2,739|
Despite challenging market conditions in 2017, Keppel Infrastructure’s integrated gas, power, and utilities business maintained a strong competitive advantage riding on synergy and overall portfolio optimisation. Keppel Infrastructure signed an agreement with the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) to develop, own and operate a state‑of‑the‑art gasification facility, an important step in preparation for the final investment decision (FID).
In 2017, Keppel Electric grew its total customer base to about 10,000, and increased its retail market share to 14.0% as at end‑November 2017 compared to 10.5% as at end‑2016. As the second largest private electricity retailer in Singapore, it is well‑positioned for the full liberalisation of the Singapore electricity market in 2018.
Keppel Merlimau Cogen launched a multi‑year plant optimisation programme to reduce its operating costs and carbon emissions, while Keppel Gas and Pipenet expanded their customer bases, providing additional streams of recurring income for the Group.
Keppel DHCS remains the largest district cooling services (DCS) provider in Singapore, with an aggregate capacity of over 100,000 refrigeration tonnes in major business and industrial parks. During the year, it commenced supply for two new contracts.
Market Review & Outlook
Keppel Infrastructure is looking into opportunities to enhance its competitiveness as a key player in Singapore's energy market.
In 2017, Singapore’s average electricity demand grew 1.0% from the previous year, behind forecast Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of 2.0 to 3.0%, decelerating from the 2.5% increase in 2016. Intense competition in the electricity market persisted due to the continued addition of capacity and increase in the number of electricity retail licensees.
The Energy Market Authority’s (EMA) implementation of an open electricity market, from the second half of 2018, will see more than 1.3 million households becoming contestable consumers with flexibility to purchase electricity directly from retailers, such as Keppel Electric.
Meanwhile, Singapore’s gas market continues to evolve, with more liquefied natural gas (LNG) and pipeline gas supplies, as well as the ongoing establishment of a secondary gas trading market. During the year, EMA formalised its LNG import framework and awarded two new exclusive Gas Importer LNG licenses in October 2017 for the second tranche of LNG imports into Singapore. It also announced the lifting of the moratorium on piped natural gas imports, which is expected to encourage greater competition amongst gas suppliers.
Aggregate demand for DCS in Singapore has continued to rise at a compounded annual growth rate of 8% since 2010, driven by the Government’s intensification of land use. Keppel DHCS continues to scale up its presence, and is working with various government agencies and developers on the upcoming major cluster developments in Singapore. Keppel DHCS is also exploring growth opportunities for district energy in Southeast Asia to expand its geographical reach.
Amidst a more competitive landscape, Keppel Infrastructure will reinforce its status as a reliable and integrated energy solutions provider.
During the year, Keppel Seghers Hong Kong and Zhen Hua Engineering secured a contract worth about $5.3 billion to design, build and operate Hong Kong’s first Integrated Waste Management Facility (IWMF). Upon completion in 2024, Keppel Infrastructure Services (KIS) will undertake the O&M of the IWMF for 15 years. Keppel Infrastructure's share of the total contract is approximately $1.9 billion across the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) and O&M phases. Through this project, Keppel Infrastructure will contribute to Hong Kong's sustainable urbanisation and reinforce its leadership position as a provider of world‑class WTE technology packages and operator of assets.
In China, Keppel Seghers continued to build on its track record as a leading imported WTE technology solutions provider. It secured two contracts in 2017, bringing its technology packages under execution to nine projects with a total incineration capacity of close to 16,500 tonnes per day. Singapore Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam also officially opened the Sino‑Singapore Tianjin Eco‑City Water Reclamation Centre during the year.
In Qatar, the Doha North Sewage Treatment Works (DNSTW) received the final takeover certificate from the Public Works Authority of Qatar, and received regional accolades including the “GCC Award for Sustainability” and the “GCC Water Project of the Year” at the MEED Quality Awards 2017.
In Singapore, Keppel Seghers completed the upgrading of the Keppel Seghers Ulu Pandan NEWater Plant, increasing its capacity and making it the first large‑scale plant to adopt a third‑stage reverse osmosis configuration. Meanwhile, the construction of KMEDP, a dual‑mode desalination plant, commenced in June 2017, supported by design and technical inputs from KIS. When completed in 2020, it will add 30 million gallons of water per day to Singapore’s water supply.
Market Review & Outlook
Rising public awareness of environmental issues and focus on environmental protection have led to policy adjustments favouring investments into modern infrastructure and systems. Against this backdrop, Keppel Infrastructure will continue to seek out value‑enhancing projects, strengthen its market position, and leverage its project development, engineering as well as O&M expertise across a wide range of infrastructure solutions.
In China, the government has set strict targets for both pollutant emission reduction and environment quality improvement in its 13th Five Year Plan. This includes the goal to treat about one‑third of municipal solid waste using proven incineration technology by 2030. The focus on green developments and innovation presents opportunities for Keppel Seghers to capture new projects, as well as to expand in China beyond the provision of WTE technology packages.
Keppel Infrastructure is also pursuing opportunities in India, where favourable feed‑in tariffs for green power generated from solid waste have led to strong interests in WTE projects, particularly in the more developed regions.
Closer to home, economies experiencing rapid growth and urbanisation, such as Vietnam and Thailand, present strong markets for environmental infrastructure. Leveraging a combination of technology and execution track record, Keppel Seghers and KIS are well‑placed to provide holistic solutions for the effective treatment of water and waste.
Over in Europe, interest in WTE solutions has picked up alongside its economic recovery, as countries such as Poland, Spain, Ireland and Portugal continue their efforts to fulfil the European Union’s (EU) waste legislation on landfill diversion. Meanwhile, stable demand growth and the replacement and upgrading of ageing facilities in the EU will provide more prospects in the WTE sector. Keppel Seghers will continue to improve its WTE technology offerings and seek value‑enhancing projects to strengthen its market position.
With its expertise in delivering sustainable O&M services to its clients, KIS will continue to maintain high operating standards by maximising availability, reliability, and efficiency for its existing assets spanning the power, WTE, water and district cooling sectors.
Under KIS, Keppel Infrastructure’s operating assets have been significant contributors toward sustainable urbanisation. In Singapore, contributions from the Senoko WTE plant increased in 2017 following a capacity upgrade. Together with the Keppel Seghers Tuas WTE plant, Keppel Infrastructure supports Singapore’s waste incineration needs. Contributions from the Keppel Seghers Ulu Pandan NEWater Plant and Keppel Merlimau Cogen remained creditable despite challenging market conditions faced by the latter.
In Qatar, operational availability at the Domestic Solid Waste Management Centre exceeded 90%, while production of treated water at the DNSTW increased 61% year on year.
Market Review & Outlook
Urbanisation blueprints unveiled by governments worldwide call for more efficient and sustainable energy and environmental management solutions. This provides exciting opportunities for KIS, which has built up a comprehensive range of operating expertise in power, WTE, district heating and cooling, as well as water and wastewater facilities.
Underpinning Keppel Infrastructure’s ability to deliver the full value chain of infrastructure services, KIS aims to strengthen its position as the preferred long‑term O&M partner. KIS will continue to deliver high quality and valuea‑dded O&M services, supporting Keppel’s vision to build an environmentally sustainable future for populations around the world.
2017 saw the completion of Keppel DC Singapore 4 (KDC SGP 4) and its injection into the Alpha Data Centre Fund (Alpha DC Fund). KDC SGP 4 is Keppel Data Centres Holding's (KDCH) fourth data centre development in Singapore. Amid strong interest from institutional investors for quality assets, Alpha DC Fund has closed at US$1 billion and has expanded the Group’s capital base to seize opportunities.
The PCCW Global‑Keppel International Carrier Exchange (ICX), a joint venture between KDCH and PCCW Global, was launched to provide faster interconnects for businesses in Hong Kong. This is part of a long‑term collaboration between the partners to utilise the vast submarine cable capacity in the region as well as leverage KDCH’s technical expertise and operational track record and PCCW Global's extensive global network connectivity.
During the year, KDCH formed several strategic partnerships to advance its position as a leading‑edge solutions provider. These included the signing of Memoranda with the Info‑communications Media Development Authority of Singapore and Huawei on the deployment of a high‑rise energy efficient data centre, and separately with JTC to explore the feasibility of underground data centres. Additionally, KDCH has partnered with the Singapore Internet Exchange to enhance connectivity solutions for its customers, and is also exploring a potential collaboration with Huawei on data centre efficiency and sustainability.
As part of its commitment to green data centre solutions, KCDH invested US$10 million in Nautilus Data Technologies (Nautilus), a data centre startup based in California. Nautilus has successfully launched a waterborne data centre prototype with its patented water‑cooling technology in a pre‑fabricated facility, and is currently developing a commercial data centre for deployment in 2018.
Market Review & Outlook
According to research consultancy MarketsandMarkets, the global data centre colocation segment is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 14.6% from 2017 to 2020. This is underpinned by the proliferation of cloud computing, big data and digitalisation.
In Asia Pacific, growth in data centre colocation remained strong with the surge in data consumption, rising trend for data centre outsourcing and a continued focus on regional hosting by global content providers.
In Europe, growth in data centre colocation demand has expanded from the core hubs of Frankfurt, London, Amsterdam and Paris to other locations such as Milan and Dublin. The creation of new data centre hubs is spurred by the continued entrance of subsea cables into these regions.
Demand for data centre colocation has increasingly shifted from the traditional sectors of financial services, international enterprise and telecommunications to cloud service providers and digital content providers. Continued market consolidation and new entrants are expected to increase competition, as well as pressures to reduce energy costs and improve efficiency.
Together with Keppel DC REIT, the Group has a total of 18 facilities spanning nine countries and over 1.4 million square feet of net lettable area. KDCH will continue to proactively pursue new development and acquisition opportunities in Asia Pacific and Europe, leveraging its partnerships with ADCF and Keppel DC REIT, and focus on green data centre design and technologies to sharpen its value propositions.
Floating Data Centres
In September 2017, Keppel T&T invested US$10 million in the Series C preferred stock funding of Nautilus, which is engaged in the business of developing water‑cooled data centres, including pre‑fabricated, vessel‑based facilities that can be rapidly deployed globally.
By eliminating the need for energy‑intensive cooling, a key part of a data centre's operating expenditures, water‑cooled data centres can reduce carbon emissions and air pollution significantly while also reducing costs.
The world’s first successful waterborne data centre prototype, incorporating Nautilus’ patented water‑cooling technology, was launched in 2015.
Together with Nautilus, Keppel T&T will be able to expand offerings of innovative solutions for data centre technology. Keppel T&T is also exploring opportunities to collaborate with other parts of the Group, such as Keppel Offshore & Marine, which brings to the table a strong track record in the design and production of floating platforms.
In 2017, Keppel Logistics launched UrbanFox to provide omnichannel logistics and channel management solutions, which was formed after the acquisition of a stake in Courex in 2016. Drawing on Keppel Logistics' track record in third‑party logistics solutions, and Courex’s business‑to‑consumer capabilities, UrbanFox won several channel management contracts and continues to see strong interest from both existing and potential customers for its end‑to‑end omnichannel logistics solutions.
In Vietnam and Indonesia, Keppel Logistics’ joint ventures have secured new contracts in e‑commerce logistics, providing warehousing, inventory management and value‑added services in urban hubs. In China, utilisation levels at the Sino‑Singapore Tianjin Eco‑City distribution centre has improved with the commencement of freight forwarding and transportation services to customers.
Despite intense competition, Keppel Logistics’ river ports in China performed better in 2017. Throughput at Sanshui Port grew 3% year‑on‑year, while that of Wuhu Sanshan Port grew 9% year‑on‑year driven by an expanded customer base. Amidst challenges posed by industrial relocation and traffic regulations, Lanshi Port continued to actively pursue alternative sources of cargoes. Meanwhile, Foshan Sanshui Port upgraded its port technology in 2017 to improve productivity.
In August 2017, Keppel Wanjiang International Coldchain Logistics Park in Anhui province commenced trial operations. On the other hand, the construction of the Sino‑Singapore Jilin Food Zone International Logistics Park has been put on hold due to a slow down in the development progress of the Jilin Food Zone.
With a view to optimise and focus resources to become the urban logistics solutions provider of choice, Keppel T&T is currently undertaking a strategic review of its China logistics portfolio.
Market Review & Outlook
China registered economic growth of 6.9% as the economy continued to rebalance towards domestic‑driven consumption and services.
Meanwhile, Southeast Asia registered stable growth of 5% for 2017, backed by a broad‑based pick‑up in external demand and continued resilience in domestic consumption and investment. Rapid urbanisation, growing incomes and the proliferation of connected mobile devices have fuelled e‑commerce in the region at high double‑digit growth rates in the past few years. In response, the region’s logistics sector is evolving, unearthing new opportunities in omnichannel logistics, multi‑modal transportation, cold chain logistics and intelligent transportation systems in the process.
To stay ahead, Keppel Logistics will continue to strengthen its capabilities to deliver new solutions in target markets, boost productivity and optimise its capital resources.