Singapore’s first multi-plant district cooling network

2011-09-21 - ABB has provided a complete power and automation solution for the first two phases of the Marina Bay District Cooling System in Singapore – the largest and most ambitious district cooling project ever undertaken.

By ABB Communications

Hailed as the ‘multi-billion dollar city within a city,’ Marina Bay is a 360-hectare extension to Singapore’s existing business district and downtown area. Built on reclaimed land at the southern tip of the island-state, Marina Bay and its distinctive signature skyline has already become the city’s new business, commercial and entertainment hub.

During the 1990s when the Marina Bay project was initiated, district cooling was quickly identified as the energy-efficient and cost-effective method to provide buildings in the area with an optimal indoor climate. Singapore has a hot and humid equatorial climate, in which daytime temperatures are rarely below 30 degrees Celsius.

To date, phases 1 and 2 of the district cooling system are in operation, providing 1.1 million sq m of accommodation with cool air via two chilled water production plants and a 5-km piping network.

Among the landmark buildings cooled by the network are the Marina Bay Integrated Resort (a vast commercial complex comprising a casino, hotel, conference center, museum and theaters), the Marina Bay Financial Center, One Raffles Quay (an iconic office building which headquarters five major banks), and the Asia Square office, hotel and retail scheme.

In time, the network will be expanded to five inter-connected plants with a total installed capacity of 900 megawatts (MW), capable of providing energy-efficient cooling to 8 million sq m of floor space.


ABB technologies play a key role in this vast district cooling project.

ABB is playing a key role in this vast district cooling project by providing a complete electrical, control and instrumentation solution to Singapore District Cooling Pte Ltd (SDC). SDC owns and operates two chilled water production plants (total planned capacity 330MW), piping network, and intake stations which are the interface between the district cooling system and the buildings.

ABB’s solution features the System 800xA, which monitors and controls the entire network of intake stations. It provides operators with real-time information on network and equipment performance. Armed with this information, the operator is then able to fine-tune production in line with demand and energy prices. This capability results in improved energy efficiency and lower operating costs. The control system for the district cooling plants and the distribution network includes some 45 controllers, approximately 6,000 I/Os, 10 operator workplaces, 3 engineering stations and 3 information management servers.

The solution is also comprised of medium-voltage switchgear, transformers, low-voltage motor control centers, low-voltage and medium-voltage drives, and instrumentation for pressure, flow, temperature and energy metering.

The network sets a new international energy efficiency benchmark for cooling commercial buildings.


According to SDC’s submission paper for the “Global Climate Award 2011,” the district cooling system reduces CO2 emissions by 23,000 tons a year at current level of demand compared to alternative solutions in Singapore.

ABB has a long and successful track record in the district heating and cooling market, having supplied numerous integrated electrical, control and instrumentation solutions for large and small networks in Europe, China, and Central and Southeast Asia.

* BTU - British thermal unit: the amount of energy needed to heat 1 pound (0.454 kg) of water.

Marina Bay Sands Integrated Resort is just one of the sites that the district cooling network – powered, controlled and optimized by the ABB solution - provides with chilled water. The resort features a 2,560-room hotel, a 120,000 sq m convention-exhibition center, a shopping mall, museum, two theatres, six ‘celebrity chef’ restaurants, two floating pavilions and a casino with 500 tables. The complex is topped by a 340m-long SkyPark with a 150 m infinity swimming pool, set on top of the world's largest public cantilevered platform, which overhangs the north tower by 67 m.



Download the new ABB brochure on solutions for district heating and cooling.


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    Singapore's spectacular city skyline.
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