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Arctic Yearbook 2012
Watters and Tonami
The SMC comprises more than 5000 maritime establishments
(Khong, 2012)
and has strong
linkages to the rest of Singapore’s economy, with a total direct and indirect value-added contribution
of around 9% of GDP (Wong, Ho, & Singh, 2010). Significant effort is being expended to
transform this maritime cluster into an international leader, adopting a top-down, coordinated multi-
agency approach to developing the cluster (Wong, Ho, & Singh, 2010: 111). The Maritime and Port
Authority of Singapore (MPA) has overall responsibility for the development of the international
maritime cluster and official institutions have been proactive in investing in core infrastructure and
moving vulnerable industries, for example ship repair, into more modern niche markets.
The OME sector is central to the SMC and the development of the maritime knowledge hub. It
accounts for 20% of total value added in the SMC and 25% of total maritime employment in
Singapore (Wong, Ho, & Singh, 2010: 88). Singapore’s OME sector accounts for 70% of the world’s
jack-up rig-building market
and 2/3 of the global Floating Production Storage and Offloading
(FPSO) platform conversion market
(Singapore Economic Development Board, 2012)
, both crucial
technologies for offshore drilling in hostile environments. Singapore’s Keppel Offshore and Marine
and Sembcorp Marine dominate these markets (Wong, Ho, & Singh, 2010: 96) and have close ties to
state institutions.
Keppel Offshore and Marine entered the Arctic icebreaker market in 2008, delivering two vessels to
Russia’s LUKOIL that are currently operating in the Barents Sea
(Keppel Offshore & Marine,
. In February 2012, Keppel and ConocoPhillips announced their intention to jointly design a
pioneering jack-up rig for offshore Arctic drilling, with project completion expected by the end of
(Keppel Offshore & Marine, 2012b)
. The success of Keppel OM and Sembcorp in particular
has fueled growth in related industries, such as supply vessels, logistics, IT repair and support
(Wong, Ho, & Singh, 2010: 98).
In the development of the maritime knowledge hub, there is a close state-industry-academia
cooperation, as is typical of the developmental state (Airriess, 2001: 240). The Singapore
government has sought to grow Arctic expertise to complement its existing industrial expertise. It
has instituted a number of R&D initiatives involving the MPA, the National University of Singapore
(NUS) and the private sector. Most notable are Arctic research projects at the Centre for Offshore
Research & Engineering (CORE) at NUS
(Elias, 2008)
. CORE was established in 2004 “to
strengthen Singapore’s performance as an oil and gas hub in the wake of high growth forecasts for