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In the UK, Sembcorp is likely to be known as the company behind Wilton International in Teesside, supplying energy and utilities to industrial clients on the site and owning a substantial portfolio of development land available for industrial investments. Others will know Sembcorp as a leading operator of flexible power stations and Battery Energy Storage Systems - helping to dynamically manage the UK’s energy system and supporting the country’s transition to Net Zero. However, these UK operations are part of an international business with an array of energy and urban development interests and a solid commitment to sustainability. As the company celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, we take a closer look at the global operation behind a familiar UK brand.
A global business
It’s 25 years since the formation of Sembcorp Industries Ltd. Today the company is well established as a leading provider of energy and urban solutions, with a listing on the main board of the Singapore Exchange, a workforce of more than 5,000 people, and operations across Singapore, Southeast Asia, China, India, the UK and the Middle East.
A balanced energy portfolio
Sembcorp has a balanced global energy portfolio of 19.4GW, including 11.9GW of gross renewable energy capacity spanning solar, wind and energy storage. This renewables total encompasses wind power assets in India and China, solar power assets in Singapore, Vietnam, India, Indonesia, China, and Oman, and Battery Energy Storage Systems in Singapore and the UK. Key assets include the Sembcorp Tengeh Floating Solar Farm in Singapore – one of the world’s largest inland floating solar systems. The company also continues to generate and supply conventional energy for industry and communities, with a strategic focus on improving efficiency and reducing emissions.
Sembcorp at Wilton International
Sembcorp invested in the UK market at Wilton international in 2003, just five years after its formation. One of the company’s first actions was to approve funding for the GT1 gas turbine, to improve energy efficiency and reduce emissions on the site. The 20 years that followed saw a series of Sembcorp investments at Wilton International focused on sustainability and emissions reductions. These included state-of-the-art gas turbines, the UK’s first large-scale biomass power station, and a £250m waste-to-energy plant. Today Sembcorp Energy UK and Wilton International are leading players in Teesside’s ambitious industrial decarbonisation strategy, focused on plans to deliver the UK’s first net zero carbon industrial cluster.
Flexible power for the UK
In 2018, Sembcorp expanded its UK footprint through the acquisition of a decentralised, flexible power stations operator, supplying rapid response power to the grid during periods of increased demand. Today, this capability is complemented by an operational Battery Energy Storage Systems portfolio totalling 120MWh across five UK sites, which can power more than 1 million homes for an hour. By storing the energy generated by intermittent renewables (e.g. wind) for later use, and by stabilising the frequency of the national grid, batteries are set to play a key role in the UK’s transition to a net zero future. Sembcorp has used its existing experience and expertise to help add batteries to its portfolio in Singapore, and is due to bring battery power to Teesside, with plans to grow its UK battery portfolio at Wilton International.