Cost of land reclamation in Singapore looks set to rise

News - September 19, 2002

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Details have been announced of a new workshop being held in the UK in November on the subject of shallow water multibeam echo-sounding.

The organiser of the event is the Southern Region of The Hydrographic Society of the United Kingdom.

The workshop, Multibeam Echosounding - The Total Inshore Solution?: Overcoming the Shallow Water Challenge, will take place on November 28th at The Berkshire Brewery in Reading, UK, to be followed by the AGM of The Hydrographic Society.

Places are limited to 75, and due to interest already expressed, early booking is recommended.

Costs (to include lunch, refreshments and workshop papers) will be 45 for members, 65 for non members and a maximum of 25 student places at 35 (Preference to recognised students of Hydrography). In the case of corporate members a maximum of two delegates per company will be allowed to register at the lower rate.

Further information will be available on www.hydrographicsociety.org and application forms can also be obtained from uk.southern@hydrographicsociety.org.

*region:Asia Pacific
Singapore Press Holdings reports that land reclamation projects in Singapore could get substantially more expensive now that an Indonesian government committee has recommended a ban on sand dredging in the Riau province.

The newspaper group reports that an almost three-fold price hike for Riau sand has led to an increase in illegal dredging, environmental damage and huge losses to the state, according to Indonesia's Environment Minister Nabiel Makariam.

In the newspaper, Mr Nabiel said that the relevant ministries have discussed the recommendation to ban sand dredging, but no decision has been made. "We must carry out an environmental impact assessment to ensure that our environment will not be damagedbefore allowing the dredging to proceed," The Jakarta Post reported him as saying.

Several small islands and coral reefs have been destroyed by widespread legal and illegal dredging, according to the report.

The central government - which has sole regulatory control over sand mining since a May decree by President Megawati Soekarnoputri - raised the price of sand from $1.30 per cubic metre to $5 per cubic metre from September 01. The sand is first sold to international brokers, who then sell it to Singapore construction firms at an almost 10-fold mark-up.

The sand dredging issue has taken on new prominence in the past two months after the Indonesian Navy detained several dredgers for alleged illegal mining in Riau waters. They have since been freed on bail equivalent to 50 per cent of each ship's value and contents.

Singapore is estimated to require up to 1.8 billion cubic metres of sand over the next eight years for reclamation works including currently active projects at Tuas View, Jurong Island and Changi East.

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