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Singapore Billionaire Brothers Tap Environment-Friendly Generators To Power Construction Site

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Far East Organization—controlled by billionaire brothers Robert and Philip Ng—has switched from diesel-fired generators to battery energy storage systems (BESS) to power one of its construction sites in Singapore as part of the group’s sustainability initiatives.

Since switching on the battery-powered electric generators last month at One Holland Village—a mixed-used residential and commercial development at the expatriate enclave of Holland Village in western Singapore—noise levels and carbon emissions have been reduced, which has improved air quality at the construction site, said Augustine Tan, executive director of property services division at Far East Organization.

One Holland Village is one of two construction sites being managed by contractor Woh Hup—one of the oldest and largest construction companies in Singapore that built some of the country’s iconic landmarks such as Gardens by the Bay and Changi Airport. Woh Hup has brought in a large-scale BESS called Enertainer from Hong Kong-based startup Ampd Energy.

Ampd Energy said the Enertainer will also be deployed at Irwell Hill Residences, a twin residential skyscraper being constructed by Woh Hup for billionaire Kwek Leng Beng’s City Developments near the Orchard Road shopping belt.  

Founded in 2014, Ampd Energy started out manufacturing electric scooters in China before pivoting into making BESS in 2018 when Gammon asked the company to design battery-powered generators that could power an entire construction site. Since deploying the first battery-powered generators in Hong Kong two years ago, the startup has delivered 80 BESS units across 60 construction sites in Hong Kong and Singapore and is on track to supply an additional 20 units by the end of this year, cofounder and CEO Brandon Ng said in an interview with Forbes Asia.

Backed by venture capital firms London-based 2150 and Sydney-based Taronga Group, Ampd Energy aims to cut emissions and noise levels at construction sites around the world by replacing thousands of diesel generators with battery-powered ones. After expanding into Singapore, the company plans to enter Australia and Europe next year, Ng said.

“Urbanization has led to a growing demand for large-scale building projects which have a very negative impact on our environment,” said Ng, a Forbes Asia 30 Under 30 alumni. “We heard the urgent pleas of some contractors and have designed our battery solution for a cleaner, quieter, more efficient and safer energy supply at worksites.”

Ampd Energy—which is among the inaugural batch of Forbes Asia’s 100 to Watch list of notable small companies and startups across the Asia Pacific that was published in August—claims that Enertainer is 32 times quieter than diesel generators and can help reduce carbon emissions at construction sites by up to 85%. That’s good news for residents of Singapore where most construction sites are in densely populated areas.

Besides the Enertainer’s positive impact on the environment, Ng said the equipment also makes economic sense for developers and construction companies. While the cost of leasing diesel generators may be less than that of a BESS, Ng said the overall costs are comparable once the price of diesel is factored in.

Ampd Energy said Enertainer will also be deployed by Hexacon Construction at the worksite of Central Boulevard Towers—an office tower being developed by IOI Property Group, which is controlled by Malaysian billionaire brothers Lee Yeow Chor and Lee Yeow Seng. The equipment will also be used by tycoon Cheng Wai Keung’s Wing Tai in building The M, a residential condominium project on the edge of the central business district, as well as the BCA Academy building being constructed by Dragages Singapore.