Singapore Polytechnic and Emerson partner to open Singapore’s only one-stop training and solution centre for the Energy and Chemicals sector

Singapore Polytechnic (SP) and Emerson recently celebrated the opening of the Energy and Chemicals Training Centre (ECTC), a one-stop training and solution centre to support key process industries.

Located in the polytechnic, the centre will train Diploma in Chemical Engineering students, as well as current employees from over 30 companies in the Energy and Chemicals, Pharmaceutical and Biopharmaceutical industries over the next two years, to help close critical-skills gaps and harness advanced digital technologies. Here, they can conduct experiments, build prototypes and operate equipment.

Said Soh Wai Wah, principal and chief executive of SP, “The ECTC is a one-stop centre which provides comprehensive training, consultancy and solutioning services… It aims to train and develop highly-qualified workers in process operations, troubleshooting and optimisation, process automation as well as digitalisation.”

Key facilities within the ECTC include the Interactive Plant Environment (IPE), a real plant environment with process units for gas absorption, solvent extraction, vacuum distillation and thermal fluid heating. Over 80 Emerson wired and wireless products – including pressure and level transmitters, flow meters, flame and gas detectors and control valves – are connected to the DeltaV control system and AMS Device Manager.

SMS Chee Hong Tat trying out the VR technology available in the ECTC

Senior Minister of State for the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Mr Chee Hong Tat, explained, “The team of facilitators will man the centre’s state-of-the-art facilities to deliver training that could not be done in a conventional training environment, sometimes for safety reasons. By using VR, a chemical spill can be simulated in the virtual space where a learner will learn how to perform a chemical clean-up without putting the student and others in a hazardous situation.”The plant also has a Virtualisation Room, which provides a safe environment for students to learn how to respond to what-if scenarios, with the use of Virtual Reality (VR) technologies.

Emerson Senior Director (Applied Technology) Jonas Berge conducting a tour of the ECTC

“A lot of things are common in industries – a pump is a pump, whether it’s in a chemical or water treatment plant. It’s similar. Tanks are similar, and some forms of separation and handling chemicals, there are several common elements. So, students that come out of a learning environment like this would be very well-equipped to working in a water treatment plant.”The ECTC also offers consultancy, business and innovation services for companies through training-needs analysis and road mapping. Although the ECTC is primarily focused on the Energy and Chemicals sector, Emerson senior director (applied technology) Jonas Berge stressed that the skills learnt in the centre also apply to the Water and Wastewater industry, which make them an invaluable asset.