Singapore has one of the busiest sea ports in the world. Located at the crossroads of many major shipping routes, Singapore is a focal point of some 400 shipping lines with links to more than 700 ports around the world. Given much of its territorial waters are dedicated to marine use, there are limits to how much land Singapore can reclaim.
Two new reclamation projects were recently launched at Pulau Tekong and Tuas View Extension. As these large scale projects were being carried out, Malaysia alleged that the works were having an adverse impact on their territorial waters. Singapore’s ongoing reclamation works were subject to consideration by the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea on the grounds that they were causing trans boundary environmental harm. In the resolution paper it was determined that the works were not having the adverse impacts as claimed, but that strict monitoring needed to be undertaken to ensure this remained the case.
The use of 3D hydrodynamic and sediment plume modelling is considered international best practice and was used as the benchmark for all WorleyParsons modelling. Three dimensional hydrodynamic numerical modelling of sediment plumes underpins the scientific assessment of potential impact from dredging and sediment disposalactivities. WorleyParsons developed a front and backend system, called Neptune, to pro-actively manage any marine construction activities using sophisticated hydrodynamic models. This groundbreaking initiative to monitor all of Singapore’s territorial waters in 3D every hour in near-real-time is a global first and utilises a cutting-edge algorithm. Harnessing the power of satellite technology and cloud computing, WorleyParsons can identify where construction-related plumes or altered currents are affecting environmental receptors including in this case, at the Singapore/Malaysian boundary. The Neptune facility means that data that would previously have taken years to process can now be viewed and analysed in a matter of seconds and government officials can now see where plumes are crossing the border (in 3D in near-real-time), or can even receive automatic alerts when this occurs to enable impacting activities to be stopped before more damage is done.
While Singapore has utilised 2D modelling and huge field-based monitoring programs for the past 10 years, WorleyParsons recognised there was an opportunity for improvement and that they needed to be technically innovative in order to break into the market and deliver.
From its Centre of Excellence for Marine Sciences based in Perth, the firm created a solution that required development of complex hydrodynamic models, procedures for updating the spill budget and a quality control algorithm that rejected data sent by third parties if it did not meeton live telemetry information infield. The boundary issues also mean that there was extreme sensitivity around the project works.
As Singapore’s ongoing reclamation works were summoned to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, WorleyParsons developed modelling solutions to proactively enable construction to continue, ensuring real time results and efficient monitoring.
The solutions included:
• Daily model hindcast
• Daily forecast analysis
• Daily satellite imaqery analysis
• Acoustic ADCPs
• Reports on the tonnage spilt daily, setting the nex t 48 hours’ spill budget.
All this was undertaken automatically through WorleyParsons’ Neptune platform- coupling together a complicated modelling, cloud computing and validation program-and using the technology in innovative ways. WorleyParsons was able to deliver daily reports within 24 hours to proactively manage the results from the dredge-related impacts while helping to save approximately 50 per cent in costs compared to other tender prices. This ambitious and innovative monitoring program helps overcome the ocean information challenge and gives users the power to protect environmentalquality objectives before adverse impacts can occur. Neptune allows governments to respond quickly to incidents, marine contractors to have more control over their construction process,and academics, NGOs, the media and the pulblic due to the wealth of information.