Parliamentary Speeches

The Fire Safety (Amendment) Bill 2016 - Wrap-Up Speech by Mr Desmond Lee, Senior Minister of State for Home Affairs

Published: 10 November 2016



1. Mdm Speaker, Mr Ng asks what the commercial implications of this change might be.


2. The Singapore Civil Defence Force's (SCDF) policy intent has always been that where there are multiple pipelines that run together in a pipeline corridor, one appropriate party should be licensed as the "pipeline owner". This has largely been achieved since the pipeline licensing regime was put in place through the Fire Safety Act (FSA) amendments in 2013.


3. This round of amendments clarifies the definition of "pipeline owner" in the Act, to ensure that the appropriate parties will be licensed. The SCDF has been working closely with the "pipeline owners" who will be licensed following these amendments, and the necessary measures are already largely in place today. As such, there are unlikely to be significant commercial implications arising from the proposed legislative changes.




4. Mr Ng also asked about the SCDF's licensing approach to a pipeline network with multiple pipelines that branch out from a point of supply to separate destinations – whether the network would be licensed under one party, or multiple parties. The answer is: different parts of the pipeline network are owned and managed by different parties and, accordingly, the appropriate licensee for each part will necessarily be different. We want to ensure that where pipelines run together, there is a single party that is accountable for this segment of the pipelines, rather than having different licensees being responsible for different pipelines that are in fact run parallel to each other and are lying side by side. However, where some pipelines branch off into an adjacent corridor owned and managed by another party, that party is the most appropriate person to be licensed for the segment of pipelines running through his corridor.


5. Different corridors may therefore have different licensees, but every licensee is held to the same standards. Under the SCDF's regulatory framework, every "pipeline owner" has to meet the SCDF's stipulated safety standards for the maintenance of their pipelines. This ensures that there is both integrity and consistency in the maintenance efforts across the entire pipeline network.


6. In addition, the licensed "pipeline owners" are also required to put in place comprehensive emergency response plans. When an incident occurs, the respective "pipeline owners" are responsible for the emergency response and mitigation efforts for the segments of pipelines for which they have been licensed. Should an incident occur at the boundary of two adjacent pipeline corridors, the SCDF will activate both licensees for immediate emergency response. 


Civil Defence and Emergency Preparedness
Law and order