Imprinting the SP DNA in Chongqing, China

Chief of Operations for Cooling at SP’s Sustainable Energy Solutions, Ang Chee Keong, at SP’s district cooling plant at Marina Bay.

“Staying cool” has been Ang Chee Keong’s key mission over the last 12 years in SP Group (SP), after he left his previous role as an oil terminal manager at a power generation company. The Chief of Operations for Cooling at SP’s Sustainable Energy Solutions played an instrumental role in implementing the world’s largest underground district cooling system in Singapore, at the Marina Bay area. He was also a part of the management team that led the export of SP’s district cooling system and expertise to Chongqing, China.

When SP secured the project to build and maintain district cooling facilities at Raffles City Chongqing – a 1.12 million square metre megastructure consisting of a shopping mall, office space, residential apartments, serviced residence and hotel – Chee Keong was tasked to lead the operations team, which saw him relocating to Chongqing for three and a half years.

Ang Chee Keong, Chief of Operations for Cooling in Sustainable Energy Solutions addressing his team at the district cooling plant, serving Raffles City Chongqing in China.

While Chee Keong settled into his new living environment fairly quickly, the move was not without worry. He had to be away from his wife and three children who could not join him due to practical considerations over her career and education respectively. Chee Keong had to manage the difference in work culture at first, such as the modus operandi of contractors in Chongqing. However, he soon adapted and subsequently shared his learnings with the team who succeeded his work there.

One of the greatest satisfaction for Chee Keong was leaving behind SP’s DNA. From operations philosophies to best management practices, Raffles City Chongqing district cooling network provides chilled water for air-conditioning of the buildings, which helps the customer save up to 50 per cent on their energy consumption.

SP’s district cooling team in Chongqing, China.

“Besides the plant structure and asset interfaces, we also have a strong emphasis on good equipment design and ‘people-centric’ approach in the way we do things,” said Chee Keong. 

Since Chee Keong returned to Singapore in January this year, he has been providing remote support to the Chongqing team as they ease into assuming more responsibilities. He is also developing new innovative solutions and is excited to explore integrating useful technologies from China to local projects. 

Now that he is surrounded by his favourite local food again, Chee Keong tries to stay fit and go green by cycling to work when he can. Looks like the ‘sustainability’ DNA of our district system left an indelible mark on Chee Keong’s lifestyle too!

— 31 August 2020