Sembcorp Industries' CEO Tang Kin Fei has played an instrumental role over the past 2 decades. By LEE MEIXIAN
SOME 20 years ago, Sembcorp Industries, a heavyweight in Singapore's utilities sector and a blue-chip conglomerate, didn't actually have a utilities business.
Today, utilities, comprising energy, water, solid waste management and on-site logistics, contributed $450 million in 2013 net profit - more than half the $820 million total net profit reported that year.
Moreover, profit from utilities is expected to double in the next five years, on the back of a strong development pipeline of power and water projects in mostly rapidly developing economies.
One person who was instrumental in adding the utilities pillar to the company's then largely marine operations back in 1995 is Sembcorp's present-day group president and CEO Tang Kin Fei.
The utilities business arose because of a conundrum that Mr Tang found himself grappling with back when he was heading Sempec, a seven-person unit of Sembawang Engineering engaged in onshore plant engineering services.