Skills-intensive industries were at the forefront of Singapore's surging industrial development.
During the early years of Singapore's independence, JTC helped to jumpstart Singapore's industrialisation drive through rapid land development and construction of low-cost factories. One of our earliest pioneering initiatives in sustainable development also occurred at this time when JTC built the country's first industrial water treatment plant.
JTC's early role in building housing for workers started in 1969, with the planning and construction of flats in Jurong. From the beginning, JTC wanted to create a pleasant environment in which people could both live and work. The year 1970 witnessed the completion of Jurong Hill Park, the company's first dual-purpose project. This landmark development was visited by famous dignitaries of the time, such as Queen Elizabeth II and Deng Xiao Ping, who were inspired by the combination of quality of life and practical needs that the project was able to meet for its residents.
The seed of the petrochemicals hub was sown in the early 1970s, with the allocation of Singapore's southern islands to the oil refining companies. To support industrial development during this time, JTC also took charge of Jurong Port, and rapidly made it a success: cargo handled in 1970 crossed the one million-tonne mark for the first time. In 1975, JTC initiated a port expansion project with the development of the deep-water wharves, basins for shipyards, land reclamation and other support facilities.
It was also in the 1970s that JTC celebrated the official opening of the Jurong Town Hall. Staff had been working in temporary offices, so our pride in our achievement was matched by our joy at finally moving into our first permanent home.
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In an era of capital-intensive high-technology industries, JTC led the way in developing facilities that offered better services to attract high-value investors.
In 1980, JTC initiated a Master Plan for a changing industrial landscape that aimed to attract capital and technology-intensive industries. A key highlight was the plan for Singapore's first science park to promote research and development. To complete this plan, several islands off Jurong were earmarked for reclamation to answer the needs of an expanding chemical industry.
During this period, product innovations led to the launch of a new generation of "8" series factories with improved architectural finishes and design. Since that time, JTC has launched ever more exciting products, like our justly-acclaimed ramp-up and stack-up factories which intensify land usage while offering "ground floor" conveniences.
We established the first petrochemical plant on Pulau Ayer Merbau in 1984. Land was also allocated on the mainland to major players in the shipbuilding, ship repair and rigs/drilling platform-fabricating industries.
One of JTC's key roles during this era was the creation of specialised parks catering to high-growth industry clusters. To name one such project, we completed one of the world's largest reclamation projects at Tuas for the biomedical industry in 1988. Tuas Biomedical Park I is now located on the site.
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Throughout this technologically aggressive phase of development, many companies were moving up the value chain by intensifying their use of information and related technologies, and JTC stayed with them, every step of the way.
The 1990s saw JTC realign its strategic directions to become more business-oriented, customer-centric, and internationally-focused. During this dynamic period, organisational restructuring created a more streamlined, efficient, responsive and market-oriented JTC.
In 1992, the International Business Park in Jurong East was launched – the first business park in the JTC portfolio that catered to the new requirements of hi-tech industries by combining commercial, industrial and office usage, in a pleasant landscaped environment. This was followed by a second business park, the Changi Business Park, launched in 1997.
Wafer fab park development began in 1995 with the first located in the Woodlands district. Reclamation work on Jurong Island also began this year which entailed merging seven small islands in order to create a world-class chemicals hub.
To further intensify land use, JTC launched the Industrial Land Plan for the 21st Century (IP21) in 1997. Our successes included the Woodlands Spectrum and Jurong Logistics Hub.
JTC's efforts in fostering a learning culture started in 1997 with the adoption of a Learning Organisation model. We set up the JTC Academy, the Organisational Excellence Centre and Knowledge Management Department as well as innovative teams (iLAB).
In support of our service improvements, in 1998 we launched Customer Service 21 with the theme "Going the extra mile for customers".
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At the turn of the century, Singapore increased its focus on knowledge and innovation activities, and JTC crossed into the new millennium ready to embrace change and gear up for the coming 21st century.
The year 2000 marked a significant milestone for JTC, for it was at this time that we adopted a new name, JTC Corporation, new logo, and moved into our new home, the JTC Summit.
JTC also officially launched the Airport Logistics Park of Singapore (ALPS) in year 2000. Singapore's first logistics park, it aimed to be Asia's premier logistics base for third-party logistics providers to serve their global customers.
The first decade of the new century saw Jurong Island officially opened by then Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong. iPark21, JTC's vision for the Industrial Park of the 21st century, was also launched. The Master Plan for one-north, JTC's first work-live-play-learn hub, was officially launched; and newly-formed subsidiaries comprising Ascendas, Jurong Port, JURONG Consultants and Abecha, were incorporated to streamline JTC's business operations and focus on our developmental role.
This decade also marked JTC's opening of Singapore's first integrated chemical logistics park on Jurong Island, the official opening of Biopolis – Singapore's first world-class biomedical research and development facility – and the construction of Fusionopolis Phase 1 – JTC's next fully-integrated work-live-play-learn development.
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