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SLNG CEO to step down

Oilfield Technology,

SLNG CEO, Mr Neil McGregor, to step down by end 2013 and hand over reins to energy sector veteran, Mr John Ng.

After four years at the helm of Singapore LNG Corporation (SLNG) Pte Ltd, Mr Neil McGregor has decided to step down as its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and pass on the reins to his successor by the end of the year, as part of a planned succession process managed by the SLNG Board.

Placing Singapore on the world LNG map

Mr McGregor has been responsible for setting up Singapore’s first Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) import/export terminal - bringing the US$ 1.7 billion mega-infrastructure project from inception to commercial operations on 7 May 2013. In doing so, Singapore has quickly become a thought leader in the LNG industry and is now well positioned to facilitate the growing LNG trade in the region by ‘springboarding’ off its own needs, through a breakbulk strategy.

The Singapore LNG terminal began operations in May with two LNG storage tanks and an initial regasification capacity of 3.5 million tpa. This will increase to 6 million tpa when a third storage tank and additional regasification facilities come online by the end of this year. The next phase of expansion of the terminal (Phase 3), will bring its throughput capacity to 9 million tpa, has been initiated. An expression of interest has been issued to potential contractors possessing the requisite capabilities and the final investment decision, including construction award, is expected in early Q2 of 2014.

SLNG has also begun expanding its portfolio of terminal services, beyond its core throughput services. It recently performed its first vessel cool-down service for an LNG ship at the terminal, on 29 September 2013.

Building on the legacy

With the LNG terminal’s operations well established and its expansion plans underway, Mr McGregor decided it was time to hand over the reins to someone who can build on the success of SLNG and help realise the new LNG procurement framework, once it has been put in place by the Energy Market Authority (EMA) and the Singapore government.

Energy veteran to assume CEO position

After an extensive search process that commenced a year ago, the Chairman of SLNG, Mr Bob Tan, today announced that Mr John Ng, a 30-year veteran from the energy sector, would be joining SLNG as CEO-Designate from 1 December 2013. “We are fortunate to have someone of John’s calibre and energy to take over from Neil, and to lead in continuing the good work achieved by the SLNG Team,” said Mr Tan.

Mr Ng hails from the YTL PowerSeraya Group where he recently stepped down as CEO. His notable achievements include steering the growth of YTL PowerSeraya to maintain its leading position as an integrated energy player in Singapore.

Game-changing business strategy

At today’s staff meeting to announce Mr McGregor’s departure, Mr Tan paid tribute to the legacy that Neil has built, and the impact that it has had on both the local and international LNG scene. “Under his leadership and through the help of many agencies, SLNG built a game-changing business strategy, and a world-class facility from scratch, on time, within the original budget, and setting an outstanding safety record of 15 million man-hours without a lost time incident. Not an easy feat, when you consider the progress of many other mega projects in the region, but one achieved and done in true Singapore style. Accordingly, the shareholders and board thank him for his contributions to the company and the nation. We are equally grateful to the team of dedicated staff who have worked hard to make the terminal a reality and who believe in its future as Singapore’s next big industry,” said Mr Tan.

Mr McGregor’s contributions were also acknowledged by Mr Chee Hong Tat, CEO of the Energy Market Authority, who echoed Mr Tan’s praise: “I would like to thank Neil for putting together and leading a strong team at SLNG that built our LNG terminal on time, within budget and with an excellent safety record. This is a significant achievement, which has enhanced our energy security and opens up new possibilities for Singapore to buy gas from suppliers around the world. My colleagues and I have enjoyed working with Neil and we would like to wish him all the best in his future endeavors. We also extend a very warm welcome to John, who brings with him many years of valuable industry experience. I am confident John would build on the strong foundations which Neil has established, and take SLNG to greater heights.”

Commenting on Mr McGregor’s departure, Mr RKS Nachiappan, General Secretary of UPAGE, said: “From a human resource perspective, forming SLNG was a real challenge because Singapore did not really have an ‘LNG industry’ prior to the terminal. SLNG had to bring in people from different industries, many with little or no LNG-specific expertise, train them up and get them to work together as a team. Credit must go to Neil for his leadership and vision in making SLNG not just a successful company, but also a successful team.”

Mr Nachiappan continued: “While we will miss Neil, we are pleased to learn that John Ng will be taking over from Neil. John is a well-known and respected veteran of the energy sector, and SLNG could not be in more capable hands. We look forward to furthering the close working relationship between UPAGE and SLNG under John’s leadership.”

Mr McGregor remains on the Board of SLNG as non-executive director after he steps down, but not before taking some time off.

Edited from various sources by Ted Monroe

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