Impact Journeys — Philanthropy Asia Summit 2024

09 May 2024

This year's Philanthropy Asia Summit (PAS), organised by the Philanthropy Asia Alliance (PAA), featured immersive, impact-in-action site visits to Sembcorp Tengeh Floating Solar Farm and the OceanXplorer research vessel operated by OceanX.

Read on for a recap of these Impact Journeys on Day 4 of PAS 2024 in April. For an overview of key highlights from the Summit, click here.

Sembcorp Tengeh Floating Solar Farm: Blending energy sustainability and innovation

In the morning, the Summit’s delegates embarked on a solar-powered boat tour around one of the world’s largest inland floating solar photovoltaic systems.

With over 122,000 floating solar panels spanning 45 hectares, the 60MWp solar farm is a significant stride towards contributing to Singapore’s solar energy deployment by 2025.

    The attendees learnt how PUB, Singapore's national water agency, leverages solar energy to sustainably produce clean tap water. Electricity generated from the farm will be sufficient to power Singapore's five local water treatment plants, offsetting about 7% of PUB's annual energy needs and reducing PUB's carbon footprint.

    The tour also provided insight into how the solar farm incorporates engineering and operational innovation. For instance, a digital monitoring platform detects faults and abnormalities in real-time, and the deployment of drones decreases manual inspection costs by about 30%.

    PAS 2024 delegates viewed the floating solar farm up-close during the boat tour.

    Based on findings from regular environmental management and mitigation plans, the solar farm has had minimal impact on water quality, flora and fauna.

    Sembcorp is a core member of PAA

    OceanXplorer: Exploring and protecting our oceans

    In the afternoon, PAS 2024 delegates visited the OceanXplorer, a state-of-the-art working research vessel housing the world’s most advanced equipment and technology for ocean exploration.

    The OceanXplorer vessel is docked at Keppel Bay as its team focuses on immersive educational tours for educators and students in Singapore.

    It is operated by OceanX — a non-profit initiative of Dalio Philanthropies, which is a founding core member of PAA and a pioneer member of PAA’s new Blue Oceans Community. OceanX combines science, technology, education, and media to explore and protect our oceans.

    A former oil and petroleum survey ship, the OceanXplorer was completely retrofitted by OceanX to be both an advanced research and science lab and a Hollywood-calibre media production studio.

    The 87 metre-long vessel can study waters up to 6,000m in depth via a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) able to navigate areas difficult or impossible to reach, such as underwater volcanoes or hydrothermal vents. 

    It is also equipped to collect biological, geological, and oceanographic samples, which can be studied up-close in the ship's wet lab or analysed through genetic sequencing in one of its three dry labs.

    Delegates learn how the ship's dry labs (left) house sophisticated science research technology such as a full eDNA and genetic sequencing system, microscopy, and 3D printers to facilitate real-time analysis of findings. Meanwhile, the wet lab (right) allows specimens to be observed and kept alive in an environment close to their natural habitat.

    The ship's manned submersibles and ROV conduct simultaneous operations allowing OceanX to meet scientific and media needs at the same time. The OceanXplorer is optimised for high-quality media production, allowing it to tell the ocean’s story to the world through short-form, live content, while at sea.

    Using Singapore as a central meeting point, OceanX will embark on a multi-year mission to explore and further understand Southeast Asia waters, one of the most biodiverse and threatened oceanic regions in the world.

    We are grateful to both OceanX and Sembcorp for hosting the experiential Impact Journeys as part of PAS 2024.

    The Summit is the annual flagship platform for action by PAA, a Temasek Trust initiative to promote collaborative philanthropy and prime Asia as a force for good.

    For the latest updates, follow PAA on LinkedIn and check out its website.


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