Singapore-based company Gallant Venture has partnered Japanese contractor Obayashi Corporation to pilot a technologically advanced eco-tourism focused greenhouse on Bintan Island, Indonesia. This cooperation was announced today (14 Jan) at the joint development agreement signing ceremony held in Singapore.
PT Persada Hijau Cemerlang (PHC), a company owned by Gallant Venture and Indonesian conglomerate Salim Group, will work with Obayashi to fine-tune the latter’s pioneering technology to build the Gallant Obayashi Green Agritech Park - a greenhouse optimised for the tropical climate using advanced environmental controls.
The Gallant Obayashi Green Agritech Park aims to cultivate premium crops with improved sustainability and higher yields. These crops will then be commercialised for export to Singapore and beyond. A visitor and education centre for tourists and students is also in the works to promote agri-technology.
According to Junya Noda, deputy general manager for new business department at Obayashi Corporation, construction of the project is expected to start in March and the facility is scheduled to complete by the end of the year. It will include both an open-ventilation and a closed-control type greenhouse.
“This latest collaborative venture touches the important topics of food security and sustainability, and its bigger impact on the environment,” said Eugene Park, executive director and CEO of Gallant Venture. “By raising more and more of the food needed in areas close or adjacent to the places of use, we not only create new local jobs, but also reduce the carbon footprint of transporting food long distances.
“So as we want our farm to be as close to our customers as possible, the initial focus is to export the products to nearby places like Singapore and Johor Bahru (Malaysia).”
Construction expertise and agricultural know-how
Most crops in the Southeast Asian region are grown on open farms, which need a high volume of water. Although current greenhouse technology can boost productivity, conventional structures require constant climate control in tropical climates, making their use costly and unsustainable. The upcoming tropical agritech greenhouse in Bintan would address such challenges, combining Obayashi’s construction expertise with agricultural know-how.
The new Gallant Obayashi Green Agritech Park will leverage on environmental controls to create optimal growth conditions for Japanese-grade cherry tomatoes and kale. Tapping on Obayashi’s technology and experience in understanding plant physiology, the high-tech greenhouse will also utilise heat and air flow analysis. The greenhouse will be equipped with a complex environmental control system that regulates temperature, humidity and light intensity to maximise crop production and quality as well as reduce water usage.
“As part of the Obayashi Sustainability Vision 2050, we have begun several new initiatives including developing a proven model cultivating premium cherry tomatoes at our greenhouse in Katori City, Japan,” explained Yuichi Yamamoto, managing executive officer at Obayashi Corporation and the company’s general manager of technology business development division.
“To expand our Sustainability Vision 2050, several sites across the region were evaluated. Bintan emerged as the choice location with its rich resources and close proximity to Singapore. We are excited to partner Gallant Venture to customise this technology for Southeast Asia’s environmental conditions and bring our laboratory simulations to life.”
The imminent launch of the Bintan Resorts International Airport and the upcoming Bintan-Batam sea bridge is expected to catalyse tourism demand for Bintan Island. Due to this, Bintan Resorts’ hotel room inventory is anticipated to grow five times to 10,000. The Gallant Obayashi Green Agritech Park is expected to further increase the island’s appeal as a destination with wide-ranging experiences for different tourists including families, adventure-seekers, photography enthusiasts, MICE and business travellers, students and more. They will also be able to enjoy farm-to-table culinary experiences while Bintan Resorts becomes more self-sustainable.
Furthermore, the Agritech Park is destined to become an eco-tourism destination. The visitor and education centre will offer educational tours to deepen the public’s knowledge of urban technology-driven cultivation.
“This collaboration yields strong synergies and Gallant Venture is thrilled by the opportunity to join Obayashi Corporation in pioneering new technology for Southeast Asia’s ecology. It is a small testament of our effort to prepare Bintan Island as the Agritech sandbox of the region,” said Mr Park.
“The Agritech Park offers visitors opportunities to learn about this innovative solution and will join a slew of attractions that visitors can experience at our award-winning integrated tropical beach resort destination. In line with Gallant Venture’s sustainability mission, other features such as solar panels will also be installed at the Gallant Obayashi Green Agritech Park to support the daytime energy consumption of the greenhouse.”
All images: Gallant Obayashi Green Agritech Park