Western Islands Planning Area
The Western Islands originally comprised 27 islands. In the 1990s, the government decided to reclaim land to form one major island, called Jurong Island. It was subsequently formed from the amalgamation of several offshore islands, chiefly the seven main islands of Pulau Ayer Chawan, Pulau Ayer Merbau, Pulau Merlimau, Pulau Pesek, Pulau Pesek Kecil, Pulau Sakra and Pulau Seraya.
Although called 'Western Islands', the islands are not actually located on the west of the main island of Singapore. They are in fact located south-west of the main island. The islands are also relatively near to the Southern Islands.
Jurong Island is the biggest and most important island among the Western Islands. It serves at the petroleum and petrochemical hub of the city-state, and it houses the third largest refining centre in the world. Jurong Island is home to over 94 petroleum, petrochemical, specialty chemical and supporting companies with more than S$26 billion in fixed assets investment on Jurong Island. Industry luminaries such as ExxonMobil and Shell have already established a strong presence on Jurong Island.
Jurong Island is linked to the main island by a 2.3 km causeway known as the Jurong Island Highway, opened in March 1999. Access to the island is restricted to persons who have a Jurong Island Security Pass. Other restrictions include that one must declare any photographic equipment that they are bringing to the island.