Newater to meet 40% of Singapore's needs

2020 goal part of effort to be self-sufficient in water, says SM Goh
Cassandra Chew, Straits Times 4 May 10;

NEWATER will play a bigger role in meeting Singapore's water needs over the next decade.

By 2020, this reclaimed water will meet 40 per cent of Singapore's water needs, up from the current 30 per cent.

The move is in line with the Government's aim to be completely self-sufficient in water by 2061, said Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong yesterday, when he opened Singapore's fifth and largest Newater factory in Changi.

Designed, built and operated by listed company Sembcorp Industries, the $180 million plant will supply 50 million gallons of water daily.

To achieve the 40 per cent target, another 75 million gallons per day will have to be produced, said Mr Goh.

Together with the supply from the four earlier plants - in Ulu Pandan, Kranji, Seletar and Bedok - Singapore's total Newater capacity in 2020 will hit 197 million gallons a day.

This extra volume could come from an expansion of the new Changi factory, said a spokesman for national water agency PUB, which awarded the tender for the plant to Sembcorp two years ago.

It was completed last month but already has received global recognition for its efficient use of space and energy.

Last week, it received the industry's Oscars when leading publisher Global Water Intelligence gave it the Water Reuse Project of the Year award for 2010.

The factory is built atop the existing Changi water reclamation plant, saving costs on land and pipes to transport water if it were sited elsewhere.

Its compact features pack in about 20,000 tubes of filtration membranes, which would cover over 100 football fields if unrolled, into the space of just two pitches.

Almost all this reclaimed water is consumed by industries, whose appetite for it has grown from four million gallons daily for about 20 firms in 2003, to 60 million now for over 360 companies.

Only 2 per cent of Newater produced daily is mixed with raw reservoir water before it is treated to become drinking water.

Singapore consumes about 380 million gallons of water daily, supplied by four water taps: Newater, reservoirs, imported water and desalination plants. But until a decade ago, there were only two sources: reservoirs and water from Malaysia.

As a result, Singapore was at the mercy of the vagaries of the weather. Also, whenever there were rows with Malaysia, 'some Malaysian politicians would use water as leverage to pressure us to compromise in their favour', said Mr Goh. It became urgent and important for the country to have a 'robust and diversified' water supply, he added.

The drive to be self-reliant has given Singapore the room to be totally self-sufficient if there is no new water agreement with Malaysia in 2061, when the second water agreement expires, said Mr Goh.

This agreement was signed in 1962, a year after the first pact, which Singapore is not renewing when it expires next year. The first agreement sells water to Singapore at three sen (1.28 Singapore cents) for every 1,000 gallons. The second allows Singapore to buy more at the same price.

The quest to solve Singapore's water problems has spurred the growth of a vibrant water industry, with companies here securing $7.7 billion worth of projects abroad between 2006 and last year. These include Sembcorp's deal to build a $1.4 billion water and power plant in Oman, as well as build China's first industrial wastewater treatment and water reclamation plants in Zhangjiagang, Jiangsu province.

Singapore opens its biggest NEWater plant
Channel NewsAsia 3 May 10;

SINGAPORE: Singapore's fifth and biggest NEWater plant officially opened on Monday.

The Sembcorp NEWater Plant at Changi East Close has a total capacity of 228,000 cubic metres of NEWater per day.

The facility, together with the existing four NEWater plants, will enable NEWater to meet 30 per cent of Singapore's total water demand.

The Sembcorp NEWater Plant is probably the only large-scale water recycling plant in the world to be housed on top of a water reclamation plant, that is, the PUB-owned Changi Water Reclamation Plant.

This is a state-of-the-art used water treatment facility that collects and treats used water from the eastern half of Singapore. The treated used water is then channelled to the Sembcorp NEWater Plant on its rooftop to be further purified into NEWater.

This innovative plant-on-plant design facilitates large-scale water recycling, particularly in land-scarce Singapore. The facility's state-of-the-art microfiltration and reverse osmosis systems are also designed for optimum energy consumption.

The Sembcorp NEWater Plant is the winner of the Global Water Awards 2010 Water Reuse Project of the Year, which recognises the water reuse project representing the most significant achievement for the industry internationally.

Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, speaking at the opening of the plant, said Singapore will continue to expand its NEWater capacity to 75 million gallons a day (mgd) so that it supplies 40 per cent of Singapore's total water needs by 2020.

Mr Goh said the threat of water shortage has become even more pronounced with climate change.

And against this backdrop, he said international acceptance of water reuse as a viable long-term water solution will grow.

He said Singapore has achieved notable success in adopting water reuse in a big way. It has demonstrated how water reuse can form part of a sustainable solution to meet water needs.

The demand for NEWater has grown from 4 mgd in 2003 to some 60 mgd today with wafer fabs among the major users.

- CNA/ir



NEWater meets 30% demand
Koh Hui Theng, Straits Times 3 May 10;

SENIOR Minister Goh Chok Tong officially opened Singapore's fifth and biggest NEWater plant on Monday.

Together with the existing four NEWater plants, the Sembcorp NEWater Plant will be able to meet 30 per cent of Singapore's total water demand, up from 15 per cent previously. There are plans to expand capacity to meet 40 per cent of Singapore's total water needs by 2020, said SM Goh.

A winner of the Global Water Awards 2010 Water Reuse Project of the Year, the new facility is the only large-scale water recycling plant in the world to be housed on top of a water reclamation plant. It purifies treated used water from the Changi Water Reclamation Plant, which collects and treats used water from the eastern half of Singapore.

Introduced in 2003, NEWater plays an important role in Singapore's drive towards eventual self-sufficiency. Industrial demand for the recycled water has grown 15-fold, from 4 million gallons per day (or mgd) in 2003 to some 60 mgd today, said SM Goh.

He added: 'Because of our sustained efforts we have come a long way in water self-sufficiency. When the first of our two water agreements with Malaysia expires next year, we will not be renewing it.

'By 2061 when the second water agreement expires, we can also be totally self-sufficient if there is no new water agreement with Malaysia.'

Operation Newater
To meet 40 per cent of Singapore's needs by 2020
Today Online 4 May 10;

SINGAPORE - It now meets 30 per cent of our water demand, double the previous amount.

And by 2020, Newater will be able to meet 40 per cent of Singapore's total water needs.

This can be done if Singapore continues to expand its Newater capacity to 75 million gallons a day (mgd), said Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong yesterday at the official opening of Sembcorp's Newater facility at Changi East Close.

The fifth and largest Newater plant to date, the facility has a total capacity of 228,000 cubic metres per day. With its addition, Mr Goh said Newater was well placed to play an "increasing role in our journey" toward "eventual self-sufficiency" in water.

This comes as the first of two Water Agreements with Malaysia is due to expire next year. Singapore will not be renewing it.

"By 2061, when the second Water Agreement expires, we can also be totally self-sufficient if there is no new water agreement with Malaysia," said Mr Goh.

This was not always the case.

"Apart from the vagaries of the weather, dependence on imported water from Malaysia had also at times been a cause of tension in bilateral relations.

"Whenever there were serious bilateral disagreements, some Malaysian politicians would use water as leverage to pressure us to compromise in their favour," Mr Goh said.

Experiences such as these underline the importance and urgency of a robust and diversified water supply, said Mr Goh.

And it was "not just a matter of having enough to drink and wash" - industries being developed needed reliable supplies of water, and large investors needed to be sure of the long-term prospects of Singapore's water supply.

Wafer fabs, for instance, are among the major users of Newater today. With industries such as these requiring chemically pure water, demand for Newater has grown from 4 mgd in 2003 to some 60 mgd today.

"In this way, Newater plays a critical role in supporting Singapore's economic growth," said Mr Goh.

The threat of water shortage has also become even more pronounced with climate change, and international acceptance of water reuse as a viable long-term water solution will grow.

With Newater, Singapore has "closed the water loop, and demonstrated how water reuse can form part of a sustainable solution to meet water needs", he said, noting Singapore as a world leader in this respect.


Catch a ride on a growing wave

Plenty of opportunities for smaller firms at fifth Newater plant, says PUB
Desmond Wong Today Online 4 May 10;

SINGAPORE - Opportunities are flowing in Singapore's growing water sector and this bodes well for local companies, especially smaller firms aiming to take a slice of the pie from this buoyant sector.

The Public Utilities Board (PUB) said that by being involved in large water management projects, these firms can gain experience that will help them venture abroad. This applies to companies outside the water industry as well.

Singapore took another step towards its goal of water sustainability with the opening of the fifth Newater reclamation plant yesterday. The $180-million project will help to meet rising demand for water.

Market players said projects like this will open the floodgates for smaller firms to tap on the industry's growth.

The benefits of developing such mega-projects could overflow into sectors like engineering and construction.

PUB's director, 3P network department, Mr Yap Kheng Guan, said: "If you look at the value chain, there's a lot of opportunities for smaller companies as well."

For example, in the construction of the latest Newater plant, Mr Yap said: "It goes all the way down to contractors, sub-contractors. There's people conducting the structural work, the civil works, supplying the membranes and so on."

PUB said one way for smaller firms to get a piece of the action is to work with the public sector to build up their track record.

Typically, they can get involved in projects that can range from $25 million to more than $100 million.

Local conglomerate Sembcorp, the lead contractor for the latest Newater plant, is an example of such public-private partnership. The company said that such a collaboration provided a competitive edge when it came to pitching for projects abroad.

Executive vice-president, group business and strategic development, at Sembcorp Industries, Mr Tan Cheng Guan, said: "The northern part of China is getting water-stressed, so they are probably planning to have large scale water reuse plants in the future."

He added: "With this track record, Sembcorp will be in a much better position compared to other competitors."

Industry players said that Singapore's water sector has been receiving much interest from foreign markets in recent times.

The number of participants at Singapore's International Water Week has grown about 20 per cent over the past two years, while local companies have experienced strong demand in markets like China and the Middle East.

Newater will meet 40% of demand by 2020: SM Goh
Fifth, largest plant opened in Changi, with capacity of 50m gallons per day
Joyce Hooi, Business Times 4 May 10;

(SINGAPORE) By 2020, it will be possible for Newater to meet 40 per cent of Singapore's demand for water, said Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong yesterday.

He was speaking at the official opening of the country's fifth and largest Newater plant in Changi - the Sembcorp Newater plant, which has a production capacity of 50 million gallons a day (mgd).

'We will continue to expand our Newater capacity by some 75 mgd so that Newater will be able to meet 40 per cent of Singapore's total water needs by 2020,' said Mr Goh.

This Newater production target comes on the heels of the news last week that Singapore will not be renewing the first of its two water agreements with Malaysia when it expires next year.

In his speech yesterday, Mr Goh had reiterated that point.

'Because of our sustained efforts, we have come a long way in water self-sufficiency. When the first of our two water agreements with Malaysia expires next year, we will not be renewing it,' he said.

'By 2061, when the second water agreement expires, we can also be totally self-sufficient if there is no new water agreement with Malaysia.'

Singapore currently imports 40 per cent of its water from Malaysia.

Mr Goh also noted that the threat of water shortage had been exacerbated by climate change.

In a span of seven years, demand for Newater has increased exponentially, from 4 mgd for 20 companies to 60 mgd for over 360 companies, currently.

While only 2 per cent of Newater is used for domestic consumption currently, it will gradually be increased. After 2011, the use of Newater for domestic consumption will rise 10 mgd a year.

With the opening of the Sembcorp Newater plant in Changi, its production capacity combined with that of the other four existing Newater plants will be able to meet 30 per cent of Singapore's water needs.

Sembcorp was awarded the 25-year contract in 2008 by the Public Utilities Board (PUB) to design, build, own and operate the water recycling plant.

The plant is housed on top of PUB's Changi Reclamation Plant as part of what is called a 'plant-on- plant design', which reduces land usage and cost.

A mirror image of the space used by the water recycling plant stands empty next to it, ready for use should demand for Newater increase.

While plans are underway to reduce the nation's reliance on imported water, Singapore companies have conversely seen the export of water-related technology take off.

'Sembcorp is building a water reclamation plant in the Zhangjiagang Free Trade Zone in China, which will produce industrial and demineralised water from treated effluent . . . We hope to be able to replicate this model elsewhere in China, as well as in other markets overseas,' said Tang Kin Fei, Sembcorp's group president and chief executive officer.

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