Hyflux Ltd. (Hyflux) has announced plans to bolster its global competitiveness across three fronts.
In partnership with the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), Hyflux is making investments to improve manufacturing productivity, commercialise next-generation membrane technologies and diversify from its traditional infrastructure business. The move aligns with EDB’s continuing efforts to groom Large Local Enterprises, or LLEs in short.
Automation of Hyflux Manufacturing Plant to Increase Productivity
In line with the national call for more labour productivity and manufacturing efficiency, Hyflux has invested over S$30 million in a new fully-integrated and automated steel structure fabrication processing line at its Tuas manufacturing plant over the last few years. The investment in robotics and automation will enhance operational productivity by about 25 per cent, improve the skill profile of its employees and reduce reliance on foreign labour.
Partnership with NEWRI to Develop Next-Generation Membrane Technologies
As part of its long-standing commitment to be at the forefront of technological development, Hyflux signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) today with Nanyang Technological University’s (NTU Singapore) Nanyang Environment and Water Research Institute (NEWRI) to collaborate on the commercialisation of advanced membrane technologies, in particular, aquaporin-based biomimetic membranes, as well as novel nanofiltration applications. This is aligned with the priorities of Singapore’s Research, Innovation and Enterprise (RIE) 2020 funding to leverage even more public-private partnerships to commercialise new technologies.
Aquaporins are naturally-occurring proteins which transport water through channels in the membranes of biological cells. Biomimetic membranes leverage on these hydrophilic proteins to increase the energy efficiency of water treatment processes and have been identified by the PUB, Singapore’s National Water Agency, as an emerging membrane technology that significantly increases the energy-efficiency of desalination.
Establishment of Flagship ELO Lab to Diversify Business Offerings
Following the success of Hyflux’s first commercial ELO Lab, an oxygen-rich bath therapy facility at City Square Mall that opened in September 2016, Hyflux is launching its flagship ELO Lab in central Singapore. Strategically located at 38C Belvedere Close in the Tanglin area, it is set to cater to Singapore’s growing healthcare and wellness industry.
Expected to open in the third quarter of 2017, the new large-scale facility will feature 50 individual private suites offering ELO Water therapy sessions. Clinical trials in South Korea and Australia have been conducted with positive and encouraging results on the health-enhancing properties of ELO Water on skin condition and mice cancer cells respectively, with more local and international clinical trials in progress to ascertain ELO Water’s effects in alleviating various health conditions.
Moving forward, Hyflux will continue to invest in R&D to develop new applications for the ELO business line. Today, Hyflux manufactures and bottles ELO drinking water solely in its Singapore facilities.
“We are grateful for the support and opportunities extended to Hyflux across multiple fronts by the Singapore government,” said Ms Olivia Lum, Executive Chairman and Group CEO, Hyflux. “Hyflux has come a long way since it was founded in 1989 and will continue to invest and build new capabilities in Singapore, even as we continue to fly the Singapore flag in our overseas operations.”
“We are delighted to support Hyflux’s investments to increase the productivity of its manufacturing operations, develop next-generation membrane technologies and to diversify into its ELO Water business. These projects are very much in line with how EDB intends to work with our Large Local Enterprises to enhance their long term competitiveness and also grow through the creation of new businesses.” said Dr Beh Swan Gin, Chairman, EDB.