Keppel and PUB officially open Keppel Marina East Desalination Plant

Keppel Infrastructure Holdings Pte Ltd (Keppel Infrastructure) and PUB, Singapore’s National Water Agency, have officially opened the Keppel Marina East Desalination Plant (KMEDP), Singapore’s fourth desalination plant.

The ceremony was officiated by Guest of Honour, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, as well as Minister for Sustainability and the Environment, Ms Grace Fu; Chairman of Keppel Corporation, Dr Lee Boon Yang; Chairman of PUB, Mr Chiang Chie Foo; CEO of Keppel Corporation Limited, Mr Loh Chin Hua; CE of PUB, Mr Ng Joo Hee; and CEO of Keppel Infrastructure, Dr Ong Tiong Guan.

KMEDP, Singapore’s first large-scale, dual-mode desalination plant, is capable of producing 137,000 cubic metres (about 30 million gallons) of fresh drinking water per day. The plant commenced commercial operations from 29 June 2020 and is operated by Marina East Water Pte Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Keppel Infrastructure, for a 25-year concession period from 2020 to 2045, under the Design, Build, Own and Operate (DBOO) arrangement with National Water Agency PUB.

Located at Marina East, KMEDP can either treat seawater or freshwater drawn from the Marina Reservoir, depending on the prevailing weather conditions, thus strengthening Singapore’s water supply resilience.

Mr Ng Joo Hee, Chief Executive of PUB, said, “Seawater desalination is one of Singapore’s ‘four national taps’. Unlike the other three taps – imports, rainfall and recycled water – it is a practically limitless source. It is also weather-resistant and always available, rain or shine, as a source of life-giving water. The availability of desalination makes Singapore’s water supply immensely resilient. And the KMEDP coming online further strengthens Singapore’s water security.”

Dr Ong Tiong Guan, CEO of Keppel Infrastructure, commented, “Keppel is pleased to mark the official opening of KMEDP and support the Singapore Government in strengthening the resilience of Singapore’s water supply. The development and operation of the KMEDP is very much in line with Keppel’s Vision 2030, which envisages the Group providing environmental solutions to contribute to sustainable urbanisation. The completion of the plant within budget and on schedule during the Covid-19 pandemic is a further testament to the resilience of Keppel and PUB, and our strong partnership, which has grown from strength to strength.”

KMEDP is the second water plant developed and operated by Keppel under the DBOO arrangement. The first, Keppel Seghers Ulu Pandan NEWater Plant, commenced commercial operations in 2007. Seamlessly integrated with the surrounding greenery, KMEDP features nearly 20,000 square metres of open green rooftop space for community activity and recreation. The plant’s treatment facilities are situated underground, viewable via a private viewing gallery. For its outstanding design features and exceptional Active, Beautiful, Clean (ABC) standards, KMEDP became the first industrial plant in Singapore to be awarded the ABC Waters Certification (Gold) by PUB in October 2019.

KMEDP is one of the first infrastructure projects in Singapore to employ 3D, 4D and 6D Building Integrated Management (BIM) systems. This comprehensive integrated model enhances collaboration among the developer, designer, consultant, suppliers and subcontractors by allowing them to visualise their plans via 3D modelling.

KMEDP is also the first desalination plant in Singapore to feature the energy-efficient direct coupling of the ultrafiltration (UF) and reverse osmosis (RO) systems, where water filtered from the upstream UF process is fed directly to the downstream RO process, eliminating intermediate break tanks and pumping stages, resulting in significant cost and space saving, and makes the process up to 15% more energy-efficient.