Keppel Marina East Desalination Plant wins recognition at Global Water Awards 2021

International water community recognises Singapore’s dual-mode desalination plant as a model of innovation that strengthens the republic’s water security

The Keppel Marina East Desalination Plant (KMEDP), a dual-mode desalination plant in Singapore, has been named Desalination Plant of the Year at the Global Water Awards 2021. The plant was opened in February this year, and produces up to 137,000m3/day of drinking water.

KMEDP was designed with a dual-mode capability to take advantage of its location in Marina East, where the plant can treat either seawater or reservoir water drawn from the Marina Reservoir, depending on the prevailing weather conditions, thus strengthening the republic’s water supply resilience.

Ng Joo Hee, chief executive of PUB, said: “Desalination provides a weather-resistant source of water, and will be increasingly important for Singapore. In addition to providing treatment capacity that further strengthens Singapore’s water security, the KMEDP is also a very special facility. It is dual-purpose, situated in the city and integrated with parkland, and a beautiful piece of architecture.”

The plant also incorporates energy-efficient systems and equipment, such as the compact Dissolved Air Flotation system which reduces the plant footprint by 30%. This is vital for land-scarce Singapore. It also marks the first plant in the city-state 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 while retaining booster pressure, resulting in cost and space saving, as omitting one pumping cycle save 15% of the energy used in a pumping cycle.

Cindy Lim, CEO of Keppel Infrastructure, concluded: “We are honoured that the KMEDP is recognised for its innovative design, energy efficiency and contribution to strengthening the resilience of Singapore’s water supply. The KMEDP showcases Keppel’s strong project management and technological capabilities, and our ability to harness these capabilities to integrate ecosystems and the built environment from end to end.

“This is very much in line with Keppel’s Vision 2030, which envisages the group providing environmental solutions to contribute to sustainable urbanisation.”