PUB appoints CH2M Hill Singapore as Design Consultant for Tuas Water Reclamation Plant

CH2M Hill Singapore Pte Ltd has been appointed by Singapore’s national water agency as the Detailed Design Consultant for the Tuas Water Reclamation Plant (WRP), a key component of the Deep Tunnel Sewerage System (DTSS) Phase 2.

The news came after a pre-qualification and tender exercise in 2016. The appointment will see CH2M Hill Singapore developing the detailed design of Tuas WRP over the next two years and subsequently supervise the construction and commissioning of the plant. Construction of Tuas WRP is expected to commence in the second half of 2018 and will feature multiple construction tenders for civil, mechanical and electrical engineering works as well as equipment providers for various plant components.

Unlike conventional WRPs, the advanced Tuas WRP will be receiving used water flows from the western part of Singapore via two separate deep tunnels – a tunnel to convey domestic used water and another to convey high-strength industrial used water. It will also use membrane bioreactor (MBR) technology1 to treat both used water sources and to higher standards. Domestic used water will be treated at a 650,000 m³/day (or 143 million imperial gallons per day) module and then further purified to NEWater, while industrial used water will be treated at a separate 150,000 m³/day (or 33 million imperial gallons per day) module and sent back to industries for reuse.

With an initial total treatment capacity of 800,000 m³/day (176 million imperial gallons per day or 320 Olympic-size pools), Tuas WRP will be the largest MBR facility in the world, but with a 30% more compact footprint compared to conventional plants. Tuas WRP will also feature an integrated NEWater factory, with an initial capacity of 25 million imperial gallons per day. Furthermore, Tuas WRP will be co-located with an incineration facility to harness the potential synergies of the water-energy-waste nexus, making it more efficient and greener.  

“DTSS Phase 2 continues to leverage advanced technologies and detailed planning to enhance Singapore’s used water management system and ensure water resilience and sustainability for generations to come. With a separate network for the collection and treatment of industrial used water, the Tuas WRP enables PUB to not only meet the growing water needs of the industrial sector, but also ensures the continued reliability of NEWater.,” said Mr Yong Wei Hin, Director, DTSS Phase 2, PUB.


1 MBR technology is used in the treatment of used water. A bioreactor houses naturally-occuring bacteria which break down waste products in used water, after which microfiltration/ ultrafiltration membranes – with fine pores invisible to the eye – filter the remaining impurities. MBR is a more efficient method as it optimises the used water treatment process, enabling used water to be treated using less steps and less space compared to conventional systems, and produces a higher quality treated effluent. The treated water can then be used to supply industries or as feedwater for NEWater production.