PUB awards contract to install “world’s largest” ceramic membrane bioreactor facility at Tuas Water Reclamation Plant

Facility will treat industrial used water at a treatment capacity of 75,000m3 per day – equivalent of 30 Olympic-sized pools.

PUB, Singapore’s national water agency, has appointed Koh Brothers Building & Civil Engineering Contractor to install the mechanical, electrical, instrumentation, controls and automation (MEICA) equipment for the first of Tuas Water Reclamation Plant’s (WRP) two Industrial Liquids Modules (ILMs), which will treat industrial used water. Works are scheduled to commence this November, and ILM1 will be commissioned by 2025.

The contract, valued at S$200.7 million, includes the installation of process equipment and a ceramic membrane bioreactor (MBR) system. According to PUB, the Tuas WRP will house the world’s largest ceramic MBR facility when completed, with a treatment capacity of 75,000m3 daily.

To assess the feasibility of deploying ceramic MBR technology, PUB operated a demonstration plat with a daily treatment capacity of 4,550m3 at Jurong WRP since 2014. The system proved to be resilient against chemical damage and was able to treat high-strength industrial used water effectively to produce high-quality treated effluent. In addition, ceramic membranes are projected to have a longer lifespan as compared to polymeric membranes.

Yong Wei Hin, director, Deep Tunnel Sewerage System Phase 2 (DTSS2), PUB, said: “The deployment of ceramic MBR technology is significant in finally closing our water loop as we are now able to reclaim the industrial used water stream for reuse. This will ensure a more resilient and sustainable water supply for Singapore.”

This is the ninth major Tuas WRP construction contract awarded by PUB. Previous contracts include site development works, construction of the plant’s influent pumping stations, biosolids treatment facility, civil structures for both the Domestic and Industrial Liquids Modules, product water pumping facilities as well as its monitoring and control system.

Tuas WRP is a key component of PUB’s DTSS2 project and will be equipped to receive both industrial and domestic used water streams from two separate deep tunnels for treatment. The plant, with an initial treatment capacity of 800,000m3 per day, will be co-located with the National Environment Agency’s (NEA) Integrated Waste Management Facility (IWMF) to collectively form Tuas Nexus, which integrates solid waste and used water treatment processes to harness various synergies that will improve overall plant performance and optimise land use.

The DTSS2 is a $6.5 billion infrastructure project that will enhance Singapore’s water sustainability by improving PUB’s capability to reclaim and recycle water in an endless cycle. Upon completion in 2025, it will convey used water via deep tunnels from the western part of Singapore to Tuas WRP for treatment. DTSS Phase 1, which covers eastern Singapore and channels used water to Changi WRP, was completed in 2008.