Proceeds from green bonds issued will finance projects to strengthen Singapore’s water security and sustainability
PUB, Singapore’s National Water Agency, has established a Green Financing Framework to fund planned and future green projects that support PUB’s sustainability efforts. As part of a new S$10bn multicurrency medium term note programme1, PUB also plans to launch its inaugural green bonds later this month. This will mark another milestone in PUB’s journey to advance sustainable development and climate action.
The establishment of PUB’s Green Financing Framework will contribute towards Singapore Green Plan 2030, a whole-of-nation movement to build a sustainable future for Singapore. It is also a boost to PUB’s continuing efforts and innovation to ensure a resilient and sustainable water supply for Singapore, which remains critical amidst the challenges of climate change.
PUB’s commitment towards environmental sustainability
As the nation’s water agency, sustainability has always been central to PUB’s mission. Over the years, PUB has closed the water loop and built new sources of water through NEWater and desalination. It now operates the water system as an integrated whole to strengthen Singapore’s water security.
Looking ahead, climate change will result in more extreme weather events that can impact Singapore’s water resources. At the same time, water demand is projected to almost double by 2060 in tandem with economic and population growth. The need to tap increasingly on NEWater and desalination will also increase our energy needs to meet growing water demand.
PUB’s challenge is to ensure Singapore’s water system remain resilient and sustainable, while mitigating its impact to the environment. Since 2021, PUB has established a sustainability framework2 to guide and codify their approach, so as to realise their vision for a greener water system for Singapore. PUB seeks to deliver our mission effectively and responsibly amidst the challenges of climate change, and support the national agenda for a sustainable future.
PUB’s Green Financing Framework
The establishment of PUB’s Green Financing Framework is an important step in their endeavour. The framework will ensure that the green bonds issued adhere to market best practices, including strong governance and clear eligibility criteria to evaluate and identify green projects that have a positive impact on the environment.
PUB’s Green Financing Framework is aligned to the International Capital Market Association (ICMA) Green Bond Principles 2021 and the ASEAN Capital Market Forum (ACMF) ASEAN Green Bond Standards 2018. Their projects will advance goals in sustainable water and wastewater management, and renewable energy. Projects must achieve reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to decarbonisation, or show improvements to the environment to qualify as green projects.
Potential projects eligible to be financed with proceeds from green bonds, subject to further evaluation, include:
- Promoting energy self-sufficiency — Tuas Water Reclamation Plant3: The plant is currently under construction and will be co-located with National Environment Agency’s (NEA) Integrated Waste Management Facility (IWMF) to collectively form Tuas Nexus. It marks Singapore’s first initiative to harness potential synergies of the water-energy-waste nexus by integrating used water and solid waste treatment processes to be energy self-sufficient. This is expected to result in carbon savings of more than 200,000 tonnes of CO2 annually, equivalent to taking 42,500 cars off Singapore’s roads
- Producing clean water from clean energy — Floating Solar PV Projects: PUB has installed both land-based and floating solar photovoltaic (PV) systems on reservoirs, which has offset 8% of their total energy needs. The clean energy generated at PUB’s first large scale floating solar farm project at Tengeh Reservoir is sufficient to power all local treatment plants for drinking water, equivalent to removing 7,000 cars from the roads. PUB will continue to assess suitable sites to deploy floating solar systems in an environmentally sensitive manner. Feasibility studies are being planned for two other large-scale floating solar PV systems at Lower Seletar and Pandan Reservoir
PUB has engaged an independent external reviewer, Sustainalytics, to provide a second-party opinion on PUB’s Green Financing Framework4. Sustainalytics is of the view that PUB’s Green Financing Framework is credible and impactful and aligns with the four core components of the ICMA Green Bond Principles 2021.
Reporting on use of proceeds
Under the Green Financing Framework, PUB will prepare a progress report for allocation and impact reporting on an annual basis until full allocation of proceeds of its green bonds. PUB will also engage an independent assurance provider to review its progress report on an annual basis – including the allocation of net proceeds and the impact of its green bonds. This annual review will commence a year from the issuance date of the first green bond.
More information on the PUB’s inaugural issuance of green bonds will be announced in due course.
1 Net proceeds from the issuance of Notes under the Programme will be used for general corporate
purposes, including refinancing of borrowings, financing general working capital and capital
expenditure requirements of PUB
2 PUB’s sustainability report can be found on PUB’s website.
3 More information on Tuas WRP can be found on PUB’s website.
4 PUB’s Green Financing Framework takes reference from the Singapore Green Bond Framework published by the Ministry of Finance. More information on the Singapore Green Bond Framework can be found on the Ministry of Finance’s website.