Singapore’s fifth NEWater plant opens

The 50mgd plant will boost total NEWater capacity to meet 40% of Singapore’s water demand

L to R: Mr Ng Joo Hee, PUB Chief Executive; Mr Tan Gee Paw, PUB Chairman; Mr Choi Shing Kwok, Permanent Secretary for Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources; Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State for Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources & Ministry of Health; Mr Masagos Zulkifli, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources; Mr Zheng Chao, Minister Counsellor of Embassy of China; Mr Li Yongcheng, Chairman and Executive Director of Beijing Enterprises Water Group Limited; Mr Zhou Min, Chief Executive Officer of Beijing Enterprises Water Group Limited; Mr Johnson Tang, Chief Executive Officer of UES Holdings Private Limited

PUB, Singapore’s National Water Agency, BEWG International Pte Ltd (“BEWGI”), a subsidiary of Beijing Enterprises Water Group Limited (“BEWG”), and UES Holdings Pte Ltd (“UESH”) today officially opened the BEWG-UESH NEWater Plant, Singapore’s fifth NEWater plant and second one in Changi.

Mr Masagos Zulkifli, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, officiated at the launch, which was witnessed by some 200 guests.

“The launch of this plant is another important page in our water story. I congratulate BEWG, UESH, and PUB on this achievement. This plant is one of the many major pieces of infrastructure that the Singapore Government will be developing in the coming years. In the context of rising uncertainties, such as the drying up of Linggiu Reservoir, and rising costs of production and conveyance, we need to take necessary measures to strengthen water supply and sustainability. I also urge all to continue to use water prudently,” said Mr Masagos.

NEWater tanks of BEWG-UESH NEWater Plant

Sited on top of the Changi Water Reclamation Plant, the BEWG-UESH NEWater Plant has a capacity of 228,000m3 or 50 million gallons a day. Together with four other existing facilities, the new plant provides enough NEWater capacity to meet up to 40% of Singapore’s total daily water demand.

Mr Ng Joo Hee, PUB’s Chief Executive, said, “Reuse is a plank of Singapore’s water strategy. In our minds, the H2O molecule is never lost and water is an endlessly reusable resource. Used water can always be reclaimed and retreated so that it can be consumed again. Singapore leads the world in this. Today, with this newest plant, we have enough NEWater capacity to supply 40% of Singapore’s daily demand.

“Water reuse is particularly attractive because it is a drought-resistant source of water. Every Singaporean grade schooler is taught the hydrologic cycle and knows how Mother Nature reclaims and recycles water in all its forms. What we do in PUB’s water reclamation and NEWater plants is, in essence, copying nature’s way.”

NEWater (PUB’s brand of ultra-clean, high-grade reclaimed water) is one of Singapore’s Four National Taps, along with local catchment water, imported water and desalinated water. Together, they provide a robust and diversified water supply for Singapore.

Collaborations with the industry have also played an important role in Singapore’s water journey. Close partnership with the private sector has enabled PUB to explore, pilot and implement new technologies to increase Singapore’s water resources and enhance efficiencies in water production.

“This BEWG-UESH NEWater Plant illustrates very well how PUB, as it builds and operates the infrastructure that secures our country’s water future, also provides opportunity for private industry to collaborate and create with us solutions that help overcome Singapore’s water challenges,” added Mr Ng.

On playing a part in achieving this milestone in Singapore’s water sustainability journey, Mr Li Yongcheng, Board Chairman and Executive Director of BEWG, enthused, “We are very honoured to partner PUB for this NEWater project. This signals Singapore’s status as a global hydrohub boasting a vibrant ecosystem of water companies, technology owners and research institutes from across the world to champion advances and practices in various water issues.”

Sharing his elation at the official opening of the plant, Mr Johnson Tang, Chief Executive Officer of UESH said, “UESH was involved in the building of the Changi Water Reclamation Plant back in 2007 and now with the BEWG-UESH NEWater Plant, we have come a full circle in our collaboration with PUB. It has been an extremely meaningful journey working with the national water agency and witnessing Singapore’s evolution from a water-challenged island-state to a global leader in innovative water strategies and technologies.”

In 2014, PUB awarded the Design-Build-Own-Operate (DBOO) contract for the NEWater plant to BEWGI-UE NEWater (S) Pte Ltd, a consortium formed between BEWGI and UESH, as a public-private partnership initiative. It is one of six DBOO projects between PUB and the private sector, others being the SingSpring Desalination Plant, Tuaspring Desalination Plant, Keppel-Seghers Ulu Pandan NEWater Plant, SembCorp NEWater Plant, and the recently announced desalination plant that will be built in Marina East.

In recognition of its contribution to the advancement of private sector participation in the international water sector, the BEWG-UESH NEWater Plant was awarded Water Deal of the Year in 2016 at the Global Water Awards organised by Global Water Intelligence.

The successful completion of the BEWG-UESH NEWater Plant further strengthens BEWG’s extensive track record in water treatment which includes a few hundred plants in China, Macau, Malaysia, Portugal and Singapore. It also solidifies UESH’s position as an established developer, owner and operator of water & air and waste & renewable energy assets as well as provider of mechanical & electrical engineering services in Singapore and China.