Successful close to Singapore International Water Week with high-value business deals

Singapore International Water Week 2018 (SIWW), the global water conference held from 8th to 12th July 2018, concluded on a high, garnering close to S$23 billion in total value for the announcements on projects awarded, tenders, investments and MOUs.

Gathering high-level speakers from government, industry and international organisations, the SIWW, which was organised in conjunction with the World Cities Summit (WCS) and CleanEnviro Summit Singapore (CESS), attractedmore than 24,000 participants from 110 countries and regions. Singapore International Water Week has provided a strategic platform for key stakeholders within the water industry to come together to discuss and co-create solutions to global water challenges, focusing on emerging themes such as smart technology, resource-efficient water treatment and the accelerated commercialisation of innovative water technologies.

“SIWW 2018 marks 10 years since the first event in 2008, and this year’s edition is the culmination of the last decade’s efforts in driving industry growth, and helping to shape a much more sophisticated and forward-looking water industry,” said Bernard Tan, Managing Director of SIWW. “The depth of the discussions, the landmark announcements that pave the way for industry acceleration, the number of water companies that have grown with our event, and the continued pipeline of commercial deals all combine as a strong testament to the event’s critical role as a key driver of the global water industry in the last decade.”

SIWW 2018 saw a number of key initiatives that will accelerate the future of the water industry– from an industry roadmap for smart water to a number of new facilities to challenge our innovation frontiers, to programmes that create a growth strategy for new water companies. These include:

• Call for upcoming tenders for the works in Tuas Nexus– the integration of PUB’s Tuas Water Reclamation Plant (TWRP) and NEA’s Integrated Waste Management Facility (IWMF) – estimated at a totalvalue of more than S$5 billion over the next five years.

• The launch of Singapore Water Exchange, a facility designed to build a collaborative ecosystem across the water value-chain that allows for potential synergies in pushing the frontier of water innovation and business growth.

• Unveiling of the 5-year SMART PUB Roadmap, a key pillar in Singapore’s water resource management to improve operational excellence and meet future water needs.

• A three-year agreement between PUB, Singapore’s national water agency, and Grundfosto create intelligent products and solutions for Singapore that are intuitive, connected and efficient. This agreement builds on a previous collaboration inked in 2014.

• Launch of Singapore Envirotech Accelerator (SEA) by Citic Envirotech Ltd (CEL), aimed at identifying promising small and medium-sized enterprises with innovative technologies to be brought to market. CEL will invest S$30 million over four years and employ at least 35 technology personnel for SEA.

• Opening of Memstar’s first membrane manufacturing plant outside Asia in Conroe, Texas. The US$15 million facility will manufacture the company’s latest product, the Memstar Advance Reverse Osmosis and Nano Filtration (RO/NF) Membrane.

• Establishment of a new R&D centre in Singapore by Gradiant Corporation, which will also serve as its Asia-Pacific headquarters, enabling it to expedite the development of solutions in industrial desalination, brine minimisation and water reuse.

• World Bank’s announcementthat it will be carrying out 18 water projects worth S$3.5 billion in FY19/FY20 in East Asia & The Pacific and South Asia Regions while Andhra Pradeshwill invest S$8.4 billion in water infrastructure from 2016 to 2029.

With 2018 officially declared as the Year of Climate Action for Singapore, climate change and its impact on water systems was one of the topics of discussion at SIWW this year. This was underscored by the Special ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Climate Action (SAMCA), a regional platform hosted by Singapore to discuss climate action efforts. At the meeting, Environment and Water Resources Minister Masagos Zulkifli launched the Climate Action Package, a slew of Singapore-led programmes from this year until 2020 as part of efforts to help ASEAN countries tackle climate change.

The Water Leaders Summit played host to some 500 water leaders from governments, utilities, international organizations, academia and private companies, including, ministers, utility leaders and CEOs of the world’s biggest water companies. Distinguished delegates include Ranil Wickremesinghe, Prime Minister, Sri Lanka; Ban Ki-moon, 8th Secretary- General, United Nations; Thani Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, United Arab Emirates; Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary, United Nations Framework on Climate Change; Kristalina Georgieva, Chief Executive Officer, World Bank; Zhuang Guotai, Vice-Minister, Ministry of Ecology and Environment, China; Sue Murphy, Chief Executive Officer, Water Corporation of Western Australia; Steve Demetriou, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Jacobs; and Jean-Louis Chaussade, Chief Executive Officer, SUEZ.

As an integrated component across SIWW, WCS and CESS, City Solutions Singaporebrought together more than 1,100 participating companies and innovative start-upsoccupying more than 35,000 sqm of exhibition space to showcase cutting-edge solutions forurban development, water, and waste management. With 28 country and group pavilions,this is the biggest exhibition to date. The four country / region pavilions – Turkey, Spain,Scotland and the EU Business Avenues which made their debut in SIWW 2016, were backat SIWW 2018, joining 18 other pavilions to provide a gateway for their companies to enterthe growing Asian water market.

To commemorate a decade of innovation and excellence, SIWW unveiled NEWBrew, a special beer made using NEWater – Singapore’s brand of high-grade, ultra- clean recycled water. With 1,920 litres of NEWater used to brew 900 litres of NEWBrew, delegates and visitors at the event toasted to 10 years of SIWW with NEWBrew and participated in a taste test challenge to try their luck in identifying beer brewed from recycled water from regular beer. More than 1,500 participants took up the challenge over three days. 60% of the participants were unable to tell the difference between NEWater and regular tap water, while 70% of the respondents could not differentiate beer made using recycled water from regular beer.

SIWW will return for its 9th edition from 5th to 9th July 2020. As a testament to its status as the leading global platform for business, technology, and solutions in the water industry, returning exhibitors have already committed more than 50% of exhibition space, well ahead of SIWW 2020.