Surbana Jurong appointed by PUB to conduct coastal protection study of Singapore’s North-West shores

Surbana Jurong Group has been appointed by national coastal protection agency PUB to undertake a site-specific study aimed at protecting the north-west coast of Singapore from sea level rise.

The area under study stretches across 24km of the coastline from Tuas Checkpoint to Lim Chu Kang jetty and comprises mainly Tengeh, Poyan, Murai and Sarimbun reservoirs, as well as military camps and training areas. Mangrove habitats are also present along some sections of the coastline.

This study of the north-west coastline follows the City East-Coast study in May 2021. It will develop the measures needed to protect the four coastal reservoirs from seawater inundation as well as ways to ensure the integrity of the reservoirs’ structures and further reinforce them against sea level rise.

Surbana Jurong’s coastal engineering team will start with an assessment of the inundation risks from rising sea levels and intense rainfall. Coastal and inland drainage adaptation measures will be explored in tandem to address the impacts from climate change. Working with existing site conditions, Surbana Jurong will also look at ways to incorporate hybrid solutions where hard engineering measures are coupled
with nature-based elements including mangroves.

Mr James Lam, Senior Director, Coastal Engineering, Surbana Jurong said: “The north-west’s unique coastline presents an opportunity to combine nature and engineering-based hybrid solutions as a way to innovate adaption measures and ensure coastal protection and sustainable development.”

Surbana Jurong will leverage its extensive experience in coastal engineering, which includes working with its partner, Denmark-based environmental consultancy DHI, to complete the Coastal Adaptation Study (CAS) from 2013 to 2019. The CAS was a first-of-its-kind study commissioned by the Singapore Government to assess the impact of sea level rise on the country’s coastline. Findings from the CAS form the foundation of PUB’s ongoing coastal protection work.

Said Ms Hazel Khoo, Director of PUB’s Coastal Protection Department: “This particular section of the north-west coast was identified to be an important area as our coastal reservoirs are a critical water supply source which will require protection. There are also some areas along this coastline that contain mangrove habitats, and PUB will work with the relevant agencies to explore the potential of implementing hybrid solutions that combine with existing natural elements with hard engineering measures.”

Surbana Jurong and its member companies have undertaken climate change and sustainability-related projects in many parts of the world including the Asia Pacific and Africa. In Singapore, the group has had been engaged for site-specific climate change studies and is currently overseeing the construction of the first polder development on Pulau Tekong.

Mr Yeo Choon Chong, CEO, ASEAN, Surbana Jurong Group said: “The first Coastal Adaptation Study we undertook gave us a thorough understanding of the impacts associated with climate change. With this new study of Singapore’s north-west shores, we will be taking these valuable insights and combining them with nature-based and engineering approaches to create adaptive measures for the long-term sustainability of Singapore’s coastal development.

“So much human activity happens in our coastal areas, including maritime activities, aviation, residential development and recreation. Our teams are excited about using our extensive knowledge, decades of experience and advanced technology to overcome the increasingly complex coastal engineering challenges we face with climate change and rising seas,” Mr Yeo added.