Veolia expands Singapore PUB's NEWater Plant

Fresh from the opening of Singapore’s first desalination plant at Tuas, PUB, Singapore's national water agency said it was expanding its NEWater facilities to meet the growing demand for NEWater. Reclaimed water (branded NEWater in Singapore), desalinated water, imported water from Johor and water from local catchments are part of a water supply strategy called the Four National Taps. “Demand for NEWater has been steadily increasing since its launch in 2003. In the past year, the volume of NEWater has jumped by about 35 per cent, increasing from 68,000 cubic metres per day last year to 92,000 cubic metres used per day currently,” said Lim Chiow Giap, PUB’s Director for Water Supply (Plants). PUB has awarded a $7.4 million contract to Veolia Water Systems (SEA) Pte Ltd for the extension of the Kranji NEWater Factory. Veolia is the contractor for the original Kranji NEWater plant.The project involves the design and construction of the extension as well as plant maintenance for two years and expected to be ready in the first quarter of 2006. In anticipation of the continued growth in demand for NEWater by industries and commercial users, PUB plans to expand the production capacities of the three current NEWater factories progressively, starting with Kranji. The fourth and biggest NEWater factory at Ulu Pandan will also be operationally ready by end-2006.

Besides enlarging the capacity of the existing NEWater plants, PUB is also investing in a demonstration membrane bioreactor (MBR) plant. As the MBR helps to cut down the number of steps in used water treatment and water reclamation, it will lead to cost savings when implemented.

Increase NEWater production capacity

When Kranji NEWater expansion works are completed in early 2006, the Kranji NEWater Factory will produce an additional 3 million gallons (mgd) of NEWater per day in addition to its current capacity of 9 mgd.

This will serve the needs of industrial customers’ in Woodlands, Senoko and Yishun comprising mainly the wafer fabrication plants, as well as companies in the electronic, power generation and laundry industries.

The Kranji extension project will be carried out under a Design and Build (D&B) arrangement with Veolia Water Systems. “NEWater is a Singapore success story. Veolia Water Systems is honoured to be one of PUB’s partners in the NEWater programme and to play a part in the expansion of the Kranji NEWater Factory,” said Jean-Philippe Filhol, Managing Director, Veolia Water Systems.

Membrane bioreactor (MBR) demonstration plant

In July, PUB had awarded the tender to local company Dayen Environmental Limited to design and build the membrane bioreactor demonstration plant at the Ulu Pandan Water Reclamation Plant. The $7.6 million project, when completed in August 2006, will be able to supply 23,000 cubic metres (or 5 mgd) of industrial grade water per day.

Said Mr Harry Seah, PUB’s Director of Technology: “Studies on the membrane bioreactor technology are part of PUB’s ongoing efforts in research and technology. Based on earlier pilot studies conducted by us, the membrane bioreactor technology has proven to produce better results than the current process of treating used water, whether it is for effluent discharge to the sea or for NEWater production.”

The membrane bioreactor bridges the used water treatment with the NEWater production process, combining three steps into one (see diagram below). The membrane bioreactor does away with the aeration and final sedimentation steps in used water treatment and the microfiltration/ultrafiltration step in NEWater production.

“The membrane bioreactor technology is the future for NEWater. By reducing the number of steps, it will lead to cost savings. The membrane bioreactor also requires only about one-fifth of the space needed currently. The water quality produced by the membrane bioreactor is higher than that from microfiltration/ultrafiltration,” said Mr Seah.

For Dayen, a home-grown company, getting this project will strengthen their track record and allow them to showcase this project as they venture overseas.

John Lee, Chairman of Dayen Environmental, said: “We are expanding overseas into other markets such as China. This membrane bioreactor demo plant will help us to showcase our expertise in water to our overseas business partners by coming to Singapore to see the project.”

About PUB
PUB is a statutory board under the Ministry for the Environment and Water Resources. It is the water agency that manages Singapore's water supply, water catchment and sewerage in an integrated way.

About PUB's tagline: Water for All: Conserve, Value, Enjoy
PUB has ensured a diversified and sustainable supply of water for Singapore with the Four National Taps (local catchment water, imported water, NEWater, desalinated water).

To provide water for all, PUB calls on all Singaporeans to play our part to conserve water, keep our water catchments and waterways clean and build a relationship with water so we can enjoy our water resources. We can then have enough water for all uses - for industry, for living, for life, now and for generations to come.

PUB Expands NEWater Plants and Builds MBR Demo Plant, 15 September 2005