Channel NewsAsia

New opportunities to tap for water industry: Government agencies

The next phase of expansion in Singapore's water industry could be in the treatment of industrial water says PUB Chief Executive Chew Men Leong.

SINGAPORE: Water is a strategic area of growth for Singapore, and now that it has managed to beef up its water security, government agencies say, there are new opportunities to explore.

"We are also moving from just a big focus on municipal solutions to industrial water solutions sector, which is actually the fastest growing sector in the water industry,” said PUB Chief Executive Chew Men Leong at a news briefing on Thursday (Aug 28).

“It is a very vibrant segment with many opportunities across the region and beyond, and especially in Singapore because our water in our non-domestic sector usage is actually increasing. There is a greater need for treatment for industrial used water."

IE Singapore said it is particularly keen to help local companies make the jump to serving the region. Group Director of the Environment and Infrastructure Solutions at the agency, Mr Kow Juan Tiang said, “Because of our proximity, Southeast Asia is definitely very important market for our companies. Especially for SMEs, it is important to establish in the local region first, and China.

“China is also a very important market that our companies are looking into. So for the whole of Asia, I would assume is our most key market that we have to look at."

Singapore-based Century Water provides high-end water and waste water treatment for the local semiconductor and pharmaceutical industry, and it hopes to tap on this expertise abroad.

Said Century Water Systems Managing Director Eugene Liu: “We already have an office in Malaysia, and have secured a few projects in Malaysia. In China, with this new technology, we are talking about a few potential projects. Very likely, at the end of this year, I think we are going to secure these jobs, and bring this technology into China.”

Since 2006, the number of water companies in Singapore has tripled to 150. New investments to the water sector secured in 2013 are expected to contribute some S$150 million to GDP annually, and create about 500 jobs when projects are completed.