SINGAPORE: Singapore's national water authority PUB signed agreements with two international water companies that are aimed at increasing bilateral technology and capability exchanges and further increase Singapore's aspirations to be a global hydro hub.
This was announced by Environment and Water Resources Minister Masagos Zulkifli at the Singapore International Water Week Spotlight on Tuesday (Jul 18).
One is a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to facilitate knowledge exchanges in areas such as desalination technology and energy reduction with Saudi Arabia’s Saline Water Conversion Corporation, while another MoU with Western Australia’s Water Corporation will focus mainly on collaboration in the field of urban water supply and wastewater management.
"We want to be a key node to bring the global water industry together to co-create innovative water solutions and build capabilities to solve urban water challenges," Mr Masagos said.
JAPAN'S KURITA WATER TO OPEN R&D CENTRE
Mr Masagos also announced at the event that Japanese water company Kurita Water Industries will be opening its first research and development (R&D) centre outside of Japan in Singapore in January 2018.
"This R&D centre will strengthen Singapore's position as a global hydro hub and support the development of novel technologies in desalination and water reuse," he said.
To be located at Clean Tech Park and supported by the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) and PUB, it will focus on developing technologies in desalination and water reuse.
It will also explore collaboration with Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute (NEWRI) in the areas of membrane technology, water treatment chemicals and water recycling. Kurita and NEWRI have another joint R&D project at PUB's R&D facility in Tuas.
Tatsushi Kuramae, executive officer of Kurita, said: "Singapore was a natural choice due to the concentration of universities, research institutes and corporate research and development facilities."
The centre will allow Kurita to leverage Singapore as a platform to tap into regional markets, he added.
Ng Joo Hee, PUB chief executive, said: “Climate change, pollution, population growth and urbanisation, and rising cost of operations compel water utility leaders to work ever closer together to co-create mutually beneficial solutions.”
The partnerships will further strengthen Singapore’s links to the global water industry, he added.