Construction of new S$230m NEWater factory in Changi expected to start in 2022

Construction of new S$230m NEWater factory in Changi expected to start in 2022

Another NEWater factory is in the pipeline to boost Singapore's water security by recycling used water. National water agency PUB will construct a S$230 million NEWater factory in Changi, with the agency issuing a tender to procure professional engineering services in July. Vanessa Lim with this exclusive.

SINGAPORE: Another NEWater factory is in the pipeline to boost Singapore's water security by recycling used water.

National water agency PUB will construct a S$230 million NEWater factory in Changi, with the agency issuing a tender to procure professional engineering services in July.

Construction work is expected to start in 2022 and the factory will take about two years to be completed, said PUB.

According to tender documents seen by CNA, the upcoming plant will replace an existing facility in Bedok, one of Singapore's oldest NEWater factories. With a capacity of 50 million gallons per day, the new plant can supply almost three times as much NEWater as the one in Bedok. 

Like the two existing NEWater factories at Changi, the new factory will be built on the rooftops of the new liquid modules to maximise land space, PUB said.

Changi Water Reclamation Plant is undergoing expansion work. In response to CNA's queries, PUB said this expansion work has been delayed due to site constraints and the COVID-19 pandemic, but it added that the expansion work is still on track to be completed by 2022.

READ: Singapore to have 100% green waterworks by 2021, as PUB aims to reduce carbon footprint

Dr Adil Dhalla, managing director of the Separation Technologies Applied Research and Translation (START) Centre at Nanyang Technological University, said building a new facility from scratch provides an opportunity to test the waters when it comes to new technology and processes.

"When there's something in the plant that needs to be replaced, we don't have to necessarily replace it with the same technology again, we can probably find something better," said Dr Dhalla.

"In some cases, the answer might be to build a whole new plant, and in some cases, the answer may be to retrofit because some things are already fine and the technologies that we already have are okay," he added.

The tender for the project closes on Sep 10.

READ: The Big Read: To build a strong water-saving culture, S'pore needs more than recycled messages

The new facility, together with the existing NEWater plants, will produce enough water to meet about half of Singapore's current water demand, which stands at 430 million gallons per day. That is an increase from about 40 per cent now. 

PUB previously said another upcoming facility in Tuas will be completed in 2025.

Singapore's water needs are expected to double in about 40 years' time. The aim is to have NEWater meet 55 per cent of this demand. Imported water currently meets about half of Singapore's needs. 

Singapore is also ramping up its water supply through desalination. The country's fourth desalination plant in Marina East started commercial operations from Jun 29, PUB said previously.

It is the first large-scale facility in Singapore that can treat both seawater and freshwater. The four desalination plants have a combined capacity of up to 160 million gallons of water a day.

"To meet growing water demand and cope with climate change impacts, we continue to augment our water supply with weather resilient sources, namely NEWater and desalinated water," said PUB.

Source: CNA/dv

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