Singapore to triple desalination capacity by 2013

March 7, 2011
A train passes by a water reservoir for recycled water under construction in Singapore. Singapore will more than triple its desalinated water capacity in two years' time when the country's second and largest desalination plant starts operations, the government has said.

Singapore will more than triple its desalinated water capacity in two years' time when the country's second and largest desalination plant starts operations, the government said Monday.

The Public Utilities Board (PUB), in a statement to announce that local firm Hyflux has won the award to build the plant, said the water treatment facility is expected to be operational in 2013.

Hyflux in a separate statement said the project, which also includes the building of a power plant, is worth Sg$890 million ($704 million) and construction is expected to start by the fourth quarter of 2011.

The PUB said the new plant will produce 70 million imperial gallons (mgd) or 318,500 cubic metres of water per day, more than tripling the city-state's current desalination capacity from 30mgd to 100 mgd.

It said the plant will "enhance the drought resilience of Singapore's water supply, and ensure reliability for Singapore's water users".

The new plant will use and generate its own power on-site for the process of salt removal that makes potable.

Singapore announced last June that it aims to up its desalination capacity by almost ten times and meet 30 percent of its population's water demand by 2060.

Desalinated water -- costlier to produce than reclaimed -- now provides 10 percent of Singapore's needs, while local catchments and imported water from neighbouring Malaysia account for the rest.

Singapore, lacking in natural resources including water, used to depend heavily on Malaysia for water to supplement its limited reservoir network, but in recent years has developed and water recycling to reduce its reliance on foreign sources.

Explore further: Controversy surrounds British water plant

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