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Consortium picked to build fifth desalination plant

SINGAPORE — National water agency the Public Utilities Board (PUB)has chosen Tuas Power–Singapore Technologies Marine Consortium as the preferred bidder to build Singapore’s fifth desalination plant, to be located on Jurong Island.

TODAY file photo.

TODAY file photo.

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SINGAPORE — National water agency the Public Utilities Board (PUB)has chosen Tuas Power–Singapore Technologies Marine Consortium as the preferred bidder to build Singapore’s fifth desalination plant, to be located on Jurong Island.

Of the four applicants invited to submit their proposals for the plant, the consortium quoted the most competitive first-year price of S$0.91 per cubic metre, the agency said in a press release yesterday. The consortium will form a concession company to enter into a Water Purchase Agreement with the PUB by next month.

The plant is expected to begin operations in 2020 — along with the fourth desalination plant in Marina East — and will supply desalinated water to the PUB from 2020 to 2045.

This is expected to add 30 million gallons daily, or about 137,000 cubic metres of water a day, to the nation’s water supply.

Mr Young Joo Chye, PUB’s director of engineering development and procurement, said: “Desalinated water is a key part of Singapore’s water supply portfolio. As a weather-independent source, it strengthens the reliability of our water supply against droughts. This fifth plant is part of our plans to expand desalination capacity to meet up to 30 per cent of our future water needs in the long term.”

Desalinated water, or treated sea water, has been one of the four sources of the water supply here since 2005, and it now meets up to 25 per cent of demand.

The others sources are reservoirs, imported water from Malaysia, and NEWater (treated waste water).

SingSpring Desalination Plant in Tuas, which opened in 2005, was the PUB’s first project with a private partner for a desalination plant. The second Tuaspring Desalination Plant, also in Tuas, opened in 2013. A third desalination plant is expected to be completed in Tuas by the end of this year.

In June, Mr Masagos Zulkifli, the Environment and Water Resources Minister, said that Singapore’s demand for water is expected to more than double by 2060. The authorities will be boosting the capacities of NEWater and desalination water so that both can meet higher demand by then.

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