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Singapore’s fifth desalination plant to be built on Jurong Island

SINGAPORE — The Republic’s fifth desalination plant will be able to produce 30 million gallons of water a day and could share a site with an existing power generation plant on Jurong Island.

Singapore’s fifth desalination plant to be built on Jurong Island

Singapore’s first desalination plant, SingSpring. TODAY file photo

SINGAPORE — The Republic’s fifth desalination plant will be able to produce 30 million gallons of water a day and could share a site with an existing power generation plant on Jurong Island.

Speaking to reporters after the launch of the Singapore Water Academy on Tuesday (July 12), Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli noted that a repeated message from this week’s Singapore International Water Week was recognising the challenges arising from climate change.

“More and more of us have recognised the need to have weather-independent, weather-resilient water sources,” he said.

“I’m glad that in Singapore, we have started to have our NEWater plants as well as two desalination plants that have actually helped us in the last two years to mitigate the drought that Malaysia suffered and therefore gave less water to Singapore.”

Singapore has two desalination plants that can produce 100 million gallons of freshwater per day from seawater. This meets almost 25 per cent of the current water demand of 430 million gallons a day.

By 2030, this will go up to 30 per cent. A third desalination plant in Tuas is due to be completed next year, while the fourth desalination plant in Marina East will be built by the end of 2019.

The Government first said it was exploring the development of a fifth desalination plant on Jurong Island in April — just seven months after it announced the construction of the fourth plant — to “further enhance resilience” against extreme weather patterns due to climate change.

Mr Masagos added that because a desalination plant runs on power, it is important for it to be near a power system or grid.

In his speech at the closing session of the Water Leaders’ Summit on Tuesday, he also noted that demand for water engineers and professionals will grow, and they will have to be increasingly trained in cross-disciplines.

To that end, national water agency PUB launched its Singapore Water Academy to serve as a leading institution for learning and to offer specialised programmes for water engineers and professionals, both locally and internationally.

Such an in-house facility is also needed to provide training for the technicians and engineers who are needed as Singapore builds and operates more plants, said Mr Masagos. Over time, the academy can also provide training to foreign counterparts, he added.

The academy, which will be housed at the WaterHub in Toh Guan Road, will start offering courses next year. It will also roll out a Singapore Water Management series — targeting senior utility and industry technical practitioners — that includes courses covering practical, real-life solutions and best practices in urban water sustainability.

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