A fifth Newater plant has been launched at Changi on Wednesday (18 Jan). Developed by a joint effort of local and foreign companies, the plant is able to produce 50 million gallons of Newater a day and planned to supply the PUB water for 25 years, it covers 49,000 sqm area and produces enough water to fill 92 swimming pools of Olympic-size.
The new $170 million plant is already in operation and boosts the Newater capacity from 30 to 40 percent of the country’s demand of 430 million gallons per day.
Called the BEWG-UESH Newater Plant, it was developed by the Chinese consortium BEWG International together with local company UES Holdings and national water agency PUB.
This is the first jointly developed plant where PUB diversifies further with the participation of the Chinese firm. PUB spokesman, Mr George Madhavan, said: “From the industry development point of view, the more players we have, the better it is as an ecosystem. It is healthy competition that is good for the industry.”
Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, Masagos Zulkifli, said that even as Singapore celebrates the launch of another Newater plant, it needs to be mindful that Singapore continues to face challenges in water supply.
The water level at Linggiu Reservoir, which regulates the flow of water in Johor River, has fallen to new lows in Dec last year – with water stock there at about 26 percent – and PUB has provided Johor instead with up to 16 million gallons a day.
Mr Masagos stressed the need to use water prudently: “We must press on with water conservation and efficiency, both in our daily personal usage and in non-domestic sector.”
“Every drop of water conserved means less resources and costs needed to invest in additional supply,” he said.
Mr Ng Joo Hee, PUB’s chief executive, said water reuse is particularly attractive because it is a source of water with drought-resistant.
“Every Singaporean grade schooler is taught the hydrologic cycle and knows how Mother Nature reclaims and recycles water in all its forms. What we do in PUB’s water reclamation and Newater plants is, in essence, copying nature’s way.”
NEWater has passed more than 150,000 scientific tests and is stated to be well within World Health Organisation requirements.
NEWater was first discussed by PUB in the 1970s. In 1998, a NEWater study was successfully conducted to determine the suitability of using NEWater as a source of raw water to supplement Singapore’s water supply.
In May 2000, the first NEWater plant was completed and by 2001 PUB had embarked on this new initiative that would increase water supply from unconventional sources. Singapore’s four other Newater plants locations are at Bedok, Kranji, Ulu Pandan and Changi.
At present around half of the Republic’s water needs is met by imported water from Malaysia, with the rest met by Newater, desalinated sea water, and water from the reservoirs.
PUB’s goal is to have clean water from Newater and desalination fulfill 85 percent of Singapore’s demands by 2060.