Tenders to be called for Tuas waste management systems

Liyana Othman Channel NewsAsia 11 Jul 16;

SINGAPORE: National water agency PUB and the National Environment Agency (NEA) are calling for multiple tenders from the third quarter of this year for phase two of the Deep Tunnel Sewerage System (DTSS) and the Integrated Waste Management Facility (IWMF).

The two infrastructures will be built together in Tuas so they can mutually benefit from water treatment and waste management processes. This is expected to cut costs significantly and save energy.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced phase two of the DTSS on Monday (Jul 11) at the joint Singapore International Water Week, CleanEnviro Summit and World Cities Summit.

Singapore's DTSS was designed as a cost-efficient and sustainable way to meet the country's long-term water needs. The first phase was completed in 2008, with the Spur Tunnel and the North Tunnel, which runs from Kranji to the Changi Water Reclamation Plant (WRP). A NEWater factory was later built on the rooftop of Changi WRP in 2010 for water recycling purposes.

Phase two of the DTSS will have an extensive network of link sewers, a 10km Industrial Tunnel for non-domestic used water and the South Tunnel, which transports used water from homes. The South Tunnel is 3m to 6m wide and 30km long.

It will mostly run underneath major roads along the Ayer Rajah Expressway (AYE) - deeper than MRT tunnels - and cross beneath the sea bed at Tuas Bay, before reaching the Tuas Water Reclamation Plant (TWRP).

Like the first phase, used water will be channeled into the tunnels. It then flows by gravity to the Tuas plant, where it will be treated into either NEWater or water for industrial use, or discharged into the sea.

Both the Industrial and South tunnels will also be lined to protect against corrosion. There are also advanced sensors, which feed into a monitoring system, that check the structural integrity of the tunnel without the need for physical inspection.

When completed in 2025, the S$6.5 billion project will join phase one of the DTSS, and complete Singapore’s used water system.


Phase two of the project will serve the western and southern parts of Singapore, including the downtown area. The new TWRP will be able to treat both industrial and domestic used water separately, unlike other plants.

Another new feature is the integrated NEWater factory. It will facilitate large-scale water recycling, which helps increase the overall water recycling rate from 30 per cent to up to 55 per cent of Singapore's total water demand.

With a capacity to treat 800,000 cubic metres of used water per day, the Tuas plant will also be the biggest membrane bioreactor facility in the world. The technology will shorten and streamline the used water treatment and NEWater processes. Excess water that is discharged into the sea will also be cleaner.

Once phase two is completed, two existing plants at Ulu Pandan and Jurong will be phased out, along with intermediate pumping stations. This will free up 150 hectares of land.

“With phase two in place, we’re able to realise the benefits of the whole system, especially realising the benefits of reducing the land take for all of our used water management facilities. Like our water reclamation plants, pumping stations that used to be in place, they can all be slowly decommissioned, and now we have just three plants in the overall scheme”, said Mr Yong Wei Hin, DTSS phase two director from PUB.

“When DTSS was conceptualised, it was to last for a hundred years. We have the provisions to expand the plant in tandem with the progress of the nation. We expect the plant capacity to be doubled by then,” he added.


The Tuas plant will also be co-located with the new IWMF, which is billed as the first of its kind. Unlike other waste-to-energy plants which can only process incinerable waste, the IWMF will be able to do that, and handle 400 tonnes of food waste, 250 tonnes of household recyclables and 800 tonnes of sludge from the Tuas Plant every day. It will be able to incinerate 5,800 tonnes of waste per day, which will produce more than 2,000 gigawatt hours of electricity annually.

This is enough to power more than 400,000 four-room flats.

"The energy that's produced by the IWMF through its combustion of waste is more than sufficient to meet the internal consumption of IWMF as well as the TWRP,” said Mr Joseph Boey, who is NEA’s project director of the IWMF. “In that sense, we are able to export at least more than 75 per cent of our electricity production to the grid, just like any power generation company does.”

Another plus point of co-location: Benefitting from the used water and waste treatment processes. For example, food waste received at the waste management facility will be treated and then digested with used water sludge from the Tuas plant. This produces biogas, which is then fed back to the IWMF, contributing about one per cent to the overall plant efficiency.

Once completed in 2027, the S$3 billion IWMF will replace two older incineration plants at Tuas and Senoko.

“The IWMF is an integral part of NEA’s long-term plan to meet Singapore’s future solid waste management needs,” added Mr Boey. “It will be equipped with several state-of-the-art facilities to maximise energy and resource recovery, while minimising land use and environmental footprint.

“All in all, the synergies from the TWRP and the IWMF will enable both enable both agencies to reap cost (savings) as well as land use savings, and this will help keep the cost for used water as well as solid waste treatment affordable for Singapore.”

- CNA/ek

Singapore to pump additional S$200m into water industry over next 5 years
Lee Li Ying, Channel NewsAsia 11 Jul 16;

SINGAPORE: The Republic will pump an additional S$200 million into the water industry over the next five years, announced Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the Lee Kuan Yew Prize award ceremony on Monday evening (Jul 11).

The new tranche of funding will be channelled into three key areas - research, commercialisation and export of technology, and talent development.

With the new funding, national water agency PUB hopes that the sector can provide a total of 15,000 jobs and add about S$2.8 billion to the economy by 2020. It is also looking to fund research projects that explore industrial water solutions, smart water systems and integration.

Mr Lee said one of the reasons the Republic has had an adequate supply of water in Singapore is because of its investments in recycling. He noted that with investments in research and development (R&D) and water treatment plants, Singapore has reached a point where recycled used water comprises 30 per cent of the nation's water supply.

Mr Lee added that Singapore will continue to spend more on R&D.

He said: “We've already spent I think more than S$600 million over the years developing membranes, techniques, processes to make recycled water. And for our next R&D programme over the next five years, we're going to spend another S$200 million. We also have put a lot of effort into closing the water cycle."

Meanwhile, PUB’s chief engineering and technology officer, Mr Harry Seah, said: "If you look 50 years down the road, you'll find that most of the water will be used by industries. It's very important for us to develop this industrial water solution so that we encourage or get the industries to recycle the water.”

According to Mr Seah, as the automation and smart water system gets more complex, the operation has to be safer and easier to maintain. “Integration is important because Singapore is a very small place,” he said.

“Through integration, where we try to integrate our Deep Tunnel Sewage System Phase 2, we integrate the refuse incineration plant so we see the synergies between the two, so that in the end as a total system, we achieve lower carbon footprint, which means we use less power and waste footprint,” he added.

Singapore's investment in the water sector has seen significant results. The Government ploughed in S$470 million from 2006 to 2015. During this period, the sector added 14,000 jobs and S$2.2 billion to the economy, exceeding targets set of 11,000 jobs and S$1.7 billion in value-add to the economy.

Said Economic Development Board's executive director of cleantech, Mr Goh Chee Kiong: "We view the water industry as one of the very few industry clusters in Singapore where we have a truly global leadership position in.

“By setting aside an additional S$200 million, we hope that we can translate more research ideas into commercialisable products and services and translate to real economic growth for both Singaporean companies as well as international companies.”

While smaller companies may face challenges in going international due to issues like a shortage of talent, IE Singapore said they can still gain a foothold in high-growth areas.

"Industrial wastewater is also another very critical segment,” said Mr Kow Juan Tiang, group director of environment and infrastructure solutions at IE Singapore. “Industrial wastewater is about certain factories coming together, so the size of the projects is smaller. This enables many Singapore companies which are smaller in size to participate in this particular area."

At the ceremony on Monday, the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize was presented to the city of Medellin - the second-largest city in Colombia - while the Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize was presented to Professor John Anthony Cherry, a renowned hydrogeologist.

- CNA/xk

S$200m fund to help S’pore produce water solutions for the world
SIAU MING EN Today Online 12 Jul 16;

SINGAPORE — A fresh S$200 million from the National Research Foundation (NRF) will be pumped into Singapore’s water industry for the next five years to come up with water solutions for the world, and to quicken the pace of commercialisation and export of its water technologies.

Going beyond research and development that meet national objectives, Singapore will aim to develop water solutions for the world that tap Singapore’s strengths.

Already known for its membrane, desalination and sensor technologies, Singapore will continue to build its core expertise, but it will also delve into new areas such as automation and robotics, said national water agency PUB.

For example, robots and unmanned aerial vehicles can be used for inspection work in the Deep Tunnel Sewerage System when completed.

The funding will also be used to develop a range of capabilities and talent to support the water industry’s needs.

The new funding — the third tranche since 2006 — comes under the Research, Innovation and Enterprise (RIE) 2020 Plan launched in January, and brings the total research and development funding for water to S$670 million over 15 years.

The new targets for 2020 are to have 15,000 jobs in the industry and to grow the sector’s annual value-add contribution to S$2.85 billion.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who spoke of the investment during a dialogue at the Lee Kuan Yew Prize Award Ceremony and Banquet yesterday, said water has always been a “a strategic and high-priority issue”.

“And we’re putting in a lot of resources into that. For example, one of the reasons why we now have an adequate water supply in Singapore is (that) we’ve invested recycling (used) water, waste water — you purify it, you can use it again for industrial purposes, in fact you can drink it,” he said.

The global water industry is estimated to be worth more than US$850 billion this year (about S$1.1 trillion) and is expected to grow at an average annual rate of nearly 4 per cent until 2020.

To speed up the pace of commercialisation and the export of its technologies, a new Separation Technologies Applied Research and Translation (Start) centre will focus on the translation and technology scale-up of lab-scale R&D conducted in local research institutes.

Singapore is also positioning itself as a living lab for companies to develop, test and commercialise urban solutions in a real-life setting before exporting them globally.

The Economic Development Board’s (EDB) Overseas Living Lab programme will support Singapore-based firms to test and commercialise their technologies overseas, particularly sites with climatic conditions, or user environments that are not found in Singapore.

Among the various programmes to build a range of capabilities and talent in the water sector, the PUB and the EDB will be developing the pool of PhD and post-doctoral talent, and expanding the breadth of competency development initiatives.

In 2006, S$330 million was set aside by the NRF for water research and, thereafter, a top-up of S$140 million was made in 2011.

With previous years’ funding, the water industry has added over 14,000 jobs, while the annual value-added contribution from the water sector was more than S$2.2 billion, which exceeded its 2015 targets of 11,000 jobs and S$1.7 billion in value-add.

New mega-facilities to treat 40% of S’pore’s waste by 2027
SIAU MING EN Today Online 12 Jul 16;

SINGAPORE — Within the next decade, a new waste management facility and a water reclamation plant co-located in western Singapore will be able to treat about 40 per cent of the total used water and solid waste here, with the facility generating enough energy to power more than 400,000 four-room Housing and Development Board flats.

The Tuas Water Reclamation Plant (WRP) will be part of the Deep Tunnel Sewerage System (DTSS), a “superhighway” for managing used water, where the deep tunnel sewers will convey used water by gravity to the various centralised water reclamation plants. The system will reduce the land taken up by used water infrastructure by 50 per cent.

Details of the Integrated Waste Management Facility (IWMF) and the WRP, as well as the DTSS, were shared as the authorities announced that they would be calling for tenders from this year onwards.

National water agency PUB will be calling for consultancy and construction tenders for the various project components of DTSS Phase 2 in stages from the third quarter of this year. The projects include project engineering services for the design of Tuas WRP and the link sewers, among others.

Meanwhile, the National Environment Agency will be calling for tenders for project management, the supervision of construction works and the commissioning of the IWMF, among other tenders.

Estimated to cost S$3 billion, the IWMF at full capacity will be able to incinerate 5,800 tonnes of solid waste each day. Last year, Singapore generated 7.67 million tonnes of waste. Of this, about 38 per cent or 7,886 tonnes of waste each day was incinerated at the four existing waste-to-energy plants each day.

The first phase of the facility will be ready in 2022 and fully completed by early 2027. It is also expected to replace two of the existing waste-to-energy plants — Tuas Incineration Plant and Senoko Waste-to-Energy Plant — which are nearing the end of their lifespan.

It will also be able to process various waste streams: Incinerable waste, household recyclables, food waste as well as the dewatered sludge from the new Tuas WRP.

About 2,000GWh of electricity will be generated through its treatment processes, of which 10 per cent will be used to power both the facility and the plant, making them energy self-sufficient. The rest will be supplied back into the grid.

At present, the existing waste-to-energy plants generate enough energy to meet up to three per cent of Singapore’s total electricity demand. Singapore’s current water reclamation plants are not yet self-sufficient in energy.

Meanwhile, the new Tuas WRP will be able to treat about 800,000 cubic metres of used water a day, or about 40 per cent of the total used water generated. It can treat both domestic and industrial used water separately.

The plant is expected to be completed by 2025. The NEWater factory will then be integrated into the plant for large-scale water-recycling. This is done through membrane bioreactor technology that will streamline the used water and NEWater treatment processes.

With the completion of DTSS Phase 2 — estimated to cost some S$6.5 billion — the existing water reclamation plants at Ulu Pandan and Jurong, as well as the intermediate pumping stations, will be phased out.

With the IWMF and the Tuas WRP located on the same site, there will also be improvements in various aspects of the treatment processes. For instance, food waste from the IWMF can be co-digested with the used water sludge to increase the yield of biogas.

The biogas can then be used to improve the overall plant thermal efficiency of the facility, where more energy can be derived from every tonne of waste that is being processed.

Water treated at the plant can also be used for the facility’s processes, such as for use in the wet flue gas treatment system to get clean air emissions, as well as in the wet cooling tower to cool down the facility’s turbine exhaust and improve plant efficiency.

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