Keppel to build Singapore's 4th desalination plant in Marina East

Channel NewsAsia 22 Dec 16;

SINGAPORE: Keppel Infrastructure Holdings will design, build, own and operate Singapore's fourth desalination plant, national water agency PUB announced on Thursday (Dec 22).

The company was chosen as the preferred bidder after an open tender that attracted 16 bids from seven local and international bidders, PUB said in a statement.

The plant is expected to commence operations in 2020 and will add another 30 million gallons of water (about 137,000 cubic metres) per day to the nation’s water supply.

Under the arrangement with PUB, Keppel will supply water to PUB for a 25-year concession period at a first-year price of S$1.07867 per cubic metre.


Located in Marina East, the plant will be the first in Singapore with the ability to treat sea water, and fresh water from the Marina Reservoir, by using reverse osmosis and other advanced membrane technology, Keppel Infrastructure said in a separate statement.

Keppel Seghers, the environmental technology arm of Keppel Corporation, will undertake the turnkey construction and commissioning of the project, it added.

Keppel Infrastructure Chief Executive Officer Ong Tiong Guan called the planned desalination plant an "iconic project" due to its ambitions of treating both reservoir and sea water.

"This project affirms Keppel Infrastructure's capabilities to create value and offer innovative and competitive solutions for environmental infrastructure essential for sustainable urbanisation."

PUB said the plant will help to strengthen Singapore’s drought resilience as well as enhance the reliability of water supply for the city and eastern Singapore areas by providing an alternative supply to these areas.

According to PUB’s Deputy Chief Executive of Policy and Development Chua Soon Guan, desalinated water is an important part of Singapore's water supply portfolio.

"As a source independent of weather fluctuations, it is resilient against the vagaries of climate change and bolsters the reliability of our water supply against prolonged periods of dry spells and droughts," he explained.

Mr Chua added that the agency has plans to expand Singapore’s desalination capacity to meet up to 30 per cent of the country's future water needs. Currently, 25 per cent of Singapore's water demand is met by desalination, with the rest of the supply coming from local catchments, imported water from Johor and NEWater.

The transaction, which Keppel Infrastructure and PUB are expected to enter into by January next year, is not expected to have a material impact on the net tangible assets or earnings per share of Keppel Corporation for the current financial year, according to Keppel Infrastructure.

- CNA/mz

Keppel Infrastructure Holdings wins bid to build S'pore’s fourth desalination plant
Today Online 22 Dec 16;

SINGAPORE – Keppel Infrastructure Holdings has been picked to build Singapore’s fourth desalination plant in the Marina East, beating out six other bidders for the project.

National water agency PUB made the announcement on Thursday (Dec 22), adding that Keppel Infrastructure will supply product water to PUB over a 25-year period from 2020 to 2045 at a first-year price of S$1.07867 per cubic metre.

When the plant begins operations in 2020, as expected, it will add another 30 million gallons – approximately 137,000 cubic metres of water – per day to the nation’s water supply.

As the PUB’s preferred bidder, Keppel Infrastructure Holdings will form a concession company to enter into a water purchase agreement with the PUB by January 2017.

The PUB added that the fourth desalination plant will be constructed under a Design, Build, Own and Operate arrangement, like how it was done in the first two desalination plants at Tuas.

The plant will “help to strengthen Singapore’s drought resilience”, said the PUB, as well as “enhance the reliability of water supply”.

The latter will be helped by the plant’s proximity to water demand zones in the city and eastern Singapore by providing an alternative supply to these areas, as the Marina East desalination plant will also have the capacity to treat freshwater from Marina Reservoir.

The tender, which opened on April 15 this year, attracted sixteen bids from seven bidders, including international companies.

Reducing our water dependence on Malaysia
The New Paper 23 Dec 16;

Water conservation was a tough sell on a day like yesterday, when heavy rain pounded the island.

But the burst of rainfall should not mask the real and deep water security issues facing Singapore, with one of its four taps - water from Johor's Linggiu dam, which channels water to treatment plants in the Johor River operated by both the state and Singapore's PUB - at a low of 26 per cent.

Yesterday, the desalination tap got a boost, with Keppel Infrastructure awarded the latest tender to design, build, own and operate Singapore's fourth desalination plant - the first with the ability to treat seawater and fresh water.

With its ability to pump another 137,000 cubic metres (about 30 million gallons) of water a day into our supplies, the plant brings Singapore closer to its aim of meeting 85 per cent of its water needs through desalination and Newater by 2060, when the demand for water is expected to double.

It will also help decrease Singapore's dependence on importing water from Malaysia for its drinking needs.

Expected to be operational in 2020, the new desalination plant will be able to treat sea and fresh water from Marina Reservoir by using reverse osmosis and other advanced membrane technology.


Keppel Infrastructure was chosen as the preferred bidder for a concession period of 25 years by national water agency PUB, according to a statement released yesterday.

The contract is estimated to be worth $400 to $500 million, according to The Business Times.

Singapore and Malaysia recently agreed on the importance of ensuring reliable and adequate water supply from the Johor River as spelt out in the 1962 Water Agreement.

Both sides agreed to take the necessary measures to make this happen, including working on the Johor River Barrage project, which will be fully operational by March.

Keppel to build S'pore's fourth desalination plant
Samantha Boh and Carolyn Khew, Straits Times AsiaOne 23 Dec 16;

The PUB has announced its choice of builder for Singapore's fourth desalination plant, picking the Temasek-linked Keppel Corp's infrastructure arm, diversifying the range of companies it works with on these strategic projects.

Photo: Hyflux

The PUB has announced its choice of builder for Singapore's fourth desalination plant, which will allow it to boost treated sea water supply by nearly 25 per cent in 2020 and bring the Republic closer to self-sufficiency.

It picked Temasek-linked Keppel Corp's infrastructure arm, diversifying the range of companies it works with on these strategic projects.

National water agency PUB announced yesterday that Keppel Infrastructure Holdings was the "preferred bidder", edging out six other local and international companies.

They included Hyflux, which constructed the country's first two desalination plants.

HSL Constructors is in the midst of constructing the third, expected to be completed next year. The firm did not bid for this tender.

Both Hyflux and HSL Constructors are from the private sector.

The fourth plant in Marina East, which will treat both fresh and sea water, will be completed in 2020.

It will increase water supply by 30 million gallons per day (mgd). The first three plants produce 130 mgd.

The move will help build a more weather-resilient water supply even as the nation's water needs are expected to more than double by 2060.

Singapore currently uses 430 million gallons each day, with around half of the demand met by imported water.

The goal is to have desalination and Newater capacities meet up to 85 per cent of Singapore's water needs by 2060.

Mr Chua Soon Guan, PUB's deputy chief executive of policy and development, said of the new plant: "As a source independent of weather fluctuations, it is resilient against the vagaries of climate change and bolsters the reliability of our water supply against prolonged periods of dry spells and droughts.

"We have plans to expand Singapore's desalination capacity to meet up to 30 per cent of our future water needs."

Keppel Infrastructure said the plant will use reverse osmosis and other "advanced membrane technology", but said it could not provide more details until the agreements are finalised and executed.

Professor Neal Chung, principal investigator at the Environmental Research Institute, said it is important for Singapore to have multiple companies with such capabilities, such that it does not put all its eggs in one basket.

However, the challenge on the horizon, he added, is finding a way to keep energy consumed through the desalination process low.

Conventional reverse osmosis - the method used to turn sea water into drinkable water - is known to be an energy guzzler.

"The key is to produce water at low energy, hence reducing the cost as well," said Prof Chung, who is also from NUS' department of chemical and biomolecular engineering.

Similar to the first two desalination plants in Tuas, the fourth desalination plant will be constructed under a Design, Build, Own and Operate arrangement.

Keppel Infrastructure will sign the Water Purchase Agreement with PUB by next month. It will supply water to PUB over a 25-year period from 2020 to 2045, at a first-year price of around $1.08 per cubic metre.

PUB said the plant's close proximity to the Marina Reservoir provides the opportunity to treat water from the reservoir or the sea.

It added that the structures will be located outside the water sports areas and so will not affect such activities.

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Indonesia: President sets 12.700 million hectares as social forestry project

Antara 21 Dec 16;

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has issued a license for the cultivation of 12.700 million hectares of land as a social forestry program aimed at improving the welfare of people living around the forests.

"The government has allocated 12.7 million hectares of land to be cultivated as social forestry in the 2015-2019 period," the president said in his address when handing over the license of a social forestry project to PT Nagabhuana Aneka Piranti in Pulau Pisang District, Central Kalimantan, on Tuesday.

He said there are still 25,863 villages inside and in the vicinity of forest areas. "About 70 percent of the villages still use forests as sources of their income."

According to Jokowi, about 10.2 million villagers living in forestry areas are still poor and based on the legal aspect they own rights on forestry sources.

He said the spirit of the social forestry program is to create social justice for the people living around the forest areas while preserving the existence of forestry resources.

The way to achieve these goals is to cultivate forest areas through smallholders forestry, peoples forest, customary forestry and partnership forestry schemes.

But in these schemes, it is the local people, the farmers, the farmers groups and the associations of farmers groups who have the land ownership rights over the social forestry programs.

Apart from cultivating it as a forest estate, to maximally make it productive, the social forestry is to be collaborated with forest resource processing industries so that the products by the farmers could also be oriented to export.

"This will serve as an example. The others will follow. There are many others who are still in queue. With this social forestry model, we want to regain our past glory in the forestry sector on the basis of smallholders forestry estate," the president said.

The president expressed hope that soon after the handing over the license, a plywood factory would be developed which will purchase the peoples timber products.

"The factory is expected to purchase the peoples timber with a fair price but the peoples are also expected to sell it a fair price, they should not ask for too high prices. I hope this would serve as an economic trigger in Pulau Pisang District," he said.

Jokowi promised to always check the utilization of the social forestry lands. "I will check it again later, whether it is productive or not, whether it is exploited or being neglected without tree plantation. The land should not be sold, Surely I will get to know it if they are sold because I will continue to monitor it," the head of state said.

According to Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya, the social forestry areas in Central Kalimantan cover 1.6 million hectares.

On the occasion, Jokowi handed over licenses on 1,885 hectares for social forestry scheme with license holders reaching 183 families. He also extended licenses for the cultivation of 7,685 hectare village forestry areas with license recipients totaling 1,455 families.

The president also handed over licenses on smallholders forestry covering 510 hectares with 354 family recipients and ones on 1,542 hectares in Sampit District.(*)

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Philippines: Red tide alert up in Visayas

PNA The Standard 21 Dec 16;

SHELLFISH collected from several areas in the Visayas are still unfit for human consumption due to toxic red tide, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources warned on Wednesday.

In its latest shellfish bulletin dated December 20, BFAR said the paralytic shellfish poison can still be found in Irong-Irong and Cambatutay Bays in Western Samar, Matarinao Bay in Eastern Samar, Leyte, Naval in Biliran province, Gigantes Islands in Carles, Iloilo and Dauis and Tagbilaran City in Bohol.

“Fish, squids, shrimps and crabs are safe for human consumption provided that they are fresh and washed thoroughly and internal organs such as gills and intestines are removed before cooking,” said the BFAR.

Red tide is a common name for a phenomenon known as an algal bloom (large concentrations of aquatic microorganisms) when it is caused by a few species of dinoflagellates and the bloom takes on a red or brown color. Red tides are events in which estuarine, marine, or fresh water algae accumulate rapidly in the water column, resulting in coloration of the surface water. It is usually found in coastal areas.

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Vietnam's disappearing elephants

AFP Yahoo News 21 Dec 16;

Dak Lak Province (Vietnam) (AFP) - Baby elephant Gold has come a long way since he was found trapped in a well in central Vietnam earlier this year.

Today, the one-year-old jumbo, whose tufts of jet black hair sprout in a mohican from his wrinkly head, frolics around a grassy enclosure where conservationists are trying to save his species.

Gold and his new playmate Jun, another rescue, are among only a handful of young Asian elephants in Vietnam, where low birth rates have see the population dwindle.

Conservationists are hoping to nurse the pair back to health and set up a full-scale breeding centre modelled after successful matchmaking programmes in neighbouring Thailand and Myanmar.

"At the rate they're going now, within a generation or so we'll probably lose the elephants," said Tuan Bendixsen, director of Animals Asia in Vietnam, which helps to care for the elephants.

"As the number gets smaller and smaller, it's going to be harder and harder for the elephants to hang on."

Elephants used to roam freely in the area, mingling with potential mates, but human settlements have cut off once-popular breeding circuits.

Now there are fewer than 100 elephants left in the wild and just 80 or so in captivity, mostly used to ferry tourists around the leafy forests of Vietnam's central highlands.

When it comes to mating, those in captivity are not faring much better.

They rarely get the chance to meet a partner since they spend most of the day chained up. Many are also malnourished and overworked, making it difficult to get pregnant.

- Last hope -

Experts say the Dak Lak Elephant Conservation Centre could be the last hope for Vietnam's disappearing pachyderms.

The first goal is to create a small herd, said volunteer vet Dutchman Willem Schaftenaar.

"The elephants that are here should be kept under the best conditions... not keeping them for rides," he added.

But convincing local mahouts to hand over elephants to breed or be pulled from work while pregnant won't be easy. They can earn about $13 a day ferrying tourists around, more than double the average salary in the country.

For many it means losing their sole source of income and the status that comes with owning an elephant -- a symbol of prestige in a country where the animals were historically paraded in royal courts and ridden by fighters heading to battle.

"The elephant here is a big asset, but more important, it's a spiritual animal for us," said elephant owner Y Vinh who is from the M'nong ethnic minority.

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