Consortium picked for fifth desalination plant

A Tuas Power-Singapore Technologies Marine consortium (TP-STM) has emerged as the preferred bidder to build Singapore's fifth desalination plant on Jurong Island, said PUB.

Singapore's national water agency yesterday said it selected the consortium as its preferred bidder, which will form a concession company to enter into a water purchase agreement with PUB by next month.

The fifth plant is expected to add 30 million gallons of water per day to the nation's water supply when it starts operations in 2020, and is part of plans to "expand desalination capacity to meet up to 30 per cent of our future water needs in the long term", said Mr Young Joo Chye, PUB's director of engineering development and procurement.

The sea water reverse-osmosis desalination plant will be co-located with Tuas Power's existing Tembusu Multi-Utilities Complex to "derive synergies in resources such as sea water intake and outfall structures, and energy from the in-plant generation facilities", said PUB.

Mr Young 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."

In February, four pre-qualified applicants were invited to submit their proposals for the desalination plant.

Of these, eight bids were submitted by three applicants: the TP-STM consortium, Keppel Infrastructure Holdings and Sembcorp Utilities - SUEZ International Consortium.

At a first-year price of 91 cents per cubic metre, TP-STM offered the most competitive tariff among the three bidders and will supply desalinated water to PUB over a 25-year period from 2020 to 2045.

Desalinated water, which involves converting sea water to potable water, is one of PUB's four national taps. The other three sources are water from local catchments, imported water from Johor, and Newater, which is treated used water.

Desalination currently meets up to 25 per cent of Singapore's water demand.

Singapore's first two desalination plants are located in Tuas. The third such plant is expected to be completed there by the end of this year, while a fourth in Marina East will be ready by 2020.

The country's current water demand stands at about 430 million gallons of water per day and this could double by 2060 - with non-domestic water demand estimated to make up 70 per cent of overall water use.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 28, 2017, with the headline 'Consortium picked for fifth desalination plant'. Subscribe