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Let's Drink To Another Newater Success: Pm

It's now cheaper, with supply more than double the target as fourth plant

Lee U-Wen
Mar 16 2007

SINGAPORE has taken another major step towards self-sufficiency in water.

Come 2011, there will be enough Newater to serve 30 per cent of the
country's water needs, double the Government's original target of 15 per
cent, which has already been exceeded.

With four Newater plants already operational, and a fifth in Changi
expected to be ready in about four years' time, the price of Newater will
drop 15 cents from the current $1.15 per cubic metre to $1, starting next

The PUB estimates that the 80 companies currently served by the first
three plants will save a total of $4.86 million a year.

This is the second price cut in just over two years; it was first lowered
from $1.30 to $1.15 in January 2005.

To date, more than 300 companies are drawing on Newater, with 80 of them
using it for industrial processes, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong

The price reduction was possible because of the increased Newater capacity
and a dip in membrane costs in recent years, said Mr Lee at the official
opening of the fourth and newest plant.

The Keppel Seghers Ulu Pandan Newater Plant at Old Toh Tuck Road is the
biggest in East Asia and the second largest water reuse plant in the
world, after Kuwait. It has been up and running since December and is the
first to supply Newater to commercial buildings in the city.

Mr Lee praised Newater as a "Singapore success story", saying the country
was in a "strong position to meet any future uncertainties in water

Demand for Newater - which is sewage water made potable through a process
called reverse osmosis - has increased greatly over the years, especially
from wafer fabrication plants and petrochemical companies, said Mr Lee.

To beef up supply, the new Ulu Pandan plant has ramped up capacity by 28
per cent to 148,000 cubic metres of Newater a day, enough to meet more
than half of Singapore's Newater needs.

The Kranji and Bedok plants have large-scale expansion plans in the works,
said Mr Lee. The PUB is busy speeding up the construction of the Changi
plant, which will produce 50 million gallons of Newater a day.

Mr Lee also announced that Keppel Corporation is spending $50 million to
set up a centre to carry out research in energy recovery from waste and
waste-water treatment. It will employ as many as 50 researchers.

These measures and investments by both the public and private sectors will
"boost Singapore's water industry and our standing as global hydro hub",
said Mr Lee.

Singapore now has four national taps in place: The local catchment from
reservoirs, imported water from Johor, desalinated water and Newater.

"Together, these four taps ensure that Singaporeans will always have an
adequate and reliable supply of water, and need never go thirsty," he