Environmental News Archive

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NEWater to be cheaper from next month

15 March 2007

SINGAPORE: The cost of NEWater will be cheaper from next month.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced this at the opening of the Keppel Seghers Ulu Pandan NEWater plant.

The plant, the fourth in Singapore, will help meet more than 15 percent of the country's water demand.

The others are in Bedok, Kranji and Seletar.

The current cost of NEWater is $1.15 per cubic metre.

From next month, it will be lowered by 15 cents to $1 per cubic metre.

The reasons for this lower price include a rising demand for NEWater and operational efficiency in the plant.

Mr Lee said the price reduction will benefit all NEWater customers and translate into lower business costs.

NEWater is primarily used for industrial purposes now.

PM Lee said: "To date, more than 300 companies have taken up NEWater. About 80 of them use NEWater for industrial processes. They include wafer fabrication plants and electronics companies such as Chartered Semiconductor, Seagate and 3M Electronics. These firms value NEWater because it is ultra-clean and have substituted potable water with NEWater. Other commercial customers such as Century Square and Tampines Mall use NEWater for washing purposes and for their cooling systems."

Mr Lee said PUB will also bring forward the construction of the fifth NEWater plant at Changi.

That plant will produce 50 million gallons a day.

By 2011, Mr Lee said, all five NEWater plants will meet 30 percent of Singapore's water needs.

The Ulu Pandan facility is the first NEWater plant to be designed, built, owned and operated by the private sector, Keppel Seghers.

Besides this public-private partnership in developing the plant, Mr Lee said, Keppel would also be investing $50 million in an environmental R & D centre in Singapore.

Keppel Corporation's Executive Chairman, Lim Chee Oon, said: "We have recently established the Keppel Environmental Technology Centre or KETC to drive and direct research efforts through our centres of excellence. KETC will focus research efforts on energy recovery from solid waste treatment, minimising residual by-products from waste and waste-water treatment and membrane applications for producing water from non-conventional sources."

And this could lead to improved technologies with potential for better cost savings. - CNA/ir