Four bidders shortlisted for Singapore desalination plant

07 February 2017 - 12:00 am UTC

Singapore’s Public Utilities Board (PUB) published a request for proposal (RFP) today for the development of a fifth desalination plant.

The four shortlisted applicants – Keppel Infrastructure, Sembcorp Utilities, Huaneng Power International subsidiary Tuas Power and YTL Power International – have until 8 June to submit their proposal.

Seven firms applied to pre-qualify for the design-build-own-operate contract, as reported.

The desalination plant will be co-located within the winning bidder’s existing facility, such as a power plant or steam generation plant on Jurong Island, PUB said.

Water prices in Singapore are set to increase this year as the country makes a push to increase its desalination capacity. The increase in water prices will be announced in the upcoming budget Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli said today.

The price increase will help ensure the reliability of the country’s water infrastructure.

Desalinated water is the most expensive among Singapore’s four water sources due to the cost of energy required to extract salt from seawater at high pressure. The city state’s other water sources are: reclaimed NEWater, water from local catchment areas and imported water.

There are currently two operating desalination plants in Singapore which can meet up to 25% of Singapore’s current water demand.

A third desalination plant is expected to be completed in Tuas by 2017, and the fourth in Marina East by 2020.

In December 2016, Keppel Infrastructure won a 25-year concession for Singapore’s fourth desalination plant at Marina East. Under the contract with PUB, the company will earn SGD 1.07867 per cubic meter in the first year for supplying water.

The fifth desalination plant will be built on Jurong Island by 2020, to add another 137,000 cubic metres a day to Singapore’s water supply.  The winning bidder will enter into a 25-year water purchase agreement to supply desalinated water to PUB.

Desalinated water is expected to meet up to 30% of Singapore’s future water needs by 2060.