Singapore utility awards desalt deal to Chinese-led group

Singapore’s national water agency, PUB, has selected the BESIN-UEN consortium – led by China’s Beijing Enterprises Water Group (BEWG) – as the preferred bidder to construct the second reverse osmosis (RO) plant sited at Changi under a public/private partnership.

The plant, using using PUB’s Newater technology combining microfiltration, RO, and ultraviolet light treatment is scheduled to commence operations in 2016 to add 228,000 m³/d to Singapore’s water supply. BEWG’s international subsidiary holds an 80% stake in the consortium while the rest is held by the environmental engineering arm of Singapore’s United Engineers, Newater UE.

The open tender attracted seven bids from local and international companies said PUB. The plant, like PUB’s first one at Changi, will be constructed under a design, build, own and operate arrangement using Newater technology. BESIN-UEN will form a concession company to enter into a Newater agreement (NWA) with PUB this month. The NWA will take full effect once all agreements have been finalised and executed, and the concession company achieves financial close.

At a first-year price of SGD 0.276/m³ (US$ 0.22), the BESIN-UEN consortium offered the most competitive tariff for the supply of Newater over a 25-year period from 2016, according to PUB.

The Changi facility will be PUB’s fifth project with the private sector.