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PUB awards contract to install world's largest ceramic membrane bioreactor facility

  • PUB awards contract to install world's largest ceramic membrane bioreactor facility
    Tuas Water Reclamation Plant. Credit: PUB Singapore's National Water Agency
  • Facility will treat industrial used water at a treatment capacity of 75000m3 per day – the equivalent of 30 Olympic-sized pools.

About the entity

PUB Singapore's National Water Agency
PUB is a statutory board under the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources. It is the national water agency that manages Singapore’s water supply, water catchment and used water in an integrated way.


PUB, Singapore's National Water Agency, has appointed Koh Brothers Building & Civil Engineering Contractor (Pte.) Ltd. to install the mechanical, electrical, instrumentation, controls and automation (MEICA) equipment for the first of Tuas Water Reclamation Plant's (WRP) two Industrial Liquids Modules (ILMs), which will treat industrial used water.  

The contract, valued at S$200.7 million, includes the installation of process equipment and a ceramic membrane bioreactor (MBR) system. When completed, Singapore's Tuas WRP​ will house the world's largest ceramic MBR facility, with a treatment capacity of 75,000m3 daily. 

To assess the feasibility of deploying ceramic MBR technology, PUB operated a demonstration plant with a daily treatment capacity of 4,550m3 at Jurong WRP since 2014. The system proved to be resilient against chemical damage and was able to treat high-strength industrial used water effectively to produce high quality treated effluent. In addition, ceramic membranes are projected to have a longer lifespan (10-15 years) as compared to polymeric membranes (5-7 years).  

When completed, Singapore's Tuas WRP​ will house the world's largest ceramic MBR facility, with a treatment capacity of 75,000m3 daily

Koh Brothers' bid for the ILM1 contract was one of nine offers that PUB received from an open tender exercise in March 2021. Works are scheduled to commence in November 2021 and ILM1 will be commissioned by 2025. 

Said Mr Yong Wei Hin, Director, Deep Tunnel Sewerage System Phase 2 (DTSS2), PUB: “The deployment of ceramic MBR technology is significant in finally closing our water loop as we are now able to reclaim the industrial used water stream for reuse.  This will ensure a more resilient and sustainable water supply for Singapore. When completed in 2025, Tuas WRP will have the largest ceramic MBR system to treat industrial used water." 

This is the ninth major Tuas WRP construction contract awarded by PUB. Previous contracts include site development works, construction of the plant's influent pumping stations, biosolids treatment facility, civil structures for both the Domestic and Industrial Liquids Modules, product water pumping facilities as well as its monitoring and control system. 

Tuas WRP is a key component of PUB's DTSS2 project and will be equipped to receive both industrial and domestic used water streams from two separate deep tunnels for treatment. The plant, with an initial treatment capacity of 800,000m3 per day, will be co-located with the National Environment Agency's (NEA) Integrated Waste Management Facility (IWMF) to collectively form Tuas Nexus, which integrates solid waste and used water treatment processes to harness various synergies that will improve overall plant performance and optimise land use. 

The DTSS2 is a S$6.5 billion infrastructure project that will enhance Singapore's water sustainability by boosting PUB's capability to reclaim and recycle water in an endless cycle. Upon completion in 2025, it will convey used water via deep tunnels from the western part of Singapore to Tuas WRP for treatment. DTSS Phase 1, which covers eastern Singapore and channels used water to Changi WRP, was completed in 2008. 

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