The Integrated Validation Plant (IVP) at Ulu Pandan seeks to integrate advanced waste water treatment technologies with digital capabilities to minimise risks posed by extreme weather, while enhancing water sustainability. As Singapore reclaims, recycles and reuses water, the Public Utilities Board (PUB) constantly seeks ways to maximise water efficiency and lower energy use to ensure a sustainable supply of water. Research and innovation are at the core of national efforts to implement more eco-friendly used water treatment technologies that can use less energy and less chemicals while generating more biogas for power.
Ensuring Singapore’s water security and sustainability
PUB developed the IVP to validate state-of-the-art design concepts for the future Tuas Water Reclamation Plant (WRP), designed to produce high-grade reclaimed waters from used water, while optimising energy consumed and generated through the processes. Planned for completion in 2025, Tuas WRP will be part of the S$6.5 billion Deep Tunnel Sewerage System (DTSS) Phase 2 project, constructed to meet Singapore’s used water collection, treatment and disposal needs. The DTSS is a core used water infrastructure that provides a cost-effective and sustainable solution to support Singapore’s continued growth and meet its long-term used water infrastructure needs. The project will free up land for other higher-value developments, support the production of ultra-clean, high-grade reclaimed water (NEWater), improve energy efficiencies and potentially leverage the water-energy-waste nexus.
Operational in 2017, the full-scale IVP has a treatment capacity of 12,500 cubic metres per day. It pilots advanced waste water treatment technologies, allowing PUB to mitigate any operating risks while enhancing operational efficiency, performance predictability and maintenance planning, before incorporating these technologies at a larger scale at Tuas WRP.
To reduce the footprint of the primary treatment process, a Lamella clarifier with circular sludge collection system was adopted. In addition, to reduce the need for future NEWater production space, the reverse osmosis polishing stage was integrated into the waste water treatment plant. Its energy-efficient treatment processes, which feature a step-feed membrane bioreactor (MBR) system operating on a low solids retention time (SRT) and efficient air scouring regime, save on overall aeration energy consumption and result in the lowest MBR energy consumption and least chemical requirement. In addition, the biologically enhanced primary treatment (BioEPT) process promotes chemical oxygen demand (COD) capture to maximise biogas production, taking it a step closer to its energy neutral target. By adopting full automation to reduce manpower requirements, the IVP runs autonomous operation through digital application.
Considering its settings, the IVP incorporates numerous innovative features:
- Integrated process design with high energy generation potential and low energy and chemical requirements
- Flexible design to operate different treatment processes to optimise water quality and energy usage
- Compact design to fit within limited space at existing Ulu Pandan WRP
- State-of-the-art supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system to provide full automation
- Adoption of BIM for constructability and clash prevention
- Complex sequencing of construction activities within restricted area, and 850,000 manhours worked without any Lost Time Injury
The IVP proves that Tuas WRP objectives are realistic and can be met with savings in land cost and manpower. The project also won the Water/Wastewater Project of the Year Award at the 2018 Global Water Awards in Paris, France. This international award recognises the most important achievements in the global water industry and acknowledges innovative technological advancements. In 2019, the IVP emerged as the winner of the Engineering Project Category, for The Institution of Engineers, Singapore (IES) Prestigious Engineering Achievement Awards.
Project Name: Integrated Validation Plant at Ulu Pandan
Location: Ulu Pandan Water Reclamation Plant, Singapore
Completion Date: December 2017
Site Area: 7174.64 square metres
Gross Floor Area: 1834.67 square metres
Building Height: 2 storeys
Plant Capacity: 12,500 cubic meters a day
Government Implementing Agency: Public Utilities Board (PUB)
Detailed Design Consultants: Black & Veatch (SEA) Pte Ltd; AECOM Singapore Pte Ltd
Structural & Architecture: AECOM Singapore Pte Ltd (structural); Black & Veatch (SEA) Pte Ltd (architect)
MEP Process Engineers: Black & Veatch (SEA) Pte Ltd
Quantity Surveyor: AECOM Singapore Pte Ltd
Main Contractor: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Asia Pacific Pte Ltd (MHI-AP)
Images: Black & Veatch