PUB to use ceramic membranes for more efficient water treatment

Choa Chu Kang Waterworks will become the first waterworks in Singapore to employ the use of ceramic membranes when it undergoes upgrading later this year. 

Singapore’s Choa Chu Kang Water Works (CCKWW) will become the first waterworks in Singapore to use ceramic membrane technology to increase the plant’s operating efficiency and reliability.

Ceramic membrane technology is one of the latest technological breakthroughs in membrane technology. It is energy efficient, with a much smaller footprint. Its life cycle cost is also expected to be lower compared with existing membrane systems.

National water agency PUB will collaborate with PWN Technologies (PWNT) to employ the use of PWNT’s CeraMac® membrane technology to upgrade part of the water treatment system at CCKWW. UGL (Singapore) Pte Ltd will design and build the plant, with the membrane system from PWN Technologies and membranes supplied by Japanese ceramic membrane specialist Metawater.

The new CeraMac® plant at CCKWW will have a daily capacity of 40 million gallons per day (mgd) and will be operational in 2018. Upon completion, the plant at CCKWW will be one of the largest ceramic membrane plants for drinking water treatment in the world.

This full-scale plant comes after a rigorous 18-month trial of PWNT’s CeraMac® demonstration plant was conducted from September 2011 to validate the efficiency and reliability of its ceramic membranes in water treatment.

Mr Harry Seah, PUB’s Chief Technology Officer said, “PUB is always on the lookout for more innovative and cost-effective ways of treating and producing water. We have been studying and testing the merits of ceramic membrane technology for a few years now, and we are satisfied with the results. Both polymeric and ceramic membranes can now be considered in our other waterworks when they are due for upgrading.”

Jonathan Clement, CEO of PWN Technologies said, “We are proud to be a partner for this seminal project which serves as a powerful statement of PUB’s commitment to innovation in water treatment. Being chosen is also a validation of PWN Technologies’ commitment to developing and implementing sustainable, cost-effective water treatment systems for greater water security.”

UGL CEO Ross Taylor said, “UGL in partnership with PWNT are pleased to be a part of the upgrade of Choa Chu Kang Water Works in Singapore. UGL has a solid track record in the water industry in Singapore dating back to the late 1960’s and we look forward to working with PUB and PWNT on the successful delivery of this innovative project.”

Ceramic membrane technology has already been validated in Japan, with more than 117 plants at present (and 137 plants worldwide) utilising ceramic membranes similar to those that will be installed at CCKWW. The first of these membranes were first installed as early as in 1998. There have been more than 17 years of continuous operation with no known membrane breaks, replacements or membrane-related shutdowns.