1500 butterfly valves in Singapore's largest desalination plant

To secure the country’s future water needs, Singapore will rely heavily on desalinated water. Desponia® butterfly valves will help to secure smooth operation at the country’s largest plant.

The Public Utilities Board (PUB) is a statutory board under the Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment of the Government of Singapore. PUB is responsible for ensuring a sustainable and efficient water supply in all of Singapore, and therefore also oversees and regulates the country’s water catchment systems, drainage systems, water works, pipeline network, water reclamation plants and sewage systems. 

The country’s demand for water is about 400 million imperial gallons (1.8×106 m3) a day – a number that is expected to double by 2060. 

PUB is set to meet 80% of this demand through its NEWater (highly treated reclaimed wastewater) and desalination technologies.

Safe tap water is a priority

The PUB's watershed management and treatment processes has ensured a continuous supply of clean and quality water for Singaporeans over the last four decades. The island’s clean and drinkable tap water exceeds the drinking water standards set by the World Health Organization, and Singapore was named the top Asian city in water sustainability development in 2015, with the nation boasting the highest drinking water and sanitation standards in the region.


An energy-intensive process

Desalination is an energy-intensive water source. Singapore currently uses reverse osmosis for its desalination, which uses about 3.5kWh/m3 of energy to make seawater drinkable. This process produces pure drinking water by pushing seawater through membranes to remove dissolved salts and minerals.

PUB is constantly exploring ways to reduce the energy required to ensure the sustainability of desalinated water, and their goal is to reduce the energy requirements; first by more than 50% from the current 3.5kWh/m3 to 1.5 kWh/m3, and further down to 1 kWh/m3 in the future.

In Singapore’s 50 years of independence, we have turned our water vulnerability into a strategic asset. We created the Four National Taps source strategy, which means that we draw water from local catchments, including NEWater (highly treated reclaimed wastewater) and desalinated sea water, which are two weather-resilient sources and therefore more reliable. This investment saw us through one of Singapore’s driest periods in early 2014. But still, challenges lie ahead, and one of these is energy supply. As we produce more desalinated seawater and NEWater, which are energy-heavy processes, our energy demand is expected to rise. Also, our population and economy growth apply further demand for energy in general – and for water.

Finding the suitable valve solution

As we forge ahead in the next 50 years, our vision is to ensure that our water supply continues to be robust, sustainable, and affordable. In this regard, upgrading of the membrane filtration arrangement and valve solution replacement on the largest desalination plant in the country, Tuas South, was essential.

Establishing the appropriate valve solution makes a great difference to the end user in terms of the overall cost savings that they will be enjoying in the long run. 

From the beginning, we at AVK Singapore have been working closely with the end user as well as the contractor, Memiontec, which is a water treatment company with more than 20 years of experience in the field of water and wastewater management services. Together, we identified the required specifications on the valve solutions, meeting all technical compliance as needed. Through detailed technical assistance prior to the approval of our submission, the end user was convinced that the Desponia butterfly valve with Halar coated disc was their preferred choice to a high-quality performance that was needed for the critical processes at the plant.


Products supplied to the project:

1140 pcs Desponia® wafer butterfly valves, DN 50-350, Halar coated disc c/w festo pneumatic actuators
509 pcs Desponia® wafer butterfly valves, DN 50-350, Halar coated disc c/w manual levers and gear boxes