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Singapore’s public–private partnerships are most populous in the water sector. Water is a precious commodity and a security issue in Singapore, not because of a lack of rainfall but due to the lack of land with which to store rainfall. The state-run Public Utilities Board (PUB) currently manages the water cycle of Singapore.
The country has an excellent sewerage system and all water is treated. Singapore gains water mainly from neighbouring Malaysia (with whom the country has had a variety of agreements since independence) and through a range of native reservoirs, desalination plants and wastewater recycling. These are key components of the country’s attempt to diversify its water supply. In one year the people of Singapore spent US$81.4 million on bottled water (2007). However, the government is campaigning on the appeals of tap water as an alternative to this.
The flagship public–private partnerships in this sector are the two Tuas desalination plants. The first was awarded to SingSpring on a design-build-own-operate (DBOO) basis in 2003. It is designed to supply 130,000 cubic metres (30 million gallons) of water per day from 2005–25. It was officially opened in 2005. Use of public–private partnerships allowed PUB to purchase cheaper desalination technology. The second Tuas Desalination Plant was again awarded to Tuas Spring in 2011, also using a DBOO model. Other completed DBOO’s augmented by PUB are the Ulu Pandan NEWater Plant and Changi NEWater Plant, opened in 2004 and 2010, respectively. When it comes to waste, the National Environment Agency has also set up a DBOO model public–private partnership for an incineration plant. Keppel Seghers Engineering Singapore is the private partner for the plant, which opened in 2009.
Singapore has an excellent sewerage system and all water is treated.
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