Singapore water companies secure S$8.4bn overseas projects since 2006
New projects in the industry from 2006 seen to add S$590mn to GDP and 2,300 jobs.
The Singapore water industry has shown significant progress since it was identified as a strategic growth area in 2006. To date, Singapore is home to a thriving water industry of more than 70 local and international companies. Investments by water companies in the period of 2006 to 2010, when fully realised, will add S$590 million of annual value-added to our economy and generate 2,300 professional and skilled jobs. Singapore-based water companies have also done well in serving the international market, with cumulative project value reaching S$8.4 billion over the same period.
The Environment and Water Industry Programme Office (EWI), an inter-agency effort led by PUB, the national water agency, the Economic Development Board (EDB) and International Enterprise (IE) Singapore, will continue to build on the strengths of Singapore’s water industry to achieve its target contribution of S$1.7 billion to Singapore’s GDP and 11,000 jobs by 2015, according to an IE SIngapore report.
Singapore’s status as a global hydrohub is cemented in the development of a strong ecosystem of local and international companies, conducting a range of activities including research and development (R&D), testbedding, engineering, manufacturing and headquarters operations.
Overseas projects and values are based on those that are publicly announced and/ or facilitated by IE Singapore.
Said Mr Yeoh Keat Chuan, Assistant Managing Director, Singapore Economic Development Board, “Since the identification of water as a key growth sector in 2006, the industry in Singapore has been transformed to one that is highly vibrant, innovation-driven and global in its reach. We will continue to sharpen Singapore’s competitive advantages by providing opportunities across the entire innovation value chain. Singapore aims to be a conducive marketplace where companies can easily establish partnerships in R&D, development and test-bedding of integrated solutions and collective bidding for global projects.”
Besides attracting investments into Singapore, the industry has also seen the export of water expertise to key overseas markets such as China and the Middle East by Singapore based water companies. Today, water treatment technologies developed in Singapore are increasingly being applied in markets overseas. For example, leading global players such as Black & Veatch and CDM from the US are employing expertise gained in Singapore to their other projects around the world.
Said Mr Leong Teng Chau, Divisional Director for Environment and Engineering Services, IE Singapore, “Singapore-based water companies have a proven track record in Singapore which has given them leverage to scale up and replicate their services globally. They are strong system integrators that can design solutions for different water issues faced by municipal and industrial customers. They are also water operators who are involved in the long-term operations, management and maintenance of the water infrastructure to meet the required water standards. We encourage our players to ride on market trends and needs to strengthen their presence in existing markets, and make inroads into newer markets.”
Said Mr Ng Han Tong, Director, Industry Development, PUB, “Beyond providing an environment for business and research, Singapore also plays a key role in forging dialogue amongst policymakers, water experts and industry leaders on water issues, challenges and solutions. The Singapore International Water Week adds to Singapore’s profile as a global hydrohub by offering a platform for global stakeholders to address challenges and identify solutions at the governance, technology and business levels.”
The EWI has focused strongly on providing a complete value chain of innovation opportunities in Singapore, starting from R&D to testbedding and finally commercialisation and export from Singapore. With a research funding of S$330 million from the National Research Foundation, EWI has attracted private sector companies and institutes to undertake R&D activities in Singapore. Through PUB and other government agencies like JTC Corporation and the Housing & Development Board, Singapore is positioning itself as a “living laboratory” where companies can develop, testbed and commercialise newgeneration water solutions in a real-life environment. In addition, many companies are now using Singapore to commercialise and export their knowhow and solutions globally. Finally, through the funding of graduate scholarships and specialised courses, the EWI will continue to groom specialist manpower to meet the sector’s growing needs for talent.