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Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment, Singapore delivering the opening address of the Singapore International Water Week and CleanEnviro Summit Singapore 2022

Singapore: Wide-ranging strategic partnerships, initiatives and MOUs were announced at the Singapore International Water Week (SIWW) and CleanEnviro Summit Singapore (CESG) 2022. The two events were organized by PUB, Singapore’s National Water Agency and the National Environment Agency, respectively. These announcements are expected to contribute significantly to the region’s climate resilience, underscoring the strategic role key platforms play in facilitating industry collaboration to address the challenges of climate change.

Held between 17 to 21 April, the co-located events hosted over 15,000 physical attendees comprising leaders in government, industry, and academia from around the world, who came together to advance international collaboration to accelerate climate action.

Guest-of-Honour Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment, Singapore delivered the joint opening keynote address at the opening ceremony of the Singapore International Water Week (SIWW) and CleanEnviro Summit Singapore (CESG) held at the Sands Expo & Convention Centre.

In her address, Ms Fu emphasized the importance of global partnerships and innovation in tackling climate change and highlighted the actions that Singapore is taking toward its climate ambition and sustainability agenda through the Singapore Green Plan.

“Singapore’s efforts to advance our sustainability agenda and grow our environment and water sectors are underpinned by partnerships with the rest of the world,” said Ms. Fu.

 

Ms. Fu also added that “international events such as CESG and SIWW can play an important role in bringing together thought leaders, experts and practitioners from governments, academia, and industry to exchange ideas and co-create solutions”.

The opening day saw Ms Fu officiate the launch of the RSK Centre for Sustainability Excellence at SIWW’s Water Expo and witness the launch of Hyperscale, Asia’s inaugural waste-tech accelerator programme by StartupX at CESG.

The official launch of RSK Centre for Sustainability Excellence during Singapore International Water Week 2022

From (L-R) Mr Robert Charnock, Director, RSK Research Institute on Climate Strategy and RSK Centre for Sustainability Excellence (CfSE); Her Excellency Kara Owen, British High Commissioner; Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State, Ministry for Sustainability and the Environment, Singapore; Mr Alan Ryder, CEO, RSK Group; Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment, Singapore; Ms Lucy Thomas, RSK Group Chief Scientist and Managing Director of the RSK Centre for Sustainability Excellence; Mr Desmond Tan, Minister of State, Ministry of Home Affairs & Ministry for Sustainability and the Environment, Singapore; and Mr William Yong, Managing Director, Binnies Singapore at the official launch of the RSK Centre for Sustainability Excellence

Against the backdrop of the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) and the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report urging immediate action to tackle climate change, the programs at SIWW and CESG were designed to spur synergistic exchange and the co-creation of mitigation and adaptation solutions.

To this end, SIWW and CESG 2022 paved the way for a wide range of key initiatives and public-private partnerships that would strengthen climate resilience in Singapore and beyond, push new sustainability frontiers, and open the door to potential environmental business opportunities. These include:-

The official opening of the Jurong Island Desalination Plant marked another important milestone in Singapore’s journey toward water sustainability and the enhancement of water security.

Establishment of the RSK Centre of Excellence for Sustainability, which will consolidate the services of 130 environment businesses under RSK to provide practical solutions for industry and businesses, meeting the growing demand for sustainability services in the region.

Unveiling of Hyperscale, Asia’s inaugural waste-tech accelerator program for startups by StartupX, in partnership with the National Environment Agency and Enterprise Singapore, which aims to spur sustainable innovation in the areas of plastic, electronic and mixed waste, and help waste-tech ventures scale their innovations globally.

Commissioning of a coastal protection study and a Request-for-Proposal (RFP) for innovative coastal protection strategies by PUB.

MOU signing between Enterprise Singapore and Manila Water, as well as PUB and Rwanda Water & Sanitation Corporation to promote the exchange of best practices, test-bedding, and deployment of technologies to enhance water resilience.

MOU signings between the Singapore Water Association (SWA) and a series of public and private organizations to foster partnerships and deepen knowledge exchange. These include British Water, International Water Association (IWA), and International Water Hub (IWH).

Supply deals for the upcoming Tuas Water Reclamation Plant (TWRP) between Koh Brothers with Meiden and Xylem to provide cutting-edge ceramic membrane bioreactor (MBR) technology and biological aeration diffuser systems respectively for the world’s largest MBR plant when it is completed in 2026. The deals are part of the S$200.7 million contract awarded by PUB for the TWRP announced previously.

Supply agreement between six-building owners in Tampines Town Centre and SP Group for the installation and operation of district cooling technology. The first such sustainable solution to be implemented in a brownfield development in Singapore, the technology will help the town center reduce its carbon emissions by 1,359 tonnes annually and save more than 2,800,000 kilowatt-hours of energy annually.

MOU signings between ZWEEC Analytics, IONI Water, and partners from China and India totaling about S$75 million to provide access to safe drinking water in the region, and water ecological environment monitoring in the Yangtze River Basin.

A Tuas Nexus Time Capsule ceremony was also held at CESG’s Environment Expo to commemorate the construction of the Tuas Nexus – the world’s first integrated waste and water treatment facility planned from the ground up. The time capsule will be opened in 2032 after the Nexus, which consists of the National Environment Agency’s (NEA) Integrated Waste Management Facility and PUB’s Tuas Water Reclamation Plant, becomes fully operational.

The Tuas Nexus Time Capsule ceremony during Singapore International Water Week (SIWW) 2022

(From L-R) Ms Nunthinee Sundaramurthi, Principal Engineer, PUB; Mr Desmond Tan, Minister of State, Ministry of Home Affairs & Ministry for Sustainability and the Environment, Singapore; Mr Ng Joo Hee, Chief Executive, PUB; Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment, Singapore; Mr Luke Goh, Chief Executive Officer, NEA; Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State, Ministry for Sustainability and the Environment, Singapore; Mr Stanley Loh, Permanent Secretary (Sustainability and the Environment), Singapore; and Mr Albert Chieng, Executive Engineer, NEA at the Tuas Nexus Time Capsule ceremony.

Discussions of business opportunities worth approximately S$45 billion in the areas of waste management, cleaning robotics, and climate risk mitigation.

The Environment & Water Leaders Forum (EWLF), a combined SIWW-CESG high-level forum, shone the spotlight on how cities and organizations can transform sustainability challenges into opportunities as we work towards a climate-resilient future. Speakers included Her Excellency Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, UAE; Michèle Blom, Vice Minister for Water Management, Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, Netherlands; Els van Doesburg, Vice Mayor, City of Antwerp, Belgium; Patrick Blethon, CEO, Saur Group; Dr. Andrew Benedek, Chairman and CEO, Anaergia; Axel Schweitzer, CEO, ALBA Group plc & Co. KG; Dechen Tsering, Regional Director and Representative for Asia and the Pacific, United Nations Environment Programme; and His Excellency Li Guoying, Minister of Water Resources, Ministry of Water Resources, People’s Republic of China.

The overarching message from leaders who spoke during the week is clear – that urgent action is required to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Platforms like SIWW and CESG remain integral in bringing the industry together to drive the sharing of expertise and accelerate action against climate change.

“We don’t have decades for something that is put into a legally binding instrument to roll down to society,” said Dechen Tsering, Regional Director and Representative for Asia and the Pacific, United Nations Environment Programme. “These amazing innovations, these amazing technologies, this amazing finance — it’s not happening fast enough and we don’t have enough time.”

 

Patrick Blethon, CEO, Saur Group, said on a positive note, “I couldn’t imagine such a meeting 15 years ago talking about water and environment. This is a big change we are seeing today in the world, and especially the past five years; everyone is talking and acting. The world is changing.”

The Water Expo and Environment Expo featured more than 300 local and international exhibitors, showcasing the latest innovations in water and environmental management, with digital solutions emerging as powerful levers for change. About 30 percent of the exhibitors at the Environment Expo featured digital solutions, with robotics solutions commonplace. The Water Expo also featured a dedicated Digital Pavilion for the first time. In addition, the Imagine H2O and Ripple2Wave Pavilions also provided opportunities for some 27 water start-ups to connect with investors, partners, and buyers to advance the commercialization of exciting and new water technologies.

“SIWW2022 is proud to have returned as Asia’s first large-scale water show since the pandemic, bringing together the world’s brightest minds to conduct meaningful conversations and developments to galvanize the international water community into accelerating climate mitigation and adaptation efforts,” said Ryan Yuen, Managing Director of Singapore International Water Week. “The active participation of international businesses at the Water Expo further underscores the importance of SIWW as a platform for the co-creation of innovative and scalable solutions for urban water challenges.”

 

“Ahead of the 27th United Nations Climate Change conference or more commonly referred to as COP27, CESG2022 has provided opportunities for public and private sector leaders to come together and address climate risks and urban waste issues,” said Dalson Chung, Managing Director of CleanEnviro Summit Singapore. “The past few days have shown that we have the collective technologies and solutions needed to build a more climate-resilient future. It is now time for participants to act on the insights they have gained from attending this event.”

The next editions of SIWW and CESG will return from 16 to 20 June 2024.

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