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New Kranji Water Reclamation Plant and Kranji NEWater Factory to support upcoming developments in northern and north-western Singapore

  Published: 28 July 2023

National Water Agency PUB launched a tender today to engage professional engineering services for the proposed redevelopment of the Kranji Water Reclamation Plant (WRP) and Kranji NEWater Factory. This critical water infrastructure will support existing and upcoming residential and industrial developments in the north and north-western areas, including Admiralty, Woodlands, Sungei Kadut Eco-District and Tengah New Town. By addressing the projected increase in demand for used water treatment and NEWater, the redevelopment will play a pivotal role in ensuring a sustainable water supply for these areas. 

PUB worked with the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) to identify an approximately 26-hectare site located to the north of the existing Kranji WRP, which will include a portion of land from the existing site, for the new facilities (see Annex A [PDF, 198kb]). The existing plant will remain operational during the course of the redevelopment. The site selection has factored in environmental considerations and Singapore’s long-term land use needs.

Meeting our Future Water Needs

The existing Kranji WRP was constructed in the 1980s. This facility treats used water for further reclamation at the co-located Kranji NEWater Factory to produce NEWater, or for discharge to the sea. With Changi WRP in the east and Tuas WRP in the west, the new Kranji WRP is the final piece of Singapore’s 3-node Deep Tunnel Sewerage System (DTSS) - a network of deep tunnel sewers that convey used water to the three centralised WRPs. Together, these developments will strengthen Singapore’s water reclamation system, increase used water treatment capacity, bolster NEWater production and enhance our overall water resilience. The implementation of the entire DTSS will allow PUB to reduce the overall land footprint of the used water system across Singapore by half.

The new Kranji WRP will replace the existing plant and adopt advanced technologies such as Membrane Bio-Reactor (MBR) and Thermal Hydrolysis Process (THP)1 to produce higher quality treated effluent and achieve higher land use efficiency. Unlike conventional used water treatment process at the current Kranji WRP, MBR technology reduces the treatment footprint by 30 per cent while producing higher quality effluent, which will facilitate water reuse and optimise the NEWater treatment process. Hence, the new Kranji WRP can have a significantly larger used water treatment capacity to meet future demands while occupying a similar land area as the existing facility. 

Optimising Land Use at Kranji and Enhancing Ecological Connectivity

In identifying a suitable site for the new Kranji WRP and Kranji NEWater Factory, PUB and URA worked closely with other agencies at the upstream planning stage to factor in environmental and land use considerations. With the development of the Sungei Kadut Eco-District and the upcoming redevelopment of the Singapore Racecourse site near the existing Kranji WRP, the existing Kranji WRP site which is near Kranji MRT station can be freed up for higher intensity uses. These could include new industrial workplaces that will allow more people to enjoy the convenience of being close to a public transport node. The developments in the Kranji area complement our other plans for the North Region such as redeveloping Woodlands Checkpoint, enhancing Woodlands Town under the Remaking our Heartland programme, and master planning Lim Chu Kang into a high-tech agri-food cluster.

The development of the new Kranji WRP and Kranji NEWater Factory at the identified site is made possible with the realignment of the Rail Corridor to run alongside Woodlands Road to Kranji MRT station, which was first presented when the Rail Corridor Concept Master Plan was being developed in 2015. The Rail Corridor Concept Master Plan was developed to strike a three-way balance in using the Rail Corridor land – (i) retain the 24km Rail Corridor for nature, recreation, and community use; (ii) celebrate the heritage along the Rail Corridor; and (iii) optimise the redevelopment of adjacent land parcels to meet Singaporeans’ needs for homes, jobs, and amenities. URA had consulted public agencies and stakeholders early and widely during the process and had engaged them on the proposed realignment, which was acknowledged by the Rail Corridor Partnership comprising nature and heritage interest group representatives and community stakeholders. The realignment was subsequently presented at a public exhibition of the Rail Corridor’s Concept Master Plan in the same year, and displayed publicly at URA’s Draft Master Plan 2019 exhibition, before the plans were gazetted as part of Master Plan 2019. In February 2023, the realigned stretch along Kranji MRT station was completed and opened for public use as part of Rail Corridor (North).

The realignment of the Rail Corridor facilitated plans to make the Kranji node a northern gateway into the Rail Corridor by improving public accessibility and creating a community node at the location. It also freed up a sizeable contiguous parcel of land around the former KTM railway to be optimally planned and redeveloped to meet future needs. 

Agencies will strengthen the ecological connectivity of the realigned Rail Corridor with enhanced planting, and study measures such as landscaping strategies that will integrate the Rail Corridor with the green provisions and landscapes of future developments to make the Rail Corridor functionally wider where possible. NParks is also studying ways to enhance the ecological connectivity along Sungei Pang Sua and along Sungei Mandai to the Mandai Mangrove and Mudflat. 

Developing Sensitively to Meet our Future Water Needs

PUB’s tender seeks to appoint a consultant for professional engineering services (PES) for planning and preliminary design of the future Kranji WRP and Kranji NEWater Factory on the identified site. As the identified site includes a section of the former Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) railway alignment, a 10-hectare plot of vegetated land, and a cemetery at the former Kampong Wak Selat, an important scope of the PES is to carry out a detailed Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) to assess the potential environmental impact of the redevelopment, as well as conduct a heritage study of the former KTM railway alignment and the former Kampong Wak Selat and cemetery at the site. The findings of the EIA and heritage study will be considered, and mitigation measures to minimise the environment impact will be developed and implemented during the construction and operation of the project. Nature group representatives have been consulted early to help scope the EIA to ensure a robust and comprehensive study. Agencies had also gathered feedback from nature and heritage groups during briefings and site visits, and will continue to enhance the ecological connectivity of the area as the project progresses. Agencies are also exploring options to commemorate the former KTM railway alignment, allowing the public to have better appreciation of the historical significance of the site.

PUB and URA are committed to addressing potential environmental and biodiversity impacts and will work with NParks and relevant agencies and stakeholders to adopt appropriate mitigation measures. In strengthening Singapore’s water resilience, we aim to strike a good balance between optimising land use and the need to protect the environment. Construction work is expected to commence in 2027 and the new Kranji WRP and Kranji NEWater factory are expected to be operational by 2035.

1 THP enhances sludge management for disposal and increases the biogas production for energy recovery.