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Singapore's waterworks to be 100% solar-powered, PUB to lead coastal protection

SINGAPORE'S waterworks will be fully powered by solar energy by 2021, with the national water agency PUB taking the lead in the Republic's coastal protection efforts, Minister for Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli said in Parliament.

During the Committee of Supply debate on Wednesday, Mr Masagos said his ministry has been ramping up the generation of solar power.

Two 1.5 megawatt-peak (MWp) floating solar systems will be deployed at Bedok and Lower Seletar Reservoirs, while the upcoming 60 MWp floating solar system at Tengeh Reservoir will be the world's largest such system.

"The power generated from this system alone is sufficient to meet the energy of all our water treatment plants at local reservoirs. With this, Singapore’s waterworks will be one of the few in the world to be 100 per cent green," Mr Masagos said.

Meanwhile, PUB will assume an additional role as the nation’s coastal protection agency to safeguard Singapore’s coastline against the threat of rising sea levels, he said.

This follows the announcement of a S$5 billion Coastal and Flood Protection Fund by Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat during his Budget 2020 speech.

"The fund will be used in a fiscally sustainable manner to support the substantial capital outlay," Mr Masagos said.

He added that near-term efforts will focus on studying Singapore's coastal areas to ascertain the type, feasibility and extent of measures required.

"We will phase efforts and start with the city to East Coast stretch and Jurong Island. The funds will also be used to expand and improve our drainage infrastructure to improve flood resilience," he said.

At the same time, the government will also identify new opportunities for urban development.

"For instance, we could reclaim a series of islands offshore, and even connect these islands up by building barrages to create community spaces for Singaporeans, and contribute to water resilience. PUB will partner various stakeholders to explore these possibilities," Mr Masagos said.