The S$5 million plant has a daily capacity of 1.2 million litres and will be placed on an 18-month trial undergoing stringent testing by PUB and PWNT. The demonstration plant is being funded by a grant from the Technology Pioneer Scheme under Singapore’s Environment & Water Industry Programme Office.
 
After an initial successful pilot project at the Bedok NEWater Factory, PUB will use this demonstration plant to further evaluate the reliability and sustainability of ceramic membrane technology for large scale operations.
 
PWNT has worked with engineering company Black & Veatch and Metawater who supplied the ceramic membrane elements to develop the demonstration plant.
 
PWNT's CeraMac is an innovative block design. Rather than having ceramic membrane modules in individual stainless steel casings, up to 200 ceramic elements can now be housed in a single stainless steel vessel. "With a significant reduction in materials usage and plant size, this sustainable innovation minimises the set-up and operating costs of using ceramic membranes to a level that is cost-competitive with legacy polymeric membranes,” said Jonathan Clement, director of technology application at PWNT.  
 
Harry Seah, director of the PUB Technology & Quality Water Office, said: “Although the cost of ceramic membranes is higher than our current polymeric membranes, it has a much longer lifespan of 15–20 years. We have built our Four National Taps strategy based on research & development (R&D). Building a ceramic membrane demonstration plant at our Chua Chu Kang Waterworks follows the footstep of our R&D tradition.”