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Combining waste and used water in a Singaporean mega project
Singapore’s new Integrated Waste Management Facility (IWMF) will be the world’s largest energy recovery facility. The plant design is based on the most advanced waste-to-energy technology. By co-locating the facility next to a new water reclamation plant (Tuas WRP) it will be possible to achieve the highest energy efficiency and lowest greenhouse gas footprint. When a population of 5.5 million people share a dense area, it is no wonder that elements such a clean water and waste management present a unique challenge. These are the current conditions in Singapore, and one sustainable approach to tackling such challenges is found in combining waste and wastewater treatment by exploiting the synergies between the two. Singapore’s National Water Agency (PUB) and Singapore’s National Environment Agency (NEA) have appointed an international team of consultants to establish an Integrated Waste Management Facility (IWMF) alongside the world’s largest water reclamation plant (Tuas WRP) designed to treat the nation’s solid waste and used water, respectively. The IWMF will consist of a waste-to-energy facility and a sludge incineration plant. In addition, the IWMF will include handling of food waste and separation of recyclable waste at a Material Recovery Facility. Ramboll manages the part of the project dealing with waste, and advises on synergies in the record breaking mega-project.
The first of its kind
The construction of the two facilities is part of the extensive Deep Tunnel Sewerage System (DTSS) Phase 2 project, which is a super highway for the collection, treatment and disposal of used water, while the IWMF is a key solid waste management facility for the handling of multiple waste streams. – The co-located Tuas WRP and IWMF will be the first constellation of its kind in the world planned from the ground-up. Together, the facilities efficiently collect, treat and discharge used water, enhance water sustainability by enabling large scale water recycling and reap the potential synergies of the water-energy-waste nexus, says Jens Møller, Ramboll’s daily Project Manager in Singapore. Besides conceptually designing the IWMF facility, Ramboll has developed different synergies involving material handling, energy, water and odour/ventilation, which create the basic reasoning for co-locating the facilities.
Breaking all records of size and mass
With 2×4 combustion lines, the IWMF will be able to treat more than 2.5 million tonnes of solid waste annually, which is five times the capacity of the largest European waste-to-energy facilities. The sludge incineration plant will also be among the largest in world with two large fluidized bed combustion systems.
The food waste facility prepares the waste for treatment by anaerobic digestion at Tuas WRP where a biological process breaks down the organic materials without requiring oxygen to produce biogas.
A focus on technical excellence
The innovative mega-project brings along high expectations and demands for excellence. The DTSS project has a great focus on technical excellence and environmental protection. The client seeks the highest energy efficiency, the best flue gas cleaning and an improved utilisation of the biogas. This is, inter alia, where Ramboll’s expertise brings value to the client.
Land use and reliability are paramount
One of the key challenges in Singapore is limited space. Therefore, Ramboll has developed solutions that offer as little footprint as possible minimising land use while at the same time ensuring environmental protection and maximising energy output. The total site area equals 68 acres of land. Additionally a resilient operation is key to this project.
Ramboll is responsible for the IWMF facility, while a joint venture consisting of Black & Veatch and AECOM (B&V+AECOM JV) is responsible for the Tuas WRP. Ramboll staff experts are relocated to Singapore working from a project office and backed up by a pool of experts in home office.
A huge incentive for sustainable waste management
The integrated DTSS project is expected to be operational in two steps; the first in 2022 and the second in 2024. Thereby, Singapore is taking a leap forward towards the long-term goal of ‘zero waste’ with no need for landfilling of waste.