GE Water & National University of Singapore to Establish Water Technology Center

April 2, 2009
Center will focus on developing new technologies for more efficient water use

GE Water and the National University of Singapore (NUS) have signed an agreement to establish the NUS-GE Singapore Water Technology Center on the NUS campus in Singapore.

GE Water and NUS will jointly invest a combined $100 million in the new center, which will focus on the development of new technologies for low-energy seawater desalination, water reclamation and more efficient water reuse.

“Leveraging the research efforts of both NUS and GE will enable us to further address one of the world’s most pressing challenges and will enhance the educational reach of the university into all sectors of global water issues,” said Professor Barry Halliwell, NUS’s deputy president of research and technology.

GE and NUS expect to have the new center up and running by mid-2009.

The center will focus on solving some of the most pertinent water challenges, including alleviating the increasing water stress found in many parts of the world, including regions in China, India and the Middle East. Today, about 1.1 billion people lack access to safe drinking water. By 2025, approximately 2.8 billion people will be living in water scarce areas. Industries are responding to increasing water stress and water costs by increasing the recycling and recovery of water. Municipalities are increasingly using membranes for drinking water production and are finding wastewater to be a resource that can be recovered for industrial uses.

"This center is a reflection of our growing partnership with GE and Singapore’s standing as a global hydro hub. We welcome GE’s efforts to continue leveraging the vibrant ecosystem here to commercialize the innovations from the water R&D center, including the use of Singapore to test-bed and demonstrate new-generation water technologies," said Manohar Khiatani, deputy managing director, Economic Development Board and deputy executive director, Environment & Water Industry Development Council.

“GE and Singapore are recognized leaders in water solutions. GE is committed to providing technologies that are more energy efficient while also increasing water availability through reuse and Singapore is a government leader in testing and implementing these solutions. Establishing the NUSGE Singapore Water Technology Center will enhance our ability to develop the most advanced water technologies that the world needs,” said Heiner Markhoff, president and CEO of GE Water.

GE Water and Singapore have been working together in delivering effective water solutions. GE’s ZeeWeed hollow fiber ultrafiltration membrane technology is used to produce high-quality reclaimed water from treated wastewater at the Bedok NEWater plant and the nation’s first large-scale membrane bioreactor plant at Ulu Pandan. Two important drinking water plants, Chestnut Avenue Water Works and Choa Chu Kang Water Works, also use GE ultrafiltration membranes to purify water for potable use.

NUS engineers and scientists also have provided extensive leadership in Singapore’s water quality and resource management and will leverage collaborations with GE to further strengthen its capabilities in environmental research.

Source: Environmental Business Journal, OilVoice