With rising urbanisation in Singapore, more good quality water will be required for commercial, industrial and domestic uses. Sustaining the supply of water is thus a matter of overriding importance for a small country like Singapore.
We will therefore continue to explore new water sources and seek new means to re-use and recycle water. With new technologies and a proper framework for water management, we can always have the water we need for our homes and industry well into the future.
3. Indeed, water management, which is part of the environmental engineering market, can grow into another new knowledge-based cluster under the EDB's Industry21 programme which is the blueprint to develop the engineering, electronics, chemical and life sciences industries into the four crucial pillars underpinning our manufacturing sector.
Pilot project: First to be used in a theme park in the region
4. Today's event is significant as it celebrates two breakthroughs for Singapore's Environmental Technology in the area of water resources. First, Hydrochem is the pioneer local company to successfully develop a state-of-the-art membrane filtration system to cost-effectively recycle and purify industrial grade water.
This is the first such project to be used in a theme park in the region. In line with the Government's long-term drive to reinforce water conservation and recycling, Hydrochem's advanced membrane filtration technology can provide solutions to increase the supply of useable water in Singapore.
5. Second, the Jurong Bird Park is the first theme park in the region to play host to such high value-added technology. The successful implementation of this innovative locally developed water treatment system, which recycles sewage water in the Park, clearly demonstrates the technical capabilities of our local Environmental Technology cluster.
Growing of the Environmental Technology Industry:
6. Asia's Environmental Technology market is worth an estimated US$22 billion currently and is expected to grow. The Asia Pacific stands out as one of the most promising growth regions as the countries rebound from the Asian financial crisis.
With a heightened level of environmental consciousness and a rising demand for more environmentally friendly work processes, the investment in related infrastructure must rise and consequently demand in this region for such technologies will grow.
7. The EDB is committed to growing Promising Local Enterprises (PLEs). We are working closely with PLEs to assist them in acquiring new capabilities by supporting their innovation and research and development efforts.
The aim is to enable them to venture into new markets as they develop new products and services. Hydrochem's project for the Jurong Bird Park, characterised by efforts driven by local players, marks the beginning of a new phase in our building of Singapore's Environmental Technology cluster.
The successful implementation of this water treatment system is a fine testimony of the knowledge and capabilities of Hydrochem. I hope Hydrochem's success can be a model for other companies to emulate.
8. I would like to congratulate the outstanding achievements of the Hydrochem team and wish its management and its staff more successes in the years ahead. I am confident that, with its strong innovation culture, Hydrochem can help grow Singapore's Environmental Technology cluster and create even more value.
They will do this by having more breakthrough developments and applications in new water treatment technologies and commercializing them to enable industries to be more competitive in Singapore. It is now my great pleasure to declare this plant operational.
18 October 2000.
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)