Singapore: PUB to build more water pipeline over next 2 years
Workers conduct strengthening work on a water pipeline Reuters

Singapore's national water agency, PUB said on Wednesday that it will be building 60 km of new water pipeline to meet demand from new developments. It also added that the agency will also be renewing another 75 km of older water pipeline for network maintenance and improvement over the next two years.

In a media briefing, the agency announced about its site visits to the ongoing Murnane Pipeline Project as well as another pipeline project running from Punggol Way to Elias Road. These works are aimed at meeting future water demand in the city and eastern parts of Singapore.

According to reports, significant parts of the two projects will need to be constructed using a pipe jacking method to tunnel under. This is needed to preserve landmarks of historical value, and due to the high degree of urban development and underground infrastructure in areas.

The project involves driving through stretches of earth with a hydraulic pump and jacking machine while laying the pipeline in place behind. In the conventional open cut method, earth around the site is first excavated, before pipes are laid and the stretch re-buried.

Pipe jacking is about 25 per cent slower than the open cut method, and also costs about two-and-a-half times more. About 40 per cent of the 22-kilometre Murnane Pipeline Project will need to be done using this method, including a stretch under the Singapore River that goes as deep as 50 metres underground.

The authoirities said that more than 80 per cent of the seven-kilometre Punggol Way to Elias Road project would also require this method, running under Punggol Field.

The Environment and Water Resources Minister Masagos Zulkifli said on Wednesday that about 90 per cent of the roughly 200 km of pipeline works that the PUB will oversee until 2030 would likely have to be constructed using the costlier pipe jacking method.

"It is within our budget, but we have to ensure that we have enough to recover from our operations to fund this project for the next 15 to 20 years," Masagos added.