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Parliament Q&A

Written Reply by Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, Masagos Zulkifli, to Parliamentary Question on Impact of Proposed Acquisition by Foreign Company of Hyflux Shareholding on 20 November

Question:

Mr Dennis Tan Lip Fong: To asked the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources (a) whether the proposed acquisition of a substantial shareholding of Hyflux Ltd by a foreign company will have any material impact on two of our national taps (NEWater and desalination); (b) whether steps are taken to mitigate any potential impact on end-consumers and businesses in terms of water supply and pricing; and (c) whether there will be any adverse risk to our water security. 

Reply by Minister Masagos Zulkifli:

     PUB's key interest is to safeguard Singapore’s water security and confidence in our water supply. Hyflux is currently involved in two desalination plants under Design, Build, Own and Operate arrangements, or DBOO for short. Hyflux owns Tuaspring Desalination Plant wholly via its subsidiary, and has a 30% minority stake in SingSpring Desalination Plant. Hyflux does not own or run any NEWater plants in Singapore. 
 
2    PUB has been closely monitoring developments relating to Hyflux's debt situation and its business reorganisation. As reported in the media, Hyflux has entered into a restructuring agreement with an Indonesian consortium, SM Investments Private Limited. This is a commercial matter and restructuring discussions are ongoing. It will therefore not be appropriate for my Ministry to comment on the details. Nonetheless, Members can be assured that we will not allow our water security to be affected. 

3    The DBOO model allows us to tap on private sector expertise to deliver cost effective solutions for NEWater and desalination. We have welcomed participation from both local and foreign companies. 

4    At the same time, water security is critical to Singapore's survival. Where we have allowed private sector participation via the DBOO model, safeguards are in place. PUB has adequate measures to ensure DBOO plants remain in operation and supply is not disrupted. It is a top strategic priority of the Government to keep our taps flowing.   

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