Keppel Infrastructure and Singapore's national water agency PUB have broken ground on the Keppel Marina East Desalination Plant which will treat both seawater and freshwater.

Built at the Marina Barrage, it will be Singapore’s first dual-mode desalination plant and the fourth desalination plant overall.

The large-scale dual-mode plant will make multiple uses of land. It will feature underground treatment facilities and also have 20,000m2 of open green area on the rooftop for recreational purpose.

Keppel Infrastructure CEO Dr Ong Tiong Guan said: “Not only is this the first desalination plant in Singapore capable of treating both seawater and freshwater, the plant's design also blends seamlessly into the environment, allowing the public to enjoy the green space above the plant along with the surrounding greenery.”

Based on the weather conditions being wet or dry, the new desalination plant will collect and treat water from the Marina Reservoir or the sea.

The desalination plant will produce about 30 million gallons of fresh drinking water per day and is secured with a 25-year Water Purchase Agreement with PUB.

PUB CEO Ng Joo Hee said: "Over the years, we have been making investments in desalination plants to bolster our water security.

“As a source independent of weather, desalinated water is capable of strengthening our water supply resilience, especially against prolonged dry spells and droughts. We aim to triple its capacity to meet up to 30% of our water needs by 2060.”

Expected to be completed by 2020, the Keppel Marina East Desalination Plant would have a sleek modern design in contrast with the conventional water treatment plants.

The desalination plant will have all its water treatment equipment installed underground and will have a topping off gently sloping green lawn to double up as its roof.