DesalData Weekly - February 14, 2019

Posted 14 February, 2019 by Mandy

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Hyflux Chief Executive Olivia Lum. Peru Credit: St File –

SINGAPORE – The Securities Investors Association of Singapore (Sias) has raised questions regarding the large remuneration of Hyflux’s chief executive, Olivia Lum, in the face of significant debt and losses racked up by the firm. In 2017, while Hyflux reported losses of $115.6 million, Ms. Lum received between $750,000 and $1 million in salary, benefits, and bonuses.

Sias also found ‘material faults and defects’ in almost every Hyflux asset, and many projects are either loss-making or suffering from operational problems. This is the case for the Tuaspring Desalination Plant in Singapore and the Dagang Desalination Plant in Tianjin, China. Sias has also questioned how it was possible for the board to continue paying dividends and report profits each year prior to 2017, despite negative operating cash flow.[1]


OMANSohar Power’s continuation of operations on Oman Power and Water Procurement Company’s (OPWP) energy supply scheme beyond 2022 is uncertain.  The company is finalizing its bid to work on the project. Sohar has been pre-qualified for its power-only offer, but did not prequalify for its power and water offer. The company is seeking shareholder backing for a final binding bid for OPWP’s 2022 Procurement process.[2]  


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The Poondi water reservoir in Chennai. India. Credit: Chennaimetrowater


INDIA – Many localities in Chennai are currently struggling with water shortage issues. The city requires 850,000 m3/d but is currently only receiving water every other day at a capacity ofy 480,000-550,000 m3/d. There is currently less than 28.3 million m3 water in the city’s four reservoirs combined. Residents in parts of the city have been without water for almost a week.

Plans for reservoir and desalination facilities have been hitting up against consistent delays. The city’s fifth reservoir will become operational only by November this year, while a 400,000 m3/d desalination plant at Nemmeli is expected to begin operations in 2023.[3]


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The Teshie-Nungua desalination plant. Ghana Credit:


GHANA – The Public Utility Workers Union of Ghana has petitioned the President to abandon the proposed sale of the Teshie-Nungua desalination plant and to keep the plant on standby instead. The union is concerned that Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) will be forced to assume $10 million in debt if a proposed sale to AquaVenture takes place. This potential financial arrangement, according to union officials, would cause the utility to shut down operations. The plant’s sale has been postponed and Aquaventure has extended the deadline of the sale to 31 March 2019.[4]


INDONESIA – The Jakarta administration has completed the construction of three desalination plants in the Thousand Island regency, located on the islands of Payung, Kelapa Dua, and Pramuka. Jakarta Water Resources Agency is currently testing the water quality and production capacity of the plants, before they go online. Full commissioning is expected to be complete by the end of January.[5]





[1] Seow Bei Yi “Hyflux queried over CEO Olivia Lum’s remuneration”,, Feb 11, 2019.  <> accessed Feb 12, 2019.

[2] Oscar Rousseau “Sohar Power to bid on Oman’s 2022 energy procurement programme”,, Feb 10, 2019.  <> accessed Feb 12, 2019.

[3] Madhumitha Viswanath “Summer isn’t here but water shortage has already arrived in Chennai”,, Feb 11, 2019.  <> accessed Feb12, 2019.

[4] “PUWU urges Nana Addo to convert desalination plant to standby facility”,, Jan 24, 2019.  <> accessed Feb 12, 2019. “Indebted Teshie Desalination Plant Poses Serious Threat- GWCL Workers”,, Jan 29, 2019.  < > accessed Feb 12, 2019.

[5] “Newly built desalination plants to provide clean water in Thousand Islands”,, Feb 4, 2019.  <> accessed Feb 12, 2019.

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