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Volume 1 Issue 1 І 2009

In this issue: InoCep® takes beer clarification to a higher efficiency level through ultrafiltration І Page 1 Hyflux launches second generation InoCep® at SIWW 2009 І Page 5 PM Lee speaks of Hyflux in national day rally speech І Page 7

Hyflux Membrane Technology In the News

Events & Tradeshows

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Membrane InoCepÂŽ takes beer clarification to a higher efficiency level through ultrafiltration

Filtration is essential after the fermentation stage in beer production as it defines the final product, beer, with its unique colour, taste and most importantly stability. Filtration removes yeast cells along with by-products in the form of small solid particles present within the liquid product. Kieselguhr, also known as diatomaceous earth (DE), is a common batch filtering media used for such a purpose. However certain health risks are involved and precaution is needed when handling DE. Moreover, environmental laws have classified spent DE as hazardous waste making it mandatory for proper disposal. This increases both disposal and environmental costs. The solution: Microfiltration (MF) ceramic membranes. Replacing DE with ceramic membranes is a growing practise in the brewery industry.

Utilising this concept, Hyflux has developed a ceramic hollow fibre membrane, InoCep, capable of handling such an application. Known for their chemically inert nature, the ceramic material of InoCep allows it to be susceptible to operating beer clarification conditions of high temperature, pressure and extreme pH. Conditions of which, polymeric membranes are not suitable for. As well as separating hazy proteins for the end product to achieve a crystal clear appearance, the structure composition of InoCep such as membrane thickness and pore size also plays a critical role in retaining the flavour, nutrients and aromatic compounds present in beer.

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To prove the superior performance of InoCep in beer filtration, Hyflux collaborated with a major brewery in Asia Pacific to conduct an on-site field test comparing beer production quality between a traditional DE system and MF system. Over a period of 6 months, beer brewed by these systems were subjected to many controlled variables where the effects of operating parameters, such as cross-flow velocity, filtration pressure, transmembrane pressure, backwashing, feed and temperature were studied. With such a comprehensive and rigorous field test, test results were found to have met the brewery’s high operating standards and requirements. Each brew output produced by InoCep that was compared against normal DE production met the exact requirements of yeast cell, bacteria and colloid removal while retaining the nutrients, clarity, colour and the unique bitter aftertaste of beer. Also beer brewed by InoCep systems are able to be stored for longer periods as the enzymes and microorganisms that cause chill-haze and micro-instability are reduced or eliminated. This removes the need for the addition of fining agents and for further downstream product sterilisation such as tunnel or flash pasteurisation. With the development of InoCep and the continuous advancement of ceramic membrane technology, Hyflux constantly strives to provide the benefits of higher product quality, lower process cost and process optimisation without compromising standards of the brewery industry.

Beer A Foaming (sec)

OG (o)

CO2 (g/L)

Turbidity (EBC)

Colour (o)







DE Filtration






Beer B Foaming (sec)

OG (o)

CO2 (g/L)

Turbidity (EBC)

Colour (o)







DE Filtration






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Membrane Reverse osmosis seawater desalination projects true testimonials to the performance of KristalÂŽ One of the key drivers for an efficient and yet affordable reverse osmosis (RO) desalination system is an effective and reliable pre-treatment solution. To this end, utilising ultrafiltration (UF) technology and pioneered by Hyflux, Kristal membranes have proven to be an ideal product developed for such a purpose. Kristal membranes are specifically designed for RO pre-treatment that enhances the performance and extends the lifespan of RO membranes downstream.

The main constituent of a Kristal membrane is its specially formulated modified polyethersulfone (PES), which is more hydrophilic than other membrane materials like polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF). This feature reduces fouling and increases its capability in handling streams of very high suspended solid organic contents.

Build up of particles over the surface of RO membranes (e.g. membrane fouling) can greatly reduce the performance of the RO process. This may lead to higher operating cost, lower plant productivity or even resulting in the breakdown of the whole system altogether. Thus extensive treatment is required upstream in any RO desalination process.

Kristal’s unique asymmetric structure, an ultra thin skin built above a porous substrate enables both high water flux and mechanical strength. Kristal also eliminates conventional treatment processes that are land intensive. With a simple modular and compact design, Kristal offers a larger membrane area per unit volume at a smaller footprint size, hence lowering capital and installation costs. The Kristal series is also designed with a hollow fibre configuration that is capable of automatic backwash. At the end of the filtration cycle, the membrane surface is air-scrubbed by reversing the direction of water flow. This provides an efficient and effective mean of removing particulates and debris that cause membrane fouling. Without a pre-treatment system, directly processing raw seawater would result in a huge detrimental impact on the overall lifecycle and

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: Tlemcen, Algeria

Dagang District Government Project Type : 30 Year Build-Own-Transfer System Type : Kristal SWRO pre-filtration 3 Capacity : 100,000m /day expandable to 150,000m3/day


: Algeria Energy Company

In partnership with the Tianjin Dagang District Government, Hyflux invested an estimated RMB 750m (S$155 million) into the construction of a 100MLD seawater desalination plant. The largest SWRO project in China, the plant utilises Kristal membranes in its pre-treatment process. In addition, plans have been made to further increase the plant’s capacity to 150MLD in the near future. Set to emerge as a major player in the manufacturing hub of China, Hyflux is now the solution provider of desalinated water for manufacturing related services such as logistics, infrastructure design and utilities management in Tianjin.

With the project in Tianjin to prove as a true testament of Kristal’s performance, Hyflux has forged on to secure major desalination projects using Kristal pre-treatment systems in Algeria and Libya worth an estimated total of about S$1.5 billion.


: Bohai Bay, Tianjin City : Tianjin

Project Type : 25 Year Build-Own-Operate System Type : Kristal SWRO pre-filtration Capacity : 200,000m3 /day

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In The News Hyflux launches second generation InoCep® at SIWW 2009 This year, the Singapore International Water Week (SIWW) was themed “Sustainable Cities – Infrastructure and Technologies for Water”. More than 10,000 attendees from over 85 countries/ regions visited the Water Week from 22 to 26 June 2009. Hyflux’s participation was highlighted by the introduction and launch of InoCep, Hyflux’s second-generation ceramic hollow fibre membrane. Mr Roland Low, Hyflux Director of Technology Commercialisation, and Dr Li Dong Fei, Hyflux Vice President of Process Technology, gave presentations on the advantages of the membrane (one of which is to process liquids in extreme conditions) and Hyflux’s research network through Hyflux CEPAration Technologies BV, a Hyflux subsidiary in The Netherlands.

Memorandum of Understanding focused on energy optimisation

Bridging academia and industry to further inorganic membrane technology

Hyflux and Dutch Technology Foundation (STW) signed a MOU on 23rd June 2009 to jointly carry out and fund a slew of research programmes. STW is a leading environmental solutions provider with an annual budget of 80 million Euros, and a research portfolio that comprises 20 research programmes. This joint programme aims to stimulate more effective cooperation between academia and industry to create technological breakthroughs in inorganic membrane separation technologies. Area Director of The Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA) Ms Linnie Mackenzie, signed the MOU with Hyflux on behalf of STW. Commenting on this collaboration, Hyflux Group CEO Ms Olivia Lum said, “Hyflux has always been a technology-driven company. We are excited at the opportunity to enhance our knowledge base by tapping into ongoing membrane developments through linkages and collaborations with internationallyrecognised research experts, reputable universities and renowned research institutions worldwide.” On June 23, Hyflux and ABB signed a Memorandum of Understanding to work on energy opitmisation. ABB, with headquarters based in Switzerland, will be working with Hyflux to look into enhancing the Reverse Osmosis membrane and Hyflux’s plant performance, in order to provide more affordable solutions to Hyflux’s worldwide customers.

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In The News Hyflux and JBIC’s global collaboration Hyflux recently entered into an agreement with the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) for global collaboration on water projects, paving the way for partnerships with Japanese firms in water projects in Asia, the Middle East and North Africa.

Hyflux Group CEO Ms Olivia Lum pointed out that private companies alone would not be able to solve challenges on water, and that an integrated approach with the government and banking sector was needed to achieve workable solutions.

Under the agreement, JBIC will consider providing financing for Hyflux's water projects in those regions that involve the participation of Japanese equipment suppliers or investors. The mechanism through which such financing is provided may include financial instruments such as debt finance, guarantees, and equity investments.

Executive Director of JBIC Mr Fumio Hoshi said that while Japanese firms had advanced technologies in the reverse osmosis systems and pumps, they did not yet have adequate experience in overseas markets, particularly management of water companies. “We believe that cooperation between Hyflux and Japanese firms will make a strong team to conduct water infrastructure business,” he said.

At the MOU signing ceremony, Hyflux Group Deputy CEO, Sam Ong, said: “JBIC and Hyflux have common goals to develop water products at a global scale, worldwide. So what we have is a situation whereby Japanese companies will provide the funding, equipment and components, and Hyflux will provide process technology to operate the plants and then build the plants.”

Hyflux strengthens presence in Libya Hyflux signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the General Desalination Company (GDC), the commercial arm of the Ministry of Utilities of the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya on 24 Jun 2009. The MOA will give Hyflux the rights to work with GDC to jointly invest in and develop two reverse osmosis desalination plants in Libya, one in the east Tripoli and the other in the city of Benghazi, with designed capacities of more than 500,000m3/day and 400,000m3/day respectively. The plants will utilise Hyflux’s award-winning Kristal ultrafiltration pretreatment membrane and process technology in the production of desalinated water. Hyflux and GDC will work towards setting up a number of joint venture companies to develop the plants on a design, build, own, operate and transfer basis.

His Excellency, Dr Abubaker Awidat, Undersecretary of the General People's Committee for Public Utilities for Libya said, "Libya is thinking of capitalising on this strong relationship between our two countries and increasing the opportunities for collaboration in different disciplines for the benefit of Libya and Singapore. We are very happy to have this MOA signed between GDC and Hyflux. We look forward to the strong partnership between the parties.” Commenting on the MOA, Hyflux Group CEO, Ms Olivia Lum said, “Hyflux is constantly exploring projects in countries with sustainable water programs that provide us with the opportunity to deliver effective technological applications at unmatched values. We are delighted to collaborate with GDC and are confident in delivering comprehensive and effective seawater desalination solutions to Libya.”

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In The News PM Lee speaks of Hyflux in national day rally speech

Although far away and out in the middle of nowhere, local companies with strong capabilities, like Hyflux, are building, expanding, gaining a march on their competitors. This statement made by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong during his National Day Rally speech exemplifies the culture with which Hyflux has adopted throughout its 20 years of installing turnkey projects; to break new boundaries in delivering safe drinking water to nations all over the world.

It is only through the pure amount of dedication and hard work that these men and women display, that this is made possible. As summarised by Mr Lee, “Because of this and other projects, Hyflux is doing well and still hiring engineers and it shows that there is still work to be done, provided we are prepared to rough it out and take the jobs which are available, which are good jobs.”

When asked by Mr Lee which project is the most challenging one he has ever faced, a Hyflux engineer simply replied, “Algeria”. Building the world’s largest sea water reverse osmosis desalination plant in Magtaa, Algeria, 22 Singaporean Hyflux employees currently working there face the true reality on a daily basis of being “far away” and “in the middle of nowhere”. Quartered into dorms and with only basketball and computer games to entertain themselves, the nearest town is a three hour drive away on bad road conditions, the project valued at US$468 million is nevertheless in full steam and is set to be completed by 2011.

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In The News Hyflux reports positive earnings growth momentum in 2QFY09 This was mainly attributable to progressive EPC recognition of the Tlemcen and Magtaa projects in Algeria while on the industrial side, there have been signs of a business recovery in China.

Hyflux reported PATMI of S$25.9 million on revenue of S$134.5 million for the quarter ended 30 June 2009, an increase of 15% over the corresponding period in 2008. The revenue increase was due to the progressive completion of higher-valued projects, especially from the MENA region, with continued active project execution driving improved gross profit margins. “We consistently focus on project execution including cost management and quality delivery. This has boosted our bottom line, and will put us in a good position, especially as we continue to broaden our global reach,” said Group CEO, Ms Olivia Lum.

The Group’s cash position improved to S$120.3 million as at 30 June 2009 mainly due to the increase in operating profit and improvement in working capital for the period. Net gearing ratio also improved to 0.6 times. Its current order book went up to S$1.6 billion as at end-Jun, with the increase coming mainly from its Operations & Maintenance segment, which surged 1.1% to S$694m following the completion of several China plants. During the quarter, Hyflux completed the divestment of the Yangkou Rudong Waste Water treatment plant to Hyflux Water Trust (HWT). The Group also entered into a Memorandum of Agreement with General Desalination Company of Libya, which provides Hyflux the rights to negotiate for the Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) development of two membrane-based seawater desalination plants in Libya.

On a segmental basis, growth continues to be driven by its municipal business, with Middle East North Africa (MENA) and China continuing to be major revenue contributors, accounting for 60% and 38% of the Group’s total revenue respectively.

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Events & Tradeshows

Singapore International Water Week 2009 Date : 22-26 June 2009 (Mon-Fri) Venue : Suntec Singapore International Convention & Exhibition Centre, Singapore The Singapore International Water Week is the global platform that brings policymakers, industry leaders, experts and practitioners together to address challenges, showcase technologies, discover opportunities and celebrate achievements in the water world. This year, Hyflux was invited to participate in several business and industry forums during the SIWW period. Hyflux’s Group CEO, President & Managing Director, Ms Olivia Lum cochaired the China Business Forum, which was well-attended by policy makers and business leaders. The speakers included management staff from China’s water agencies as well as environmental protection bureau. In addition, Ms Lum also chaired the CEO Panel Discussion, which saw leaders from leading water companies and developers discussing the challenges of working in China’s water industry and the strategies to overcome them.

Also invited to speak at the Business Forum was Mr Foo Hee Kiang, Group Executive Vice President, Industry Relations & Development, who represented Hyflux at the Europe Business Forum. Mr Foo shared Hyflux’s foray into The Netherlands through establishing strong R&D ties with local partners, such as CEPAration B.V. (now Hyflux CEPAration, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hyflux). Besides the business forums, Hyflux also made its presence felt at the Water Convention, which attracts strong attendance from industry players every year. Hyflux’s Senior Vice President for Investment, Mr Nah Tien Liang, shared the story of Hyflux’s venture into China and the company’s track record and experience in municipal as well as industrial projects.

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Events & Tradeshows The 6th China International Metallurgy Industry Exhibition 2009 Date : 13-15 August 2009 (Thurs-Sat) Venue : China International Exhibition Center, Beijing, China The 6th China (Beijing) International Metallurgical Industry Expo 2009 provided a platform for well known players in the metallurgical industry, both domestic and international, to come together. In this 3 day period, the event saw a total of two hundred participating enterprises. One of the most influential exhibitions to date, this event showcased high value-added products, advanced production equipments and cutting-edge technology tailored just for the metallurgy industry. By taking part in this event, HES was not only able to showcase Hyflux’s product capabilities in handling various applications in the metallurgical industry, such as wastewater recycling, but to also reaffirm its strong presence and technological advantages that it holds in China.

Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America® 2009 Date : 22-23 April 2009 (Wed-Thurs) Venue : Seaport World Trade Center, Boston, USA BrewExpo America® is the main trade show for American Craft Brewers. It allows exhibitors and buyers to develop profitable business relationships and helps brewing and brewery restaurant professionals encounter the latest and the best that industry vendors have to offer. Hyflux was able to successfully capture the interest of many brewers as well as visitors to the booth by featuring InoCep’s capabilities in taking beer clarification to a more efficient level. Talks are now underway in providing pilot plant systems for further analysis to many major breweries.

With China’s introduction of a series of energysaving emission reduction policies and frameworks to its steel and iron industry, Hyflux also drew a lot of attention from visitors and environmental technology experts alike expressing interest in future collaborations and partnerships with the company.

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Hyflux Newsletter Dec 2009