Channel NewsAsia
Updated: 11/30/2012 05:33 | By Channel NewsAsia

Plant manufacturing water purifying sachets opens in S’pore

Plant manufacturing water purifying sachets opens in S’pore

Plant manufacturing water purifying sachets opens in S’pore

SINGAPORE : A not—for—profit plant making sachets that purify water has opened in Singapore.

Consumer goods producer Procter & Gamble (P&G) said Singapore’s location and strong logistics capabilities will allow it to react quickly to disaster—prone nations in the region.

Each four—gramme sachet can turn 10 litres of dirty water into clean drinking water. The two primary components are ferric sulfate, a well—known and widely—used coagulant, and calcium hypochlorite, a disinfectant.

The water purification packet was developed by P&G in collaboration with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dr Greg Allgood, director of the Children’s Safe Drinking Water Programme at Procter & Gamble, said: "We wanted to develop something that not only disinfected the water, but also made it clean and people can see it working.

"And the magic of this product is that you can actually see the water getting clean in front of your own eyes, so people trust that it works, which is a big part of teaching people how to use it."

The plant at Tuas can now produce 100 million of these sachets a year. That translates to one billion litres of clean drinking water, which P&G said is enough to save 5,000 lives.

P&G aims to increase production to more than 200 million sachets a year by 2020.

It will work with welfare organisations to distribute the sachets at cost or for free to communities which have no easy access to clean water.

James Quek, executive director of World Vision Singapore, said: "In May 2008, there was a big cyclone in Myanmar. There was water everywhere, but not a single drop to drink because the water was unclean and contaminated. So the need for drinking water was very dire and very urgent.

"P&G had a container worth of Pur, so we shipped it over to Myanmar very quickly, because Singapore is so efficient, and we were able to help something like 200,000 people."

When fully functional, the facility in Singapore will produce close to 90 per cent of P&G’s water purifying sachets.

Ed Hunter, vice president for Product Supply Asia at Procter & Gamble, said: "We invested in Singapore, Singapore is a great location, it has great logistics, has great diverse talents and it is a secure place which is not prone to natural disasters, so we love being here in Singapore because it provides us the opportunity to be a global hub for disaster relief."

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, S Iswaran, officiated the opening of the plant on Thursday morning. Mr Iswaran, who is also Second Minister for Home Affairs and Trade & Industry, thanked P&G for its continued confidence in Singapore.

P&G will open its Singapore Innovation Centre in Biopolis next year.

— CNA/ms

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