Singapore will reclaim land through the development of a polder at the north-western tip of Pulau Tekong, an island north-east of mainland Singapore. This cost-saving method, to be used for the first time in Singapore, will be adopted by the Housing & Development Board (HDB) for the upcoming land reclamation project. This was announced by Mr Lawrence Wong, Singapore’s Minister for National Development and Second Minister for Finance, during a visit to Pulau Tekong. When the polder is completed around 2022, it will add an additional 810 hectares of new land to Singapore.

Deltares has worked closely with HDB since 2008 on the feasibility of the polder concept for Pulau Tekong. Deltares experts in The Netherlands and in Singapore have since provided specialist advice to HDB, including carrying out an environmental study and an extensive review of the detailed design and contract documents.

New polder development first-of-its kind in Singapore

Unlike the traditional method of infilling with sand, this “empoldering” method involves creating a tract of reclaimed land from the sea or a surrounding water body, by constructing a dike and a network of drains, water pumping systems and canals.  It will substantially reduce the amount of sand needed for land reclamation, and reap savings on upfront construction costs.

The polder will be protected from the sea by a dike measuring 10 kilometers long, up to 15 meters wide at its crest, and will stand at about 6 meters above sea level.

Involvement of Dutch expertise

With Deltares as Specialist Consultant, Professor Kees d’Angremond as expert advisor and Royal HaskoningDHV/Surbana as engineering consultant, HDB has drawn on the vast experience of the Netherlands throughout the project. Jointly, these parties have ensured that the design of the polder at Pulau Tekong is cost-effective, safe and environmentally-sensitive. It will not only provide the highest protection level in the world, but is also designed according to the latest standards and state of the art knowledge regarding flood defences and water management.

Deltares carried out an environmental study to evaluate potential impacts of the polder reclamation method on the surrounding marine environment. The study found that the environmental impact on the surrounding marine receptors would be minimal.

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