MANILA, Philippines—Ayala-led Manila Water Company Inc. disclosed Monday that the provincial government of Cebu has awarded its bulk water system project to the Manila Water consortium.
The consortium, which also includes Vicsal Development Corp. and Stateland Inc., will develop, operate and maintain the bulk water system in the province of Cebu.
Manila Water told the Philippine Stock Exchange that, with the issuance of the award, the provincial government of Cebu and the Manila Water consortium shall negotiate and execute a joint investment agreement with 49 percent and 51 percent equity participation, respectively.
The project aims to supply 35 million liters per day of potable bulk water sourced from the Luyang River in the municipality of Carmen. The project will partly provide for the water demands in the northern and central portions of the province. Currently, less than 50 percent of these areas are being served.
The bulk water supply project is also expected to improve the current groundwater condition in the province, which has deteriorated due to over-extraction.
Manila Water said the project does not comprise more than 10 percent of the company’s total assets. Group director for regulation and corporate development Virgilio C. Rivera Jr. said in a phone interview that the Cebu bulk water project is estimated to cost about P700 million.
Manila Water president and consortium representative Gerardo C. Ablaza Jr. later said in a statement, “We look forward to getting this project off the ground and to participate in other water service projects in the pipeline to meet Cebu’s growing water demand.”
Ablaza said Manila Water believes in Cebu’s “pivotal role” in both national and regional development and commits to being part of the province’s growth momentum.
“We believe that we have invested significant time and resources over the past years in finding ways to bridge the huge gap between the supply and demand to serve Cebu’s needs. This desire underpinned our thrust to look for ways for us to be part of the first surface water source project of the province without compromising the quality we are renowned for. Our engineers worked tirelessly to come up with a feasible and sustainable response to the requirements of the competitive bid process and win this important project,” Ablaza said.
In September 2009, Manila Water said its unsolicited proposal for the bulk water project was to be subjected to a “Swiss challenge” or competitive bid following initial acceptance by the provincial government.
Originally posted at 02:01 pm | Monday, February 06, 2012