MANILA, Philippines?Despite a legal issue over a power-plant acquisition, Korea Water Resources Corp. (K-Water), the leading water resources and power company in South Korea, said it was still willing to invest about $300 million (roughly P13 billion) in a 110-megawatt hydropower project in Benguet.
Gee-Hwan Park, K-Water vice president for land, energy and overseas services division, said the company was also looking at further investing in local renewable energy projects in the country.
?We do not have specific plan yet, but if opportunities arise in these areas, we will look into it. We are willing to partner with the government or private entities for these RE projects. But still, our main focus is on energy and water distribution as these are where the expertise of K-Water lie,? Park said.
Also, K-Water has started the feasibility studies for a flood-control project in Pampanga and the rehabilitation of the Malinao Dam in Bohol.
However, Park admitted that the decision whether to push through with these projects hinge largely on the result of the company?s pending case before the Supreme Court, over K-Water?s bid to acquire the 246-MW Angat hydroelectric power plant in Bulacan.
In April this year, the Korean company submitted the highest bid of $440.8 million for the power plant in an auction held by Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM). This exercise is part of the government?s plan to dispose all its power generation assets.
However, a number of cause-oriented groups questioned the legality of K-Water?s participation in the bidding since it was a wholly foreign state-owned corporation.
These groups asserted that the sale of the power plant to a foreign company might put at risk Metro Manila?s main source of drinking water.
Angat Dam provides about 90 percent of the metropolis? water requirements and irrigates some 31,000 hectares of farmlands in Bulacan and Pampanga.
Park, however, stressed K-Water would not pull out its investments prematurely.
?We are willing to wait for the proper judgment of the Supreme Court. We can extend the performance bond if necessary. We will wait and will not pull out,? Park explained.
According to Park, the fact that K-Water conducted an international road show in the Philippines was also a clear indication that the Korean firm remained keen on continuing its planned projects in the country.