SYDNEY, Australia: West Zone concessionaire Maynilad Water Services, Inc. said it may build a third water treatment plant at its Putatan facility in Muntinlupa City if the planned Kaliwa Dam project in Quezon province is not constructed by 2021.
In a news briefing, Maynilad Chief Operations Officer Randolph Estrellado said the company has informed water regulators it will be inclined to initiate moves to build a third plant, citing a huge lack of water supply, if Kaliwa Dam is not completed by 2024.
Kaliwa Dam, located between Gen. Nakar and Infanta in Quezon, is envisioned to have discharge capacity of 600 million liters per day (MLD) and a 27.7-kilometer raw water conveyance tunnel with a design capacity of 2.4 MLD.
“The business plan that we submitted last March, we told the regulators that if we don’t see Kaliwa Dam significantly moving by 2021, we will already initiate moves to build a third Putatan treatment plant because it’s not just sufficient anymore,” he added.
“Kaliwa is really meant for two purposes—I think the primary purpose is really as a redundancy to Angat Dam.…and I think Angat also lies on a fault line so [the]government maybe has decided that for security purposes” another dam should be built for Metro Manila’s water security.
The Putatan 3 is targeted to supply 100 MLD of potable water upon completion. Currently, Maynilad is building Putatan treatment plant 2, which is expected to supply an additional 150 million MLD of potable water. It is targeted for completion by May 2018.
The facility will enhance supply in the southern areas of Metro Manila, namely Las Pinas, Muntinlupa, and Cavite.
“We’re working with government to ensure that the Kaliwa Dam gets completed,” it said.
Last week, the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) said there were three Chinese contractors vying to build Kaliwa Dam, which has a total cost of P18.75 billion. The plan has been submitted to the Department of Finance.
The Duterte administration switched from the public-private partnership (PPP) mode of financing for Kaliwa to official development assistance (ODA) to accommodate ODA from China.
Meanwhile, Estrellado said at the same briefing that Maynilad is currently constructing five wastewater treatment plants to be completed around 2018 and 2019.
“A major portion of our capital expenditures going forward is really going into wastewater,” Estrellado said.
“We’re building five wastewater treatment plants right now… and that will only bring us up to 24 to 25 percent coverage, so…more than half of the capital expenditures will be going to wastewater treatment, particularly as our target is to hit 100 percent wastewater coverage by 2037.”
Maynilad’s wastewater treatment coverage in terms of population currently stands at only 14 percent.