Monday, 21 December 2009

Manila Water allots $1B for projects in concession area

Max de Leon
Business Mirror

MANILA Water Co. Inc. is allocating $1 billion in investments over a 10-year period for the improvement of its wastewater treatment network.

Luis Juan Oreta, Manila Water chief finance officer, said the plan is to double the number of treatment plants from the current 30. “The investment per plant depends on the size,” Oreta told reporters.

He said the wastewater treatment facilities need to be beside the three main rivers located in its concession area—the Pasig, San Juan and Marikina rivers.

Investments in the treatment facilities, he said, will have to go beyond 2018 as the company will continue to pour in more money to increase current capacity by up to 10 times more.

Aside from the treatment plants, Oreta said Manila Water will also be busy pursuing the one million new customers that it is targeting to service in the eastern side of Rizal province.

He said this will be achieved in three to four years.

The company, however, has to raise the same amount from the debt market. In 2009, the Ayala-led water concessionaire spent P6 billion.

“We will have to borrow for 2011, but it would really depend on the market,” Oreta said.

The company expects to provide water connection to about 1 million. About 5.6 million people in 23 cities and municipalities in eastern Metro Manila and the Rizal province are currently connected with the Manila Water.

More than 99 percent of the population in these areas now enjoy 24 hour water supply, from a mere 26 percent at the onset of its privatization in 1997.

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