Water firm to build 2 treatment plants-A A +A
Wednesday, September 4, 2013
THE Zamboanga City Water District (ZCWD) announced that it will establish two new water treatment facilities in anticipation of the continued increase of water concessionaires.
"Our capacity of producing water is very much lacking,” said ZCWD General Manager Leonardo Rey Vasquez in a dialogue held Wednesday during the City Council regular session.
He explained that the water district is serving at present more than 500,000 water consumers in 56 of Zamboanga City’s 98 villages.
Once completed, Vasquez said, each of the two water treatment plants will have a capacity of 50,000 cubic meters of water.
He said they target to operate one of the two treatment plants by the first quarter of 2015, and the second, a year later.
He said one of the two facilities will be established in the first district, which comprises 37 villages, and the other in the second district, composed of 61 villages.
The councilors, however, were surprised to hear from Vasquez that each of the two projects will cost P625 million, or for a total of P1.304 billion, which is bigger than the existing assets of the local water firm.
"First is that the water district has to loan the needed amount from the bank, and second, we are entertaining the idea of having a private company do the project, on build-operate and transfer scheme (BOT)," Vasquez said, citing two options are currently being studied by them to implement the project, considering it involves huge amount of money.
"Under this scheme, the private company will construct the facilities, the water district will do the piping, they will sell water to us, and in turn, we will sell this water to our concessionaires," Vasquez said, as he revealed that Prime Waters, a private entity, has already submitted to ZCWD a proposal on how to go about the privatization of supplying waters to Zamboanga City.
Vasquez also mentioned two other private water suppliers – Maynilad and AMA Waters -- that are also interested to bid for the project for 30 to 40 years contract.
"When our contract ends, ZCWD will take ownership of all the facilities that will be left behind by the private entity," he said, while assuring that employing the services of private firm would not affect the city's water rates. (Bong Garcia)