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Competition heats up for $540m Philippine water project

The nearly half-billion-dollar PPP to service Philippines’ Bulacan province reached pre-qualification stage this week, with bidding proceedings expected to complete by August 2015.

Five contenders out of 15 entrants have been pre-qualified by the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) to bid for its PHP24.4 billion ($542 million; €432 million) Bulacan Bulk Water Supply (BBWS) project.

The MWSS announced that Team Polaris-Manila Water, First Philippine Holdings and Abeima Consortium, Filinvest Agua Consortium, SMC-K water Consortium and Prime Alloy Water Consortium had met the legal, technical and financial requirements of the first stage of the bidding process, while another team decided to abandon the race.

“Prospective bidders Japan’s Marubeni Corporation and Philippines’ Datem Water Inc. sent word however that they would no longer participate in the bidding”, announced a notice on the agency’s website.

The Bulacan Bulk Water Supply Project (BBWSP) is a 32-year contract to build, maintain and operate facilities for the abstraction, treatment, and conveyance of treated bulk water from the Angat Dam to the 24 neighbouring municipalities of the Bulacan Province, an industrialising province North of Manila.

Team Polaris-Manila Water Consortium includes Manila Water, M.E. Sicat Construction and J.H. Patawaran Construction; First Philippine Holdings and Abeima Consortium consists of the First Philippines Holdings and Spain’s’ Abeinsa Infraestructuras Medio Ambiente; Filinvest Agua Consortium represents Filinvest Development and another Spanish group, Tecnicas De Desalinizacion De Aguas; San Miguel-K Water Consortium represents San Miguel and Korea Water Resources; Prime Alloy Water Consortium is a partnership between Prime Water Infrastructure, Malaysian-based MTD Capital BHD, and the UK’s Biwater International.

The pre-qualified consortia will now be invited by the MWSS to submit their formal bids for the water project.

The documents will undergo a more detailed evaluation by the Prequalifying and Bidding Committee which will determine who among the five will be declared eligible to submit the main bids. The MWSS is targeting completion of the bidding process for the project by August next year.