Filipino-Korean team wins $518m Filipino water PPP

The water project will deliver treated water to households in Bulacan Province, north of Manila.

A consortium formed of Filipino conglomerate San Miguel Corporation (SMC) and state-owned Korea Water Resources Corporation (K Water) is the preferred bidder for the PHP24.4 billion (€489 million; $518 million) Bulacan Bulk Water Supply project, according to the country’s Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Centre. 

Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS), the agency implementing the project, said the SMC-K Water consortium offered the cheapest bid in terms of bulk water charges per cubic meter, which Bulacan Province will have to pay the private proponent. 
The preferred bidder will charge PHP8.5 per cubic metre, while competitors Prime-Alloy Water consortium and Team Polaris-Manila Water proposed to charge PHP9.75 and PHP10.65 respectively. 
Prime-Alloy Water consortium comprises Prime Water Infrastructure Corporation, MTD Capital and Biwater International, while Team Polaris-Manila Water’s members include Manila Water, M.E. Sicat Construction and J.H. Patawaran Construction. 
In response to the increasing water demand from Bulacan Province, the project will expand the current service area coverage by building related conveyance facilities, treatment facilities and water sources. It will provide 24 water districts in Bulacan with treated raw water. 
The private concessionaire will be responsible for the financing, design, construction and maintenance of water sources, water treatment plants, water distribution pipelines and booster pump stations. The project is structured under a Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) model with a 32-year contract, inclusive of construction period. 
“The Bulacan Bulk Water project is all about water security, equality, and levelling-up the lives of millions of Filipinos that continue to be deprived of a basic human right,” said Administrator Gerardo A.I. Esquivel.
The project is the second Filipino deal where the consortium members worked together. Last year, the partnership invested $469 million in a 218-megawatt hydraulic power generation facility in Angat, under a 50-year contract. 
The Bulacan project is also one of two water PPPs rolled out by MWSS. Eight consortia have expressed interest in the second project, the PHP18.72 billion New Centennial Water Source – Kaliwa Dam Project. The agency is evaluating their pre-qualification documents.