Australian company eyeing water project

An Australian engineering company has expressed interest to join the bidding for the contract to rehabilitate the water transmission system of Apo and La Mesa dams.

Cardno, an infrastructure and environmental services company, said it was in talks with Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System and Manila Water Co. Inc. to keep track of the final preparations for the bidding of the project.

“I believe that the project is about $300 million for both components. We have the capability to undertake the project in its entirety,” Cardno country manager for the Philippines James Young said Tuesday night at the sidelines of the annual journalists reception sponsored by the Australian Embassy.

Cardno said it planned team up with a local engineering firm for assistance if the project would be offered as one package.

The government plans to offer the Angat Dam water transmission improvement project under the public-private partnership scheme. The project will improve the reliability and security of the Angat raw water transmission system through the rehabilitation of existing conveyances from Ipo Dam to the La Mesa treatment plant.

Young said Cardno was also looking at acquiring smaller engineering firms in the Philippines, as it aimed to be among the top 20 engineering companies in the world.

“We need to expand to a 30,000-man company if we are to advance to the top 20 companies globally by 2020. Our presence in the Philippines will help us achieve this goal,” said Young.

Australian Ambassador Bill Tweddell said Cardno was the Australian government to bring social infrastructure to underdeveloped and developing countries such as the Philippines via Australian Aid.

“So, we’re pretty much a client of theirs. In fact, they are supervising the ongoing classroom expansion in Mindanao. Under AusAid, we aim to deliver as much as 500 classrooms to impoverished municipalities in Mindanao,” Tweddell said.

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