Prime Metroline Infrastructure Holdings Corp., the infrastructure company led by businessman Enrique Razon Jr., offered to invest $250 million to $300 million to develop the Wawa water supply project in Rizal province.
Razon said in a recent interview the project would address the current water supply deficit and ensure future water supply for Metro Manila. He said Angat Dam in Bulacan province would not be able to adequately meet the rising water demand in the metropolis.
“If you look at one thing that is going to be short in the future unless something has been done, [it] is water. When was Angat Dam built? Obviously, the population is growing. Metro Manila will double its size by 2040. You need water. It’s the one thing you need the most. So it doesn’t take a lot of thinking to know it’s the business you should get into,” Razon said.
Razon confirmed that his group would team up with Manila Water Co. Inc. as the off-taker for the project.
“We’re proposing to develop the Wawa bulk water supply, and Manila Water is the off-taker. In other words, they’ll buy the water that we produce,” Razon said.
Prime Water earlier said it presented the results of the joint technical study on the Wawa water supply project to Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System administrator Reynaldo Velasco.
The technical study aimed to sort out the best technical scheme, considering the cost, risks, timeline and maximization of water supply source.
Prime Infra laid down an aggressive plan to ensure water supply security in Manila Water’s service area with more than 500 million liters per day of the new water source, accelerate water availability by immediately delivering 80 MLD by 2021 and provide operational flexibility and reliability to bring water where it is needed most.
The company said that once it secured the government’s approval, it was hoping to break ground on the project by 2020 and deliver water as early as 2021.
MWSS earlier asked Razon’s group to withdraw the pending case on water rights filed against the state agency by businessman Oscar Violago, who previously owned the franchise for the project.
Razon said the group was willing to drop the case once an agreement was finalized.
“Of course if all the parties have compromised and come to an agreement,” Razon said.
Razon acquired an 82-percent stake in the project, leaving Violago with 18 percent.
Prime Infra was established in 2017 to focus on the rapid growth in infrastructure spending in the Philippines. It now has a strong focus on bulk water projects.
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