MAYNILAD Water Services, Inc. is spending around P7 billion to upgrade the La Mesa water treatment plants (LMTP) in Quezon City with 2020 as the target completion year, an official of the water concessionaire said on Tuesday.
“Investment in additional treatment technologies is necessary given the dramatic shifts in raw water quality brought by climate change,” said Randolph T. Estrellado, Maynilad chief operating officer, in a statement.
The facilities have a combined production capacity of 2,400 million liters per day (MLD), and supplies potable water for about nine million customers of Metro Manila’s west zone concessionaire.
“With this upgrade, water service to our customers will no longer be affected whenever turbidity level in the raw water increases,” he added.
The “massive” improvement project will involve enhancing the facilities’ treatment capacity, retrofitting structures to better resilient to quakes, and automating processes for more reliable operations, Maynilad said.
The project will also enhance the treatment technology used in the plants to respond to the problem of increasing turbidity levels in the raw water from Angat and Ipo dams.
“Maynilad is upgrading the treatment capacity of LMTP 1 and 2 from only 300 NTU (nethelometric turbidity units) to 2,000 NTU,” the company said.
Ramoncito S. Fernandez, Maynilad president and chief executive officer, said the project is part of the company’s P42-billion capital expenditure plan for 2013 to 2017.
He said the company is pursuing the projects “despite the delayed implementation of the tariff adjustment because we have an obligation to our customers, and that includes pursuing the projects that will sustain improved service levels for current and future water consumers.”
Maynilad, the country’s largest water concessionaire in terms of customers, is an agent and contractor of the government agency Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System.
It serves certain portions of the cities of Manila, Quezon and Makati. It also covers Caloocan, Pasay, Parañaque, Las Piñas, Muntinlupa, Valenzuela, Navotas and Malabon in Metro Manila.
Outside the Philippine capital, it serves the cities of Cavite, Bacoor and Imus, and the towns of Kawit, Noveleta and Rosario, all in Cavite province.
Metro Pacific Investments Corp., which has majority stake in Maynilad, is one of three Philippine units of Hong Kong-based First Pacific Co. Ltd., the others being Philex Mining Corp. and PLDT, Inc. Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has interest in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Victor V. Saulon