• GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Provincial Administrator Atty. Rayfrando Diaz disclosed yesterday that three investors have bought bidding documents for the P2 billion bulk water project of the provincial government of Negros Occidental.
Diaz identified the three companies as Manila Water, Aboitiz Infra Capital, and Balibago Water Systems Company.
“We are happy that there are already three companies interested in pursuing the bulk water project under the public-private partnership,” he added.
Diaz said the project is aimed at solving the water problem of local governments in Negros Occidental, including Bacolod City.
Interested investors have been given until January 31 to buy the bidding documents by the provincial government.
Under a PPP scheme, the provincial government seeks to enter into a joint venture agreement with a private investor to fund the P1.2 billion project.
The Negros Occidental Bulk Water Supply Project (NBWSP) involves the financing, engineering design, construction, operation, and maintenance of a bulk water supply system with a minimum capacity of 34.5 million liters/day (MLD) to be sourced from the Imbang River and/or Malogo River, according to the official website of the provincial government.
It is expected to supply treated bulk water to six water service providers in the cities of Bacolod, Silay, Talisay, Victorias, as well as municipalities of E.B. Magalona and Manapla.
In Negros Occidental, groundwater availability is only at 8 percent, creating an urgent need to utilize other water sources, including surface water resources, which have 92 percent availability.
The project shall be implemented through a Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) with the provincial government for a period of 30 years, inclusive of construction period.
The pre-selection of qualified bidders is slated on February 7.
Diaz said that the provincial government is looking for a company with a track record, a number of projects that are similarly situated in other parts of the country, and at the volume and capacity of their water plants, and the standing of the company.*