“Water is coming.”
Jose Daluz III, chairman of the board of directors of the Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD), made this revelation after the unsolicited proposal of FDC Utilities Inc., a subsidiary of Filinvest Development Corp. (FDC), in partnership with Hitachi Aqua-Tech Engineering Pte. Ltd., was given the go signal to build desalination plants in the cities of Cebu, Lapu-Lapu and Talisay.
Desalination, according to the Australian Water Association, “is a water supply option that is used widely around the world and involves taking the salt out of water to make it drinkable.”
Daluz said the MCWD board approved the certificate of successful negotiation and original proponent status for the large-scale desalination, which will be the first of its kind in the country, on Wednesday, May 19, 2021.
The desalination plant that will be built at the South Road Properties in Cebu City and Marigondon in Lapu-Lapu City will each supply 30 million liters of water daily, while the facility in Talisay City will produce
20 million liters.
The 35 million liters of water that the northern town of Carmen currently supplies to Lapu-Lapu City daily can be used in MCWD’s other franchise areas since Mactan Island will have enough water once the desalination plant is completed.
The same will happen to the 15 million liters from Lusaran River that are distributed daily in Cebu City.
As the project did not go through bidding as an unsolicited proposal, it will be subjected to a “Swiss challenge.”
Other interested individuals or corporations which might offer better rates or costs have 60 days to submit their proposal or the MCWD will award the contract to the FDC consortium so it can start work on the desalination plants.
It has yet to be established how much the consortium will spend on the project or how much the water that will be produced by the desalination plants will cost per cubic meter.
According to Daluz, MCWD’s franchise area will no longer suffer from lack of water once the project is completed in three years’ time.
Daluz said the MCWD has also received another unsolicited proposal from Vivant Corp. in partnership with an Israeli firm for a similar project to address Metro Cebu’s water shortage.
In December, Vivant Corp. announced that it was looking to enter the water services market and invest between P1.5 billion and P3 billion to build a desalination plant in Cebu that will supply 20 to 30 million liters of water daily.