23 January 2015

Subicwater sets P115-million capex projects for 2015

DM Consunji Inc. (DMCI)-led Subic Water and Sewerage Co. Inc. (Subicwater), which operates the water-service facilities in the Subic Bay Freeport and Olongapo City, has announced that it will spend a total of P115.12 million in capital expenditure (capex) projects this year to further improve its services here.

Subicwater President and CEO Apollo Tiglao said in a media briefing on Wednesday that the bulk of the expenditures will go to a P44.7-million sewerage-system project for the Boton area of the Subic Bay Freeport, and a P38.6-million water distribution rehabilitation project in Olongapo.

“The Boton project is part of our Sewerage Master Plan that was created in as early as 2006,” Tiglao said. “As we have projected long ago, businesses will thrive [in Subic], and the area will need a new sewerage system complete with a dedicated sewage treatment plant.”

Tiglao said that aside from the Boton project, the water firm will invest P8.82 million on new sewage conveyance pipes in Subic’s Central Business District; P9.8 million for the construction of two pumping stations for a newly developed well in the former Naval Magazine area; and P1.2 million for the installation of new water pipelines in the airport area.

Meanwhile, in Olongapo City, Subicwater will be investing P38.6 million on new water-distribution lines; P11 million on two new wells in Barangay New Cabalan; and P1.48 million to replace a portion of its raw-water line in Barangay Santa Rita.

Tiglao said the Olongapo investments will ensure continuous water supply to the city treatment plant, especially during summer.

“As you can see, the two wells we will start developing this year will serve the few remaining Olongapo communities without piped water, as they are located at the highest points of the mountains surrounding the city proper,” Tiglao said.

Still, he said Subicwater faces problems on the identified well sites in the remote barangay of New Cabalan, particularly on lot acquisition.

“We hope the city administration will assist Subicwater on these matters,” he said, adding that the firm wants to finish the wells as soon as possible to solve water scarcity in the hilly barangay during summer.

“We are ready to start the well-drilling anytime soon,” Tiglao said.

With the new capex schedule, Tiglao said the firm has put up more than P1.5 billion in capital expenditure since it started operations here in 1997, with about P605 million for infrastructure development in the period from 2011 to 2013 alone.

“Since Subicwater is operating under a build-operate-transfer [BOT] setup, all of our facilities, along with the improvements we have infused throughout the course of our operations, will be given back to Olongapo City and the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority [SBMA] after our franchise term,” Tiglao said.

Subicwater, which implemented the first BOT scheme for a water-and-sewerage system in the Philippines and in Southeast Asia, was formed as a joint venture in 1996. It is now owned by Filipino construction firm DMCI, Singaporean water specialist Sembcorp Industries Ltd. (Sembcorp), SBMA and Maynilad Water Services Inc. (Henry EmpeƱo, BusinessMirror)