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Desalination plants underway — MCWD

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio - CDN Digital Multi-Media Reporter | June 24,2021 - 06:31 PM


The Buhisan Dam is one of the major sources of water of the Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD).   |CDN FILE PHOTO

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The desalination plants that are expected to lift Metro Cebu out of a “water crisis” is well underway as the Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) is set to award the project to a company within the next few weeks.

MCWD Board Member Miguelito Pato said that the project for a desalination plant in Cordova town is due for awarding by the end of  June 2021 and will most likely be awarded to Vivant.

He said upon awarding, the company can start developing the desalination plant from 18 to 24 months, and only until then will there be additional supply for Metro Cebu of up to 30,00 cubic meters.

Furthermore, an unsolicited proposal for other desalination plants is being processed by the Joint Venture Selection Committee (JVSC), which is actually now on its 30th day of the Swiss challenge.

The FDC Utilities Inc. has proposed three desalination plants in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu City, and Talisay City, and they are awaiting any challenger for that proposal.

An unsolicited proposal must undergo a Swiss challenge, where a competitor can make a counter proposal or offer for a similar project before this project can be approved by the utility.

Should this Swiss challenge succeed either to the first proponent or its challenger, MCWD should receive a total of 90,000 cubic meters of water from these desalination plant projects in the near future.

“Before that, there have been a number of unsolicited proposals already being evaluated by the JVSC and they can be subject to negotiations,” said Pato.

He added that if they add up the number of desalination projects proposed, this would total around 225,000 cubic meters, which should close the gap between supply and demand in the metro.

However, these projects have a high cost with the consumers of MCWD suffering an increased rate of up to P70 to P120 per 10 cubic meters of water soon.

This can be felt in the next two years when MCWD begins to supply desalinated water from the plants.

Most likely the desalination plants will benefit Mactan Island the most, but all consumers will carry the burden of the payment because an increase of supply in the island means more supply for the mainland as well.

Still, the MCWD is looking for surface water in Cebu City to even out the cost of the desalination plants and reduce the price the consumer has to pay.

Both surface water and desalination plant developments are being looked into as the eventual solution for the persistent lack of water supply in the Metro.

The MCWD Board of Directors said they hope to jumpstart the hunt for water sources within the year so developments can follow through after.

For now, consumers can expect no changes in the price of water per cubic meter yet.   /rcg

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TAGS: MCWD, Metro Cebu, Vivant, water crisis

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