Japanese firm renews proposal on Kaliwa Dam project

MANILA -- A Japanese company on Monday revived an unsolicited proposal it first presented to the Philippine government ten years ago for a more feasible and cost-efficient alternative to Metro Manila’s looming potable water supply problem.

In a press conference, Osaka-based Global Utility Development Corp. Ltd. (GUDC) chief executive officer Toshikazu Nomura said they are still keen to build the Kaliwa Intake Weir project under a 25-year Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) scheme. The proposed dam will cost USD410 million.

“Our proposal was first presented to the (Philippine) government in 2009 to address the need for water in Metro Manila and it holds true today, more than ever,” Nomura said.

“We propose to build a water source that not only meets the capacities needed by MWSS (Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System), but also utilizes a long-term, sustainable approach in consideration of communities and livelihoods in the area,” he added.

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed by both parties then. The GUDC again submitted the proposal in September 2017 on the request of the MWSS Board.

Under the BOT scheme, the proposal would be at no cost to the government nor require sovereign guarantees.

The proposed Kaliwa Intake Weir will have a capacity of 550 million liters per day (MLD).

It will have a seven-meter-high weir with a 16-kilometer-long tunnel that has a diameter of 3.3 meters.

Included in the proposal is the construction of a water treatment plant within the vicinity. It will have a construction period of 36 months.

“If we start by June 2019, the project can be completed within this (Duterte) administration,” Nomura said.

He said that their proposal addresses the issue of the imminent inundation of Daraitan Village under the current MWSS project.

“The design of the weir and associated facilities takes a highly sustainable approach. We are conscious of lessening the impact on the surrounding communities, particularly Daraitan Village. This makes it a win-win for all stakeholders, especially the affected LGUs,” Nomura said.

A weir, or low head dam, is a barrier across the horizontal width of a river that alters the flow characteristics of water and results in a change in the height of the river level.

Nomura said the (weir) is a viable alternative to building a dam and will sufficiently deliver the capacity required by the MWSS.

He expressed the hope that the MWSS would finally honor the MOU it signed with GUDC in 2009.

“We are supportive of President Duterte’s vision for Kaliwa Dam. We are ready, and we are committed to delivering this project within the soonest possible time should it be reconsidered,” Nomura said.

The GUDC has been doing construction and engineering projects in the Philippines over the past decade.

It is currently building the 300-megawatt Calaca-2 coal-fired power plant in Batangas, and the National Network of 500-kilovolt transmission line from Naga City to Lucena City-Kalayaan-San Jose, in Quezon province. (PNA)

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