Philippines’ water market ripe for European participation, finds new report

Private sector water participation will increase in the Philippines up until 2020 with nine projects lined up...

Private sector water participation will increase in the Philippines up until 2020 with nine projects lined up.

The success of the US$542 million Bulacan Bulk Water Supply Project, currently awaiting final bids, represents a key milestone to prove the government ability to enable private participation beyond its capital city.

Private water concessions in Manila have driven water coverage from under 60% to nearly 100% between 1997 and 2015, according to a new Market Insight from Bluefield Research: The Philippines Extends Water PPPs Beyond Manila.

Detailing the country’s water market transformation, Bluefield said domestic players Manila Water Company and Maynilad have not only emerged, but provide global benchmarks for water infrastructure public-private partnerships (PPP) in developing countries.

Earlier this year, the country’s Metropolitan Waterworks & Sewerage System (MWSS) Regulatory Office approved rate adjustments for Manila’s water utility concessionaires, showing that the Philippines market is maturing.

Manila Water Company Inc. faced a 2.42% tariff reduction (PHP0.63/m3). Maynilad, on the other hand, was set to implement a 4.19% (PHP1.35/m3) tariff increase.

The country’s PPP Centre has nine strategic projects lined up through 2020.

Bluefield anticipates the Philippines will scale in terms of private water participation between now and 2018, when the first tenders reach fruition. As a result, a host of companies are now positioning to tap into the market’s resurgence.

Price-competitive European and Asian water players, partnered with local construction firms, are poised to play a significant role in the country’s development through these tenders, the research company said.

At the same time, EPC players can address Manila Water and Maynilad’s required ramp-up in capital improvements to meet wastewater treatment demands.

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