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Philippines : P60B proposal to develop Laiban dam submitted to MWSS.

Publicly listed Abacus Consolidated Resources and Holdings Inc. has submitted an unsolicited proposal to develop the Laiban Dam as a potential water supply source for Metro Manila to the tune of P60 billion.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, Abacus said it has proposed to the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) the construction of the Laiban Dam in Tanay, Rizal, to provide 1,900 million liters per day (mld) for water consumers in Metro Manila and supply the irrigation requirements of the agriculture sector of neighboring areas.

Abacus also proposed to construct a 30-megawatt (MW) hydropower plant within the area to help alleviate the critical energy requirements for the Luzon grid, which has been projected to incur a supply deficit of 3,000 MW by 2013.

The company which is part of the consortium that gave an unsolicited proposal to construct the $1.2-billion Batangas-Manila natural gas pipeline also proposed to provide affordable housing for affected families living within the areas where the Laiban Dam would be constructed.

Total project cost is estimated at P60 billion. The project will be completed within 60 months from start of construction, Abacus said.

Sinohydro is mainly engaged in water conservation and hydropower industries, excavation, earthmoving, underground structures, dredging and reclamation projects, building, civil infrastructure, mechanical and electrical plant manufacturing and installation.

The Chinese partner firm has been the backbone of China's efforts to harness and develop rivers, accounting for 70 percent of China's water conservation, canal and irrigation, water treatment and water supply projects.

Abacus' unsolicited proposal rivaled that of diversifying conglomerate San Miguel Corp., which recently said it wanted to push again for its proposed P65-billion Laiban Dam project to provide the much needed water supply for Metro Manila, despite the controversies hounding the project.

The MWSS terminated last March its joint venture talks with the San Miguel Bulk Water Co. Inc. for the proposed development of the Laiban Dam.

Former MWSS administrator Diosdado Jose Allado did not provide details why the negotiations were terminated, but only said there was no meeting of the minds.

Similarly, the San Miguel proposal to develop the Laiban dam would have provided 1,900 million liters per day in raw water, enough to supply Metro Manila with adequate water for the next 30 to 40 years. It is also expected to address a possible water shortfall of 1,600 million liters per day by 2015.

Abacus' unsolicited proposal also came in the wake of a water crisis, which more than highlighted the need for Metro Manila to have another source of water supply than the Angat Dam in Bulacan.

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Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Jul 28, 2010
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