Maynilad clarifies water issue, starts solar farm

MAYNILAD Water Services, Inc. is “in discussion” with the water regulatory office on a recent supply interruption issue that resulted from the resurgence of the algal bloom in Laguna Lake.

The company’s statement was disclosed by its parent firm Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) to the stock exchange on Monday after the reported water interruption.

It said the algal bloom is hampering water production in its Putatan water treatment plants.

“Maynilad acknowledged the concerns raised by MWSS (Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System) and is doing everything necessary to restore normal service given current constraints on the quality of the raw water source,” MPIC said.

“Ongoing treatment interventions by Maynilad have resulted in a quicker resolution of the algal bloom episode compared to previous years, as gradual increase in Maynilad’s water production is already being felt despite the persistent high algal count in the Laguna Lake,” it said.

It added that in the meantime, Maynilad “continues to mitigate the effects of the incident to its affected customers by delivering potable water through mobile tankers and announcing a daily supply availability schedule so that affected customers can store water for their needs.”

Maynilad believes that the situation is temporary and expects the onset of the rainy season will dissipate the effect of the algal bloom on the lake’s raw water supply, MPIC said.

The firm said MWSS imposed a fine of around P64 million on Maynilad for the water service interruption that occurred between December 2021 to February 2022.

“Maynilad received the notice of imposition of the fine on March 14, 2022 and the fine was settled in the form of rebates to affected customers,” it said.

MAYNILAD’S SECOND SOLAR FARMSeparately, Maynilad announced on Monday that it had energized its second solar power farm inside La Mesa compound in Quezon City to provide more renewable energy for its water facilities.

“We are serious about managing the environmental impact of our operations, which will continue to expand as we build more facilities over the next few years. The use of renewables is one of our strategies for minimizing greenhouse gas emissions, along with carbon sequestration through the reforestation of watersheds,” said Maynilad President and Chief Executive Ramoncito S. Fernandez.

The new one-megawatt photovoltaic (PV) solar farm covers a land area of 12,157.30 square meters. The power plant was built to augment the power requirements of La Mesa treatment plant 1 and several pumping stations within the La Mesa compound.

The plant is expected to reduce the electricity consumption of Maynilad’s La Mesa facilities by around 90,000 kilowatt-hours, as well as minimize carbon emissions by 21 tons per month. It is also projected to generate annual cost savings of around P7 million to P10 million from purchased electricity.

Maynilad’s first solar farm is a one-megawatt PV installation that began production in 2021.

“This marked Maynilad’s initial foray into renewables, which it is pursuing in line with its environmental sustainability and operational efficiency initiatives,” the water concessionaire said.

Maynilad is the water supplier for Metro Manila’s west zone, which covers Caloocan, Pasay, Parañaque, Las Piñas, Muntinlupa, Valenzuela, Navotas, Malabon, Cavite, and certain portions of Manila, Quezon City, and Makati.

MPIC, which has a majority stake in Maynilad, is one of three Philippine units of Hong Kong-based First Pacific Co. Ltd., the others being Philex Mining Corp. and PLDT, Inc.

Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has an interest in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson

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