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JFE Engineering to renovate largest water treatment plant in the Philippines

Japan-headed JFE Engineering Corporation, the engineering and construction arm JFE Group has announced that it has been awarded the contract for the improvement works of La Mesa Water Treatment Plant (WTP) 1, after the conclusion of a competitive bidding. Located in Quezon City, Metro Manila, La Mesa Treatment Plant 1 is the largest water purification plant in the Philippines. The facility is scheduled to be completed and delivered in 2020.

According to a statement, the approximately JPY 10 billion  (≈ US$94 million) order was placed by Maynilad Water Services, Inc. and the facility is scheduled to be completed and delivered in 2020 by a joint venture between JFE Engineering and the Philippine construction company Sta. Clara International Corporation. Including sewage treatment plants, this project will be JFE Engineering’s 30th water-related project in the Philippines.

An artist’s rendering of the La Mesa WTP 1 in Manilla, the Philippines (image courtesy JFE Engineering).

Maynilad is the water and wastewater services provider for the 17 cities and municipalities that comprise the West Zone of the Metro Manila. Recently, driven by various issues that affect the supply of treated water such as high turbidity in raw water source during typhoons and even during an incessant downpour, Maynilad decided to improve the process of La Mesa WTPs to ensure clean, safe and stable water supply to the customers.

One of the world’s largest retrofits and upgrades

La Mesa WTP 1 is the largest water purification plant in the Philippines, treating 1 500 million litres per day (MLD), equivalent to supply approximately 6 million persons. In this project, inclined settlers, sludge scrapers and other equipment will be introduced in the sedimentation basins.

A new sludge treatment facility with sludge thickener/ dehydrator will be constructed in order to increase the water treatment capacity and achieve higher efficiency in operation. The project will also include the structural retrofit of sedimentation/ filtration basins and administration buildings.

As a result, the facility will be reborn as one of the world’s leading large-scale water purification plants with excellent earthquake resistance and will realize a stable water supply even during high turbidity events. In addition, a solar power generating system will also be introduced, and part of the plant’s electric power will be supplied by renewable energy.

In this project, it will be necessary to carry out the works while continuing to operate the existing plant. Therefore, analysis of the current treatment process and plan and methodology of the works based on a detailed simulation will be indispensable.

Moving towards BOT

JFE Engineering has a similar experience from the Murano Water Purification Plant in Hirakata City, Osaka, which is the largest water purification plant in Japan. In addition, JFE has also constructed a large number of sewage treatment plants in Metro Manila, and its local experience in the Philippines has won high evaluation, leading to the order for the La Mesa project.

As an established Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contractor, the company is gearing towards diversifying into the Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) business model throughout Southeast Asia wherein the major cities have been rapidly urbanized with high needs for water and sewerage related projects.

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