What started out as a five-year management contract for a leakage-reduction project in 2008 between Manila Water and state-owned Saigon Water Company (SAWACO) in Ho Chi Minh City turned into a much longer and valuable business relationship between the two parties.
When Manila Water successfully bid and won the project—the company's first venture outside of the Philippines—there was little knowledge of and familiarity with the culture, political landscape and regulatory environment in Vietnam. The success of the project not only allowed Manila Water to develop a progressive working relationship with its proponent, SAWACO, but also enabled the company to earn the trust of Vietnamese authorities and local partners that paved the way for the expansion of Manila Water’s business engagements in that country.
On December 8, 2011, Thu Duc Water Holdings Pte. Ltd. (TDWH) completed the acquisition of 49 percent interest in Thu Duc Water B.O.O. Corporation ("Thu Duc"). Thu Duc is a bulk water supply company with the second largest water treatment plant in Ho Chi Minh City, after the state-owned Thu Duc Water. It has a take-or pay bulk water supply contract with Saigon Water Company (SAWACO) with a minimum off-take of 300 million liters per day (MLD).
On July 20, 2012, Kenh Dong Water Holdings Pte. Ltd. (KDWH) acquired 47.35 percent interest in Kenh Dong Water Supply and Joint Stock Company ("WASS"). Similar to Thu Duc, WASS is bulk water supplier in Ho Chi Minh City. Its water treatment plant located in the Cu Chi District has a capacity of 200 MLD. WASS has a bulk water supply contract with SAWACO for a guaranteed volume of 150 MLD.
On October 8, 2013, Manila Water South Asia Holdings Pte. Ltd. (MWSAH) acquired a 31.47 percent minority stake in Saigon Water Infrastructure Corporation ("SII"), a listed water company in Vietnam. SII is intended by Manila Water to be its primary vehicle in its bid to further expand and strengthen its presence in Vietnam.
MWAP also acquired a 24.5 percent stake in another Vietnamese water firm, Cu Chi Water Supply Sewerage Company, Ltd. (“Cu Chi Water”), a water company in Vietnam, to engage in a BOO project to develop and operate the water supply system in Cu Chi district. Also under MWAP is another company tasked to pursue non-revenue water reduction projects in Vietnam called Asia Water Network Solutions ("Asia Water").
Meanwhile, the Company’s pilot leakage reduction project in Ho Chi Minh City which started in 2008 was completed in August 2014.
At present, Manila Water is the largest direct foreign investor in Vietnam’s water sector supplying half of the bulk water requirements of Ho Chi Minh City.