Ho Chi Minh City water supplier Sawaco will need investment capital of more than 4.5 trillion VND (215million USD) to build water pipelines to ensure that all city residents have access to tap water this year.

More than 89 percent of the population has had access to tap water, but the city will raise the rate to 100 percent by the end of this year, Tran Dinh Phu, General Director of Sawaco (Saigon Water Corporation), told the HCM City People 's Council's Economic and Budget Commission at a last week meeting.

To reach the target, Sawaco needs to build 1,100km of water pipeline, 94km of which are main pipelines costing 2.3 trillion VND. The remaining are small pipelines, costing 2.2trillion VND.

However, Sawaco, is only able to cover less than half of the invested capital and has sought private investment for its water pipeline project.

"Many investors are willing to invest in water plants but don't want to invest in the pipeline project because it takes a long time to recover capital," Phu said.

Phu proposed to the People's Council that it use its budget to help Sawaco cover half of the investment capital of 4.5 trillion VND.

According to Phu, the city will have two more water plants. The Thu Duc 3 Plant built by the Saigon Clean Water Investment and Trading Co. will start operation by the end of this year and the Tan Hiep 2 Water Plant invested by Tan Hiep Water Invesment Co., by the end of next year. Each plant has a capacity of 300,000 c.m a day.

"Sawaco will buy water from the plants to supply to city residents. It needs to invest in more water pipelines to fully use the additional water volume," Phu said.-VNA